Following budget cuts of 14% by the Swedish government funding for the tourism organisation Visit Sweden, the agency has chosen to cut its MICE sector involvement rather than take on a widespread reorganisation.
According to spokesperson Thomas Bruhl, it had been difficult to take the decision to to cut ant services, however when considering the total number of visitors to Sweden, the MICE segment represented about 5% and would allow the agency to focus on its main incoming sectors. It was felt that rather than making cuts in several sectors, it was possible to focus on performing areas. Visit Sweden will retain its overseas offices which are represented in 12 countries.While it is unlikely that staff would be made redundant, roles will be redefined and overall staff will be reduced from 110 to 90.
Visit Sweden’s MICE activity in the UK which included a program of buyer trips and events, will be affected and Mr Bruhl noted that it was still too early to gauge the affect on Swedish organisations and companies that were involved in the local MICE market. The view was that if Visit Sweden continued strengthening the Sweden brand, the message would still reach those who travel in business and are drivers of meetings and MICE.
The changes will take place at the start of 2013 strategies for marketing to meetings and events sector from January are still unclear. Visit Sweden, said the meeting industry will continue to be supported with brand marketing by Visit Sweden. However, Visit Sweden will focus on the activities that drive the most night stays and visitor volume as part of a more leisure tourism focus.