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Western Swedes fly more often on holiday than the average – and are happy at airports

2013-12-19, kl. 12:30

Swedavia, which operates Göteborg Landvetter Airport, today published the results of its Traveller survey, conducted together with TNS Sifo. The survey is carried out in order to map Swedes’ views of travel, holidaymaking and airports across the world.

The results show, among other things, that people’s experience at an airport is becoming even more important. One finding is that more people from western Sweden chose to fly on their holiday over the past year than the national average. A full 60 per cent of residents in Västra Götaland have done so, compared to 53 per cent of Swedes in general. Passengers from that county are mostly full of anticipation (78%) and happy (49%).

“We see that Swedes give priority to trips abroad to a higher degree today than a few years ago and that the airport is an important part of their travel experience. What distinguishes people from western Sweden is that they indicate they have flown on holiday over the past year to a greater extent than the average Swede and that a larger percentage think they give a holiday abroad higher priority today than a few years ago – but also that those of us in western Sweden feel a sense of anticipation and happiness when we are at the airport,” says Charlotte Ljunggren, airport director at Göteborg Landvetter Airport.

The Traveller Survey, now conducted for the second year, shows what decisions Swedes make in conjunction with their holidays and how they behave prior to a trip. The 2013 report shows that more than a third (41%) feel that they give higher priority to a holiday abroad today than 5-10 years ago. A full 46 per cent of respondents from Västra Götaland say they give higher priority to a holiday abroad today than 5-10 years ago. The main reasons for this are that people want to experience something special (46%), they feel there is a greater need to relax given today’s demands for increased connectivity (35%), and it has become easier (27%).

At airports, people from Västra Götaland are full of anticipation (78%) and happy (49%), compared to 73 per cent and 46 per cent for the rest of the population. 73 per cent of people in western Sweden think the atmosphere at an airport is important for the travel experience. And what people prefer to do is really socialise at the airport and talk with the people they are travelling with, far removed from the constant connectivity of their everyday world. At the airport, people from western Sweden prefer to socialise with their travel companions (20%), have a cup of coffee and something sweet (19%) and shop (13%). People are looking mainly for good deals on shopping (45%), a food court with food from all around the world (28%), better job opportunities (21%) and more Swedish brands (21%). People from western Sweden differ significantly in this respect from the average Swede, only 16 per cent of whom are interested in more Swedish brands in the shopping on offer.

“At Göteborg Landvetter Airport, we are continuously working to further improve things for passengers so that their visit to the airport entails happiness and anticipation. The atmosphere, interior and range of services on offer at the airport are an important part of the travel experience, and at Göteborg Landvetter we have made significant investments in that regard over the past year. In February, we opened the ‘new’ Göteborg Landvetter Airport, with 1,000 square metres of new space, a wider selection of restaurants and shops, and a brand new setting, which brings the airport in line with top international standards,” Ms Ljunggren notes.

Along with shopping and good food, Swedes also think a good airport atmosphere is also characterised by clean, nice-looking premises, low sound levels, good information and ample seating.

Download the full Traveller report here (in Swedish): www.swedavia.se/resenaren

Results from the Traveller Survey

  • The most common reason why people give priority to a holiday abroad today is that they want to experience something special (47%). This is true especially of those aged 18–29 (60%) and of people living in the Stockholm (58%) and Jönköping region (56%).
  • Older passengers (aged 50-64 and 65-79) are inspired in their choice of destination by their past travels. 
  • In the counties of Kalmar (39%), Halland (47%) and Norrbotten (37%), a larger share of people plan their trip at least six months before their departure, compared to 30 per cent in the rest of Sweden.
  • 36 per cent want to be at the airport more than two hours before their flight in order to shop, eat and soak in the atmosphere. Travellers from Gävleborg, Halland, Örebro, Dalarna and Södermanland spend the most time at the airport before their departure.
  • The predominant feeling for passengers when they arrive at the airport is anticipation, and that is the strongest feeling among people living in Värmland (81%) and Dalarna (also 81%).
  • Women pack a pen, medicine, chewing gum and make-up in their carry-on baggage to a far greater extent than men do. Men instead take their computer/iPad and condoms.
  • Women prefer to buy something to read (32%) and exclusive perfumes (28%) at the airport. Men shop for alcohol, preferably higher quality (40%).
  • More than one out of six men prefer to spend the time before their flight in the bar, with this being the case especially among men aged 30-49 (22%).
  • Older men between 65 and 79 prefer a cup of coffee and something sweet (26%).
  • Women spend the most time at the airport socialising and chatting with their travel companions (23%).
  • Women also believe it is important that airports work hard to be as environmentally-friendly as possible (86%).
  • More attractive prices for shopping and food from around the world are what travellers want most at airports. 23 per cent of those asked update their Facebook status or post something on Instagram at the airport before their departure.
  • Paperback books are the most popular form of reading on a trip (54%), followed by newspapers/magazines (20%). Swedes prefer to read a comic novel like En man som heter Ove by Fredrik Backman or a thriller like Inferno by Dan Brown.

Results for Västra Götaland

  • 635 people from Västra Götaland were interviewed for the survey, with the 337 people who responded yes to the question of whether they have flown on holiday this year constituting the basis for the report results.
  • Among people from western Sweden, 46 per cent of passengers decide on their destination more than three months in advance, 24 per cent more than six months in advance and 22 per cent one month in advance.
  • People prefer to pack a pen (59%), camera (55%) and gum (42%) in their carry-on baggage.
  • People want to be at an airport at least one hour in advance (56%) or two hours in advance (35). Eight per cent said 30 minutes at the latest.
  • At an airport, people from western Sweden feel a sense of anticipation (78%), happiness (49%) and nervousness (24%).
  • People from western Sweden prefer to check in with personal service (60%) rather than use self-service (32).
  • At airports, people prefer to socialise with their travel companions (20%), have a cup of coffee and something sweet (19%) and shop (13%).
  • For most people (73%), the atmosphere at airports is important.
  • People are looking for good deals on shopping (45%), a food court with food from all around the world (28%), better job opportunities (21%) and greater focus on Swedish brands (21%).
  • A full 46 per cent think they give higher priority today to a holiday abroad than they did 5-10 years ago. The main reasons for this are that they want to experience something special (46%), they feel there is a greater need to relax given today’s increased demands for connectivity (35%) and it has become easier (27%).
  • People prefer to eat a sandwich (48%), hot food (15%) or fast food (7%) and drink beer (24%), coffee (27%) or wine (9%).
  • People prefer to shop for quality spirits (34%), travel reading (29%) or Swedish chocolate (23%) and spend about SEK 500 (42%) or up to SEK 100 (26%).
  • A full 77 per cent of people from western Sweden think it is important that an airport works hard to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

About the survey

This survey of Swedish views on travel, holidaymaking and airports across the world was conducted by TNS Sifo at the request of Swedavia. The web-based survey was carried out September 30-October 9, 2013. Respondents were randomly chosen individuals aged 18-79. A total of 9,067 people were interviewed, with the 4,594 people who responded yes to the question of whether they had flown on holiday over the past year serving as the basis for the survey results. For national results, the sample size was 2,000.