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New Year abroad, a dream for most Swedes

December 29, 2008 11:00

Two of three Swedes would love to spend New Year abroad. Swedes dream mostly about travel to the US, Thailand and Australia. However, when travel plans are to be realized for next year, mainly shorter trips will apply. Eight of ten Swedes plan to take more or as many weekend trips in 2009 as this year, but only one in ten is planning fewer trips.This was established in a survey conducted by Synovate on behalf of SAS Sweden, when more than 1,000 Swedes were asked about their travel plans for the New Year and their views on travel in 2009.

Two thirds replied that they dreamed of ringing in the New Year abroad and primarily in the US, where 20 percent wanted to be. Two other countries that were popular in the survey are Australia and Thailand. Residents from Stockholm and Skåne are particularly passionate about the US, while people from central Sweden and Gothenburg prefer to spend New Year at home. Starting the New Year in the Swedish mountains also ranked high.

In reply to the question, who in the world you would like to spend the New Year with, the highest ranking response was with partners or families. Some are curious about the next US President, Barack Obama, 1 percent would like to ring in the New Year with him. Among the Moderate Party and the Swedish Left Party voters, 4 percent had Obama as their first choice.

“New Year means celebration and an opportunity to reflect as well as dream about the future. Accordingly, I am not particularly surprised that many want to travel far away, to exciting places. However, I am not surprised either that it is the shorter weekend trips that will mainly materialize for most people. We need these short breaks, time to liven up everyday life,” says Ulf Hermansson Samell, Marketing Director, SAS Sverige.

In the survey, eight of ten consulted said that they plan to take more or as many weekend trips in 2009 as this year. This view is representative of all age groups and throughout Sweden. Residents of Northern Sweden are distinguished as the largest group that intends to increase weekend trips in 2009. Only within the Småland, Gotland and Öland regions is the portion that plan on fewer weekend trips greater than the portion that plan to increase their travel. However, among people in Småland, Gotland and Öland, the majority also expects to take as many weekend trips as in 2008.

Many associate weekend trips primarily with shopping, theater visits and maybe golf. However, the main reason for weekend trips for most people is to visit family, relatives and friends.

If you consider weekend travel in 2009 and party affiliation, members of the Swedish Liberal Party and the Green Party of Sweden stand out in that nine out of ten plan to take more or as many weekend trips. The Swedish Left Party has a more cautious attitude whereby more plan to travel less compared with those who plan to travel more.

About the survey
At the beginning of December 2008, Synovate conducted 1,010 telephone interviews on behalf of SAS and asked about travel plans for 2009 and the New Year celebration. The questions pertaining to travel plans for 2009 were: “Will you take more/the same amount/fewer weekend trips in 2009 compared with this year?” and “What will be your reasons for private travel in 2009?” The questions pertaining to New Year were: “If you had a choice to spend New Year anywhere in the world, where would you choose?” and “If you had a choice to spend New Year with anyone in the world, who would you choose?”

For further information and detailed survey results:
Ulf Hermansson Samell, Marketing Director, SAS Sweden, +46 (0)70-997 40 40

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