Prevue asked Magnus Lindbergh, Visit Sweden’s manager of marketing and sales, his thoughts on luxury trends for 2011.
Q: How can planners create a sense of exclusivity in Sweden while keeping a close eye on their budget?
A: There are 1,000 islands within reach, the nearest 100 within 20 minutes. Many of them can be exclusively used for events. That’s truly an affordable luxury. One of Stockholm’s “wow” factors is the archipelago—a landscape of unspoiled nature and endless possibilities. In the outer parts you might spot seals if you are lucky! We recommend a speedy ride by RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) that gives you and your team an unforgettable preview of Stockholm’s 24,000-island archipelago.
Q: How is the definition of “luxury” evolving in the group market?
A: It’s about being smart. Saving time, having working tools close at hand, short transportation time at the destination, having time on your own, maybe even in silence.
Stockholm has an extensive and well-organized public transport system, as well as numerous companies providing private transport services. It is easy to reach locations throughout the city and surrounding areas.
Q: How are you adapting to the “new luxury” trend?
A: According to our definition of luxury, it’s visiting a stable country with a stable economy, as well as accessibility to nature close to the urban area, and exquisite seafood and local produce in a traditional environment. Outgoing, open minded people are also a luxury you’ll find in Stockholm.
Q: What are some stellar group special events with a high level of cachet that you can put together for planners?
A: Dining, dancing, networking under the stars on a private island is very prestigious, with vistas that go beyond the imagination. Just 50 minutes from Stockholm, you will find the island of Badholmen where your group may luxuriate in complete privacy by renting the island.
Q: What are some luxurious venues in the destination that you promote to groups?
A: City Hall, The Vasa Museum, Skansen Open Air Museum, The Royal Skating Rink at Skeppsholmen, Houses of Nobility and the Grand Hotel. If you are looking for an extraordinary venue, you will find it in Stockholm. The city has much more to offer than visual splendor. The Royal Swedish Capital is also known as the Capital of Scandinavia and main financial and cultural hub in the Nordic and Baltic regions. Expect nothing less than top quality service and extraordinary organization.
Q: Are cultural, fine art venues growing in popularity for group events?
A: Absolutely. Fotografiska (photography museum), Vasa Museum, National Museum of Fine Arts and Skansen Open Air Museum are today among the most popular venues and the demand is growing rapidly. The city of Stockholm is more than 700 years old and has had the time to build a fine collection of museums for the discerning visitor.