Tourism to Stockholm has never been better. In fact, the number of visitors to Stockholm is increasing like never before. March 2004 exceeded the figures from the record years of 2000 and 2001 and is at an all time high. In total, the number of bed nights during the month of March has increased by 83% since 1991. From the US, bed nights in March were up 24% over the same period last year.
March saw a positive boost in terms of commercial bed nights with 344,000 inside the city limits of Stockholm and 521,000 in the whole region. That's an improvement of 11% for Stockholm (9% for the whole region) compared to 2003. The USA accounted for 11,783 bed nights.
In addition to commercial business, Stockholm is becoming more and more popular as a cruise destination. This year 60 international cruiseliners will make a total of 220 calls in the port of Stockholm.
With a summer filled with events such as the Stockholm Marathon, jazz and folk music festivals as well as Stockholm Pride Festival and Volvo Baltic Race, we can expect those numbers to rise steadily as summer approaches.
Among the many highlights is the CowParade (Jun 1-Aug 31), the world's largest public art exhibition that originated in Zurich in 1998. About 100 life-sized cow sculptures will be displayed on Stockholm's streets and squares, giving Swedish artists the opportunity to apply their creative visions to the objects. (www.cowparade.com).
Musical offerings abound, as The Concert House will remain open this summer. This magnificent venue will be home to a series of concerts during the Jazz Festival, plus a range of classical concerts featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and other ensembles. (www.konserthuset.se
Outside of the city, the Stockholm archipelago, which includes 24,000 islands, and Lake Mälaren has something for everyone, whether it's a charming village with picturesque restaurants, hotels and country stores, or a completely deserted harbor offering tranquility and natural beauty. Many of the islands in the archipelago can be reached by boat from central Stockholm.
Sweden's beautiful countryside
Just south of the city, in Sweden's beautiful countryside, there are some 400 castles and manor houses, many of which offer lodging and wonderful restaurants. Idyllic small towns, such as Trosa and Mariefred, are ideal locations for a gentle stroll or for visiting small shops and cafes. www.stockholmtown.com
For more information, contact the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, [email protected], Phone: (212) 885 9762.