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Swedes celebrate Christmas at home but give travel as presents

December 22, 2008 11:55

Four of five Swedes celebrate Christmas in their home town. However, among young people, residents of Northern Sweden and Gothenburg and Green Party voters, there is a dream of Christmas abroad. The chances are good that this dream may come true over the coming year, since nine of ten Swedes can envisage giving travel, particularly a vacation in the sun, as a Christmas present.These were the findings of a survey conducted for SAS by Synovate in which slightly more than 1,000 Swedes were questioned about their plans for Christmas and their views on giving travel as a Christmas present.

Some 80 percent of all Swedes will celebrate Christmas in their home town this year, and that is also where most wish to celebrate Christmas. Few celebrate Christmas abroad, but a greater number, 12 percent to be precise, want to travel out into the world. Among young people, the figure is even higher. One out of every four wants to travel abroad.

Those most eager to travel are residents of Northern and Western Sweden, where 15 percent expressed an interest.

The Swedish Green Party’s voters were the most conscientious, with one of ten reporting that they will be at work on Christmas Eve. At the same time, Christian Democrats at nine out of ten are those who most want to celebrate Christmas in their home town. Nonetheless, the two parties’ voters have in common that they would like to travel abroad at Christmas to a greater extent, in one out of five cases, than sympathizers of other parties.

Christmas is a time of giving, and a large majority of Swedes are willing to give travel as a Christmas present. Only 6 percent saw this as out of the question. In the age group from 30 to 44, two thirds could consider giving their partner a trip. Above all, people married to a resident of Gothenburg have a good chance of receiving a trip, since half of all residents of that city are willing to put a ticket under the tree.

Those who are married to someone from Northern Sweden, on the other hand, may be forced to go to the travel agent themselves, since three out of four in that group do not intend to purchase travel as a Christmas present.

The most popular destinations for Christmas presents are resorts in the sun, although weekend city trips are popular among all age groups.

”At a time when possessions are less important and experiences increasingly meaningful, it is natural that many people want to give travel as a present. We see that the trend towards more frequent and shorter trips is becoming stronger. Examples include a weekend trip to a big city to shop or to a green golf course in the early spring or to sunshine and warmth in Southern Europe,” says Ulf Hermansson Samell, marketing manager at SAS in Sweden.

Summary of the survey

Residents of Northern Sweden and Gothenburg most eager to celebrate Christmas abroad
Residents of Northern Sweden and Gothenburg are most eager to travel abroad at Christmas. Residents of Gotland, Öland and Småland, on the other hand, prefer to stay at home. While residents of other regions dream of traveling abroad, more than two thirds of island dwellers and residents of Småland want to be at home in their own homes, and will also be there to a greater extent than Swedes from the rest of the country.

One in ten Green Party voters celebrate Christmas abroad
Among Conservative Party and Social Democratic voters, home is popular among more than half, who will celebrate Christmas at home and do not wish for anything else. Center Party voters travel the most over Christmas, and one in ten leave the country. At the same time, Liberal Party voters are those who will travel most over Christmas. Although 29 percent will travel, it is interesting to note that they would rather be at home.

Social Democrats most willing to give a trip to a sunshine resort to their partners
One in ten Social Democrats, Left Party and Green Party voters could not imagine giving travel as a present, which was more than among other party sympathizers. Among Conservative Party voters, their partners would be the primary recipients, preferably of a trip to the sun, although city trips were also popular. Liberal Party voters distinguished themselves by preferring city weekends over vacations in the sun. At the opposite end of the scale were Christian Democratic voters, where less than one percent would choose a city weekend, while two out of three instead choose a vacation in the sun as a gift.

About the survey
Synovate conducted 1,010 telephone interviews on behalf of SAS in early December 2008. The questions relating to Christmas celebrations were ”Where will you spend Christmas this year?” and ”Where would you like to spend Christmas?”

Based on the fact that the Swedish Retail Institute cited experiences as this year’s Christmas present, questions were also asked about travel as a Christmas present. The question ”Who, if anyone, would you consider giving travel as a present?” was combined with the question ”If you were to give travel as a present to someone close to you, what type of trip would it be?”

For further information and more detailed survey resullts:
Ulf Hermansson Samell, marketing manager, SAS in Sweden, +46 709
– 97 40 40 ulf.hermansson-samell@sas.se
Niclas Härenstam, press officer, SAS in Sweden, 0709 – 97 18 25

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