Travel Profile (total)

  Yr/Yr % Chg
Visitor Spending (2016p) $565 million -
California Market Share (2015) 21.3% -
Visitors to California (2016p) 279,000 -
2017 Visitation Forecast (% change vs. 2016p) 275,000 -1.4%
2021 Visitation Forecast (% change vs. 2016p) 292,000 +4.7%
2021 Spending Forecast $595 million -

(updated May 2017)
U.S. Department of Commerce; Tourism Economics 

Leisure Travel Profile (82% of total)  

Vacation/Holiday 86% 128
Hotel/Motel 71% 97
Average Length of Stay - Nights 9.5 75
Average Spend Per Trip $1,310 66
Average Destinations Visited Per Trip 3.3 106
Average Party Size 2 118

Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce; CIC Research, Inc.



Market Conditions

Scandinavia GDP Quarterly Growth Rate

GDP Annual Growth Rate is estimated to grow 1 percent in Denmark and 3.4 percent in Sweden in 2016. The economic model of the Nordic countries has helped the region weather the social consequences that have followed in other EU countries. The unemployment rate has stabilized or decreased in some markets and is one of the lowest in the European Union (average 6.2 percent). Vacation has a very high priority in Scandinavia and traveling has become a basic good rather than a luxury.

English is the dominating second language throughout the region and Scandinavians enjoy six weeks of paid vacation annually.

  Check current exchange rates on

  • The non-affiliation with the Euro reduced the risk of the Euro Zone’s current fate for Denmark, Sweden and especially Norway due to oil reserves and domestic demand
  • Only Finland has adopted the Euro; the other countries maintain their own local currency, though Denmark follows a fixed exchange rate vis-á-vis the Euro



Competitive Landscape


Market Barriers


  • Thailand
  • Vietnam, Sri Lanka
  • Australia (outdoor, road trips, dream vacation)


  • Middle East (shopping)
  • New Zealand (outdoor, road trips, dream vacation)
  • Africa (Kenya, South Africa)
  • Scandinavians generally look for authentic destinations that their neighbors have not yet visited
  • Limited awareness of destinations beyond Highway 1, San Francisco and Los Angeles such as Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Lake Tahoe, etc.
  • City breaks increasingly popular, and the East Coast (New York City) is closer (shorter flights)



Risk Factors


The primary concern for Scandinavian travelers is their reaction and potential distaste for the election of President Trump.






  • 26 weekly nonstop flights
  • 7,028 weekly nonstop seats
  • Booking time frame for summer vacation (three weeks in June through August): December, February and March
  • Booking time frame for winter vacation (two weeks in December or February): August–September
  • Shorter getaways, often for couples and groups of friends, booked online 1–2 months before departure
  • Scandinavia has 10 traditional tour operators who all sell packages to California



Other Market Insights

  • Market:
    • The United States is the top longhaul travel destination
      • Ahead of Thailand with 1.5 million Scandinavian visitors in 2015, Scandinavia is the fourth largest European market to the United States
    • Scandinavians now spend more than $30 billion a year on travel (approximately $4,800 per household)
  • Product Experience:
    • Fly/drive itineraries are dominant in tour operator offerings, and customized itineraries are very popular
  • Audience:
    • Increased interest in culinary travel
      • The foodie movement has awakened Scandinavians’ interest in culinary travel, representing a significant opportunity in this market
    • Scandinavian travelers want to learn about the history and culture of a destination to gain a deeper connection
    • Active vacations gaining in popularity
      • Since physical and mental well-being is important, travelers are looking for active vacations
      • 33 percent of Nordic travelers exercise while on vacation and 87 percent of Nordic travelers want to be active in natural surroundings
    • National parks are a U.S. travel motivator
      • Visiting national parks has become one of the preferred activities in the United States among Nordic travelers – so much so that around 43 percent of Nordic travelers visit national parks while in the United States
    • Luxury is a growing segment
      • Consumers have high expectations and are willing to pay for quality and authenticity
    • Vacations are highly prioritized by families, and multigenerational travel is on the rise
      • Families prioritize vacations highly and expect to spend more on holidays than last year
      • There is a strong rise in multigenerational travel, with baby boomers reaching retirement and becoming healthier and more adventurous than previous generations



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