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Åre Destination Development 2000--2011 A summary of statistics and relevant events

Gunnar Hedberg · Malinders Management AB · 2012-04-19


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Content

2

1

Background

page 3

2

Summary of relevant events during the 2000s (2000–2011)

4

3

Development in Åre

6

3.1

Increase in the number of beds

6

3.2

Commercial guest nights

8

3.3

The dry-land period

11

3.4

Present situation 2011 – total number of guest nights

11

3.5

Skier days

13

3.5.1

Turnover ski pass sales

15

3.6

Dry-land activities

16

3.7

Swimmer days – the waterpark

19

3.8

Distribution of the guests’ expenses

19

3.9

Guest surveys

23

3.9.1

Summer 2011

23

3.9.2

Winter 2010/11

25

3.9.3

Hospitality projects

28

3.10

Conferences, congresses and the meetings’ market

28

3.11

Development of commerce and restaurants

30

3.11.1

Seasonal opening

30

4

Communications – travel patterns

31

5

Population statistics

34

6

The business sector

39

6.1

Employment

39

6.2

Business development

39

6.3

Unemployment

41

7

Construction of housing

42

8

The environment

43

9

Public investments/efforts

45

9.1

Municipal investments

45

9.2

Local plans and building permission

46

10

Private investments

47

10.1

Generally

47

10.2

The ski area

47

11

Exploitations

48

12

The change of Åregruppen/Åreföretagarna into Åre Destination AB

49

13

Projects and major events

53

14

Summary

55

Appendices

57


Åre Destination

1

Development 2000--2011

Background

Following the effects of the structural transformation and the recession in the early 1990s, in the end of the century, Åre Local Authority initiated a tourism development project to promote the future growth of the destination Åre and the associated villages. The decline in the industry together with the ­diminishing population during the later part of the 1990s led to the local businesses in ­cooperation with Åre Local Authority starting to collect data and analyzing the situation in order to produce a ­strategy to turn the trend around and enable the destination to grow. These efforts led to various projects such as the investment on lakeside Åre Strand and the construction of the Holiday Club with a waterpark and a multi-purpose hall, the so-called ‘multihall project’. The resort was finished and opened in the autumn 2004. In total the investments reached 174 MSEK of which the local business sector contributed 70 MSEK, NUTEK and EU 52 MSEK and municipal funds 52 MSEK (part of waterpark and multi-hall). To add to this, investments in the hotel and timeshare apartments, financed by Holiday Club, 460 MSEK with support from NUTEK (the hotel part) amounting to 25 MSEK. The rationale for the investments in Holiday Club was to complement the winter product with other activities beside skiing, but more than anything else to create the basis for a dry-land venture and make of Åre an all year destination – ‘Åre året runt’ (all year round). The decision on the project on Åre Strand and the partnership with Holiday Club and Åreföretagarna was taken in January 2001 by the municipal council, first in the form of a Letter of Intent and then the final decision in May when all the agreements had been signed. The decisions from EU and NUTEK (presently Tillväxtverket – the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth) followed later on in the same year and the first symbolic sod was cut in May 2002 while the real construction work started in the autumn 2002. Bure AB the company taking over the lift-owning company during the difficult 1990s, sold it in 2000 to Sälenstjärnan, presently Skistar AB. Through this transaction and the ensuing acquisitions, the ski resorts Sälen, Vemdalen, Trysil and Hemsedal joined the same group and Åre had found a professional owner of its main product – alpine skiing. Meanwhile, the Swedish Ski Association in concert with the destination, and the local slalom club, ­presented its candidacy to host the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. When Sweden was given the positive outcome of the vote in June 2002, work started on various fronts to make this mega event possible. The ambition and the outcome were: “The greatest winter party ever held in Sweden and the best world championships ever”. During the process of work preceding the decision on the multi-hall project1 and prior to the decision on the Worlds 2007, a vision 2011 was produced jointly by Skistar, Åreföretagarna and Åre Local Authority (2002–2011) which set out the objectives for the next ten-year period. This was a ­strategic decision based on the above mentioned analysis and the guest surveys conducted by Skistar. The analyses showed clearly that the destination needed to widen the scope of activities besides skiing with swimming, bowling, Spa etc and also to start up and develop various dry-land activities. The vision is presented in Appendix 1. The time has now come to sum up what has happened since the turn of the millennium, to analyse and carry forward the results into the future development and the new vision – Vision 2020. This report is based on facts, statistics and other relevant events during the 00s (2000–2011).

1 Development of the destination’s five villages.

3


Åre Destination

2

Development 2000--2011

Summary of relevant events during the 2000s (2000–2011)

During the first few years, the activities undertaken were primarily aimed at creating facilities that would enable the carrying out of the 2007 World Ski Championships and many projects were initiated and aimed at completion prior to February 2007, but other projects had more long-term objectives. • Holiday Club on lakeside Åre Strand – A new hotel open all year round with approximately 1 000 beds, conference rooms, indoor waterpark, spa, bowling and a multipurpose hall – it o­ pened in November 2004. Adjacent to the hotel is a timeshare village with room for 157 holiday a­ partments of which 90 have been completed by 2011. The hotel was expanded in 2006, when another 400 beds were added to reach a total of 250 rooms, each with at least 4 beds. • E14 – The Åre tunnel provided the conditions to design an ideal finish area in the racing arena with all disciplines finishing in the same spot to the benefit of the spectators, broadcasters etc. The tunnel was a joint venture between Vägverket (the Swedish Road Authority), Skistar AB, Åre 2007 AB (LOC) and Åre Local Authority, with financial support also from Jämtland County ­Administrative Board and the other local authorities in Jämtland County (distribution of the county’s road maintenance fund). Åre Local Authority and Åre 2007 AB were forced to lend/­ advance funds to Vägverket so that the project could be completed in time before the WSC. The tunnel was completed in October 2005 and thus available for the test of the new arena in the FIS World Cup finals in March 2006. • Station Åre – this project added a new and modern railway station together with a substantial increase in commercial space, 5 000 sqm for trade and underground parking 3 000 sqm, also ­connecting the station with the Holiday Club. The building was finished in 2006 while the ­connecting footbridge across the railway line was completed in 2008. • Åre Torg and Produkthuset – With the move of the two supermarkets, ICA to Station Åre and Konsum to the Produkthuset area in 2005, it became possible to recreate the town square and add new space for restaurants, shops and tourist accommodation. The new design of the square also enabled the creation of an open market area for use in connection with major events, prize-giving ceremonies, fairs etc. The square was again given a facelift before the summer 2007. Åre Local Authority’s sale of a plot of land adjacent to Produkthuset to the supermarket chain Konsum, a necessity for the redesigned Åre Torg as per above, was questioned and the transaction appealed against. The EU commission rejected the transaction on the basis of it constituting illegal state ­support which would distort competition. This led to many debates in the media and the ’Konsum affaire’ became known all over the country. The EU tribunal dismissed in December 2011 the decision of the commission and the final outcome is that Åre Local Authority and Konsum acted correctly in this transaction. • The space available for commercial use has increased more than twofold during the 00s, growing from some 8 700 sqm prior to 2006 to about 18 800 sqm by 2011. • Expansion of the ski area has meant new ski lifts (VM 6:an, VM 8:an, Hummelliften, and in Björnen), increased snow-gun coverage including water reservoirs in existing tarns up on the ­mountain as well as new pistes (the ladies’ downhill course, the Hummel piste and others).

4


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

At a later stage, the national alpine arena has seen permanent spectator stands and other facilities added, opening in 2011. The building of the arena and its facilities made possible the move of the Swedish Ski Association’s alpine section from Falun to Åre. The total sum of investments made by Skistar AB in the ski area amounts to more than 500 MSEK. • 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships – The event is thoroughly described in the ­Final ­Report” 2 and summed up by “The greatest winter party ever held in Sweden and the best world championships ever”. The ‘Worlds’ added a new milestone to Åre’s history and growth and ­propelled investments, innovations etc at the destination. In total about three billion SEK were invested in the tourism sector between 2002 and 2007. The event itself attracted 220 000 ­spectators and the turnover of the industry was estimated at 210 MSEK. On average each visitor spent 1 084 SEK per day. When the decision to choose Sweden and Åre was announced on the ­Swedish ­National Day, 6 June 2002, Åre already had the route ahead staked out in Vision 2011, with ­objectives set out in numbers in terms of beds, visitors and investments; the Worlds served to speed up the development. • Tourist accommodation – Several major tourist accommodation projects were also initiated, ­adding over a relatively short period new beds and also commercial space. The projects are presented in Appendix 2. The continuous expansion in Åre Björnen and Tegefjäll gained momentum. In the case of Björnen the most spectacular project is the new hotel Copperhill Mountain Lodge: a five-star hotel with spa facilities situated in high location in eastern Björnen with ski in/ski out ­setting. The hotel which was finalized in 2008 benefited from private investments totalling 750 MSEK, demonstrating some of the dynamics in the area. From year 2000 up to the present, the total number of commercial beds within the destination has grown from about 22 700 to in excess of 31 300, representing an increase by 38 per cent or 3 per cent per year.3 • Housing projects – in order to meet the expected expansion/population growth, more than 260 flats for permanent housing were built in Åre and Duved over the period 2002 – 2010. • Environmental work – already in 2001 and later on within the framework of Vision 2011, intense efforts were undertaken on the environmental work within the destination. In year 2002 Åre Municipality joined the Earth Charter.4 Furthermore a concrete result of the work is that the environmental issues are now included in Vision 2020 stating: “Unique experiences all year round – Concern for the environment – A borderless welcoming Åre – Attractive habitation”. The vision includes an environmental strategy with overall objectives in several areas, also stating whose concern it is to reach these. The prime objectives include a focus on ‘green’ travel and a ­destination adapted to the climate.5 • Public transport – to enable commuting to and from Åre, for work and leisure activities. The public transport saw the addition of a new bus service between Mörsil and Duved from December 2007. Travelling by public transport has surged since then.

2 www.are2007.com. 3 The estimate is based on data from the property records combined with physical inventory and comprises both warm beds (beds with a high occupancy rate) which are let through professional agents and cold beds which are used less. The statistics include Edsåsdalen – Undersåker. 4 Earth Charter provides guidelines for sustainable development from an ecological, economic and social aspect. 5 Vision 2020 is available at www.are.se/naringsliv.

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Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

3 Development in Åre 3.1

Increase in the number of beds 6

(Source: Inventory of beds ‘Åre 5 byar’ from 1998 and new statistics from 2010)

One essential prerequisite for receiving visitors is having enough beds to accommodate them. It is also a question of having the right type of beds. In the analysis carried out during the late 1990s, it became obvious that the destination had a shortage of hotel rooms, that many of the beds failed to reach the standard requirements and there were so-called cold beds, meaning not available or attractive in the market. Overall, the number of beds has grown from just over 19 000 beds in 1998 to almost 28 000 in year 2010, which represents an increase of 45 per cent or almost 3 per cent per year over the course of 14 years. The largest growth has taken place in Björnen, from 4 800 to 8 300 (72%). In Åre, the numbers have grown from 6 900 to 10 700 (55%). In Åre and Björnen the beds have grown by more than 7 300 beds, representing 80 per cent of the overall growth. Central Åre’s share of beds has risen from 36 per cent to 39 per cent, but the biggest expansion has been seen in Björnen, where the share has increased from 26 per cent in 1998 to 30 per cent in 2010. This can be explained in part by the fact that there has been land available for exploitation in these areas and there have been commercial stakeholders eager to partake in the development in Åre. The development is shown in the diagram below. One ­necessary ­ingredient in order to speed up expansion to the west as well is connected with a future ­connection of the lift and ski facilities through Ullådalen and also the realization of the planned projects in ­Ullådalen. Diagram 1 Growth and distribution of beds in Åre 1998–2010

6 The term includes beds intended for commercial letting, beds included in tenant owner’s flat projects and are used under more professional forms and also beds let through private agents. Accommodation with friends and relatives is not included.

6


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 2 Increase in per cent of the number of beds in Åre 1998–2010

Diagram 3 Geographical distribution of beds between the areas 1998–2010

Distribution of beds 1998

Distribution of beds 2010 16%

19%

25%

30%

15% 19%

37%

39% Duved

Tegefjäll

Åre Village

Björnen

7


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

3.2 Commercial guest nights7 The concepts of guest beds and commercial guest nights are not comparable in the report. The ­commercial guest nights include those guest nights that are reported to SCB (the Swedish Central Bureau of Statistics) or booked through an agent. The statistics regarding the destination’s commercial guest nights are available from 2003 and builds on factual guest nights in hotels, in holiday villages and accommodation let through agents. There are no reliable statistics prior to this. The figures do not include guest nights spent in own cabins/­ apartments, visits to friends or privately let accommodation. The survey carried out during the late 1990s, in anticipation of the multi-hall project, the total number of guest nights in 1999 was estimated at approximately 2 million, also including these guest nights. The numbers available for the 2000s (from 2003) are on a different and lower level than the unreliable statistics from the periods prior to the turn of the millennium. It will be interesting to regard the development during the 2000s and compare the figures to those of the 1990s. During the 1990s, figures peaked in 1994/95, followed by a strong reduction and towards the end of the century we were back on the same level as in 1990. In total, seen over the period, there was no increase in the number of guest nights, also a contributing factor to the investment in additional beds etc, initiated in the beginning of the 2000s. During the first years of the new millennium and since 2003/04, the number of guest nights have grown from approximately 527 800 to just under 730 000 in 2010/11, an increase of 38 per cent with a peak in 2009/10 of just over 766 500. The strong growth is mainly attributed to visitors from outside Sweden and in particular Norway. The dry-land season has grown from just under 49 000 guest nights in the summer 2004 to almost 130 000 guest nights in 2011 which is more than double in less than ten years. The share of the snow-free season vs the total has increased from just over 9 per cent of the total guest nights in 2004 to 18 per cent in 2011. Interestingly, if we look at each respective year during the period, is that we reached a peak in 2007 with more than 111 500 guest nights, which dropped to just over 90 000 over the coming seasons reaching anew 100 000 guest nights in 2010 and that in 2011 we reached a new peak of almost 130 000 guest nights. In 2007 the share of the dry-land season was 15 per cent and for 2011 reached almost 18 per cent. This indicates that the snow-free season’s products have developed well and that there is a potential for continued growth.

7 All the diagrams regarding the development of guest nights are available at www.are.se/näringsliv/statistik.

8


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 4 Development of guest nights (indexed) in total in Åre 2003–2011

Looking at the relationship between visitors from Sweden vs. other countries, the Swedish ­contributions in 2003 represented just over 81 per cent, but despite the strong growth of more than 30 per cent, the share has now dropped to 72 per cent. This indicates that the share of non-Swedish visitors has grown even stronger and now represents 28 per cent of the total visitors. As previously mentioned, the Norwegians are the most frequent non-Swedish nationals visiting Åre and a large share of them come here to shop. Norwegians represent 49 per cent of the total number of foreign visitors in 2010/2011 but in 2004 the share was not even 30 per cent. Finland is the second most important ­country with 13 per cent, which is a decrease from 22 per cent in 2003. The Danish share has also ­decreased from 17 per cent to less than 9 per cent in 2010/2011. Despite a two-fold increase in the number of guest nights, the Russians’ share still remains at 9 per cent of the total number of foreign guest nights. The British visitors’ share has grown while the visitors from Estonia, Latvia and the Netherlands have decreased their shares. The representatives from other countries represent about five per cent, corresponding to just over 9 700 guest nights in 2010/11. Despite a two-fold increase in the number of guest nights, the share remains unchanged from 2003/04.

9


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 5 Development (indexed) of international guest nights in Åre 2003–2010 all year

If you compare the numbers above with the number of skier days/rider days, based on the sales of ski passes amounting to approximately one million in 2010/11, they represent an increase of more than 200 000 (28 per cent) since the turn of the millennium. These data comprise each single user of the lifts, meaning also those not included in the guest night statistics. Using the data available it is possible to compare the increase in the number of skier days with the increase in guest nights for the period 2003/04–2010/11. The number of skier days has grown by 14 per cent, while the guest nights have risen by 25 per cent during the same period. This is an indication that other activities besides alpine skiing attract visitors to the destination. In the 1990s, the data showed in principle no change so there has been a strong growth during the first decade of the 21st century.

10


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

3.3 The dry-land period We have noted strong growth during the dry-land season, not least among the international guests (Norwegian border trade). The number of guest nights in total during the snow-free season has grown by 165 per cent, from just over 48 000 in 2004 to almost 130 000 in 2011. This is mainly ­attributable to the Holiday Club and their massive marketing campaign in 2005-07 portraying the entire ­destination. The following years the marketing efforts diminished which may explain the curve of ­international visitors with a first peak in 2007 and more than 31 000 guest nights, a figure which was slashed in 2011 when the destination had more than 46 000 international guest nights, from about 8 000 guest nights in 2003/04. During the dry-land season our Norwegian guests are in total ­domination with a share of 94 per cent, in 2003 their share was barely 60 per cent. Finland is second with a share of almost 3 per cent in 2011. This shows that the ventures in trade in combination with a much wider scope of activities during the snow-free season have coped well with the strongly increasing Norwegian border trade during the 2000s. The Holiday Club is considered as the determining factor for the development in the Norwegian market and the impressive visitors’ data for 2011. Diagram 6 Development (indexed) of guest nights during the dry-land period in Åre 2003–2011

3.4 Present situation 2011 – total number of guest nights The survey carried out in 2011, both for the winter season and snow-free period presents data on guest nights including those in non-commercial accommodation, i.e. in own cabin/apartment, privately ­rented accommodation and visits to friends or family. With these data added, almost 800 000 guest nights are added in non-commercial accommodation and that is slightly more than the number of guest nights in commercial accommodation which is reported in the following diagram. In all, this means that the destination had more than 1.5 million guest nights in 2011, of which 83 per cent refer to the winter season and 17 per cent to the rest of the year. The commercial sector represents 47 per cent and the non-commercial 53 per cent. The distribution shows the importance that the ­non-commercial sector plays for the development of the destination and that there is a large scope for growth and development, not least during the summer. Private lettings show a slightly larger volume of guests compared to the commercial agents. The table and diagram below illustrate this. 11


Ă…re Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 7 Number of guest nights in commercial accommodation 2011

Diagram 8 Number of guest nights in non-commercial accommodation 2011

Diagram 9 Total number of guest nights and per season 2011

12


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Table 1 Number of guest nights in 2011, distributed per form of accommodation and season

Type of accommodation

Winter

Dry-land

Total

Hotel

121 394

77 970

199 364

Holiday village

97 666

22 960

120 626

Commercially let

381 199

19 336

400 535

Total commercial

600 259

120 266

720 525

Private letting

191 613

11 976

203 589

Own accommodation

355 161

107 782

462 944

Family/friends

112 500

18 000

130 500

Total non-commercial

659 274

137 758

797 032

Grand total

1 259 533

258 024

1 517 557

3.5 Skier days The number of skier days has grown since 1999/00 from 791 000 to 998 000 in 2010/11 with a peak at 1 088 000 in the season 2008/09, representing an increase of 207 000 skier days or 26 per cent over the past 12 years. Diagram 10 Development of the number of skier days in Åre 1999/2000–2010/11

The last two seasons we have seen a dip in the number of skier days. This is mainly due to the so-called calendar effect at Christmas /New Year and Easter as well as the fine winter weather all over Sweden in 2010/11, which meant that many Swedes in the south of the country could satisfy their need for skiing on home territory. 13


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

The nationwide development during the period is similar but slightly better during the season 2009/10, as shown in the diagram 12 below – snow all over the country, late Easter as well as a unpropitious Christmas and New Year calendar which have adversely affected the figures. Diagram 11 Development (indexed) of the skier days in Åre and in Sweden 1999/2000–2010/11

Diagram 12 Development (indexed) of the skier days in Åre and in Sweden 2003/2004–2010/11

Starting from 2003/04, the indexed development trend looks different (see diagram 12). During this period Åre has seen a stronger development compared to Sweden in general. Overall this points out that the ventures undertaken in the early years of the decade have borne fruit in 2006/2007. The next few years, major investments have been made in other parts of the mountain range which have ­contributed to Åre losing some of its competitive advantage.

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Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

3.5.1 Turnover ski pass sales

(Source: SLAO)

When Åre is compared to other ski areas in Sweden, Sälen reports a higher turnover in ski pass sales than Åre (including Edsåsdalen), 378 MSEK compared to 215 MSEK in the most recent season. The table below shows the respective turnover in MSEK and market share in per cent. Table 2 Turnover (ski pass sales) in MSEK in the main ski destinations in Sweden 2008/09–2010/11

Season/ski destination

08/09

MSEK

Sälen

09/10

per cent

378

MSEK

32

10/11

per cent

385

MSEK

31

per cent

359

30

Åre/Edsåsdalen 215 18 222 18 213 18 Vemdalen

83 7 87 7 87 7

Idre

82 7 84 7 71 6

If we consider individual ski resorts rather than the destinations, Åre 8 leads followed by Lindvallen. Table 3 Turnover (ski pass sales) in MSEK in the main ski resorts in Sweden 2008/09–2010/11 Season/ski resort 08/09

MSEK

per cent

09/10 MSEK

per cent

10/11 MSEK

per cent

+ or per cent

Åre

214 18,0 220 17,5 211 17,5 -4,0

Lindvallen

152

13,0

159

12,5

149

12,0

-6,4

Tandådalen

149

12,5

145

11,5

136

11,0

-6,2

Vemdalen

83 7,0 87 7,0 87 7,0 +0,3

Idre

82

6,9

84

6,7

71

5,8

-15,4

Åre’s market share is approximately 18 per cent while destination Sälen currently reports about 30 per cent. The last few years have seen a small decrease in turnover, but the drop for Åre is smaller – about 4 per cent vs. 7 per cent in the case of Sälen. Worth noting is that Vemdalen has seen a minor increase. Considered throughout the 2000s, the turnover re ski passes has grown from 770 MSEK to 1 212 MSEK in 2010/11 with a peak at 1 260 MSEK for the season 2009/10. This represents an increase at current prices of 442 MSEK or 57 per cent.

8 Edsåsdalen’s share amounted in 2008/09 to approximately 1 MSEK.

15


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

3.6 Dry-land activities The summer activities have grown and diversified tremendously from a low level at the turn of the millennium. The statistics show that in 2000 we had some 15 000 hiker and biker days, which in 2011 have grown to more than 50 000, of which the hiker days have grown from 13 000 to almost 30 000 or 129 per cent. The biker days have multiplied six times since 2000, from around 3 000 to near 18 000 in 2011. In comparison with skier days these are still low numbers but the activities contribute towards the sensation that the motto ‘Åre – all year round’ is starting to ring true, contrary to the situation in the late 1990s. The speed of growth during the dry-land season is much higher than the increase in skier days, albeit from a substantially lower base level. In terms of summer events, they have grown from 2 prior to the opening of the Holiday Club to 11 a­ fter 2005. (The Holiday Club opened in the autumn 2004 and the summer 2005 was the first ­dry-land season of the resort.) Furthermore, during the summer Skistar now operates not only the cable car but also four other lifts to satisfy the demand primarily from bikers. Hiking has also gained ­popularity over the past few years as a result of renovated hiking trails with improved signposting and maps. Since 2005, Skistar has invested 3.5 MSEK in biking trails. In later years, hiking has meant that the ski lifts are used to a larger extent also in the summer. The cable car has always been a summer attraction and facilitated the ascension of Mount Åreskutan. The dry-land activities are tricky to measure since they are varying in character and involve a large number of organisers. At the present time we have no reliable statistics covering the entire scope. The data we have comprise hiking, biking etc for the period 2004–2011; the result is presented in the ­diagram below. (Refer to activities involving the ski lifts).

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Ă…re Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 13 Dry-land activities (biker days etc.) 2004–2011

Diagram 14 Dry-land activities (biker days etc.) 2004–2011

The number of biker days (downhill) has tripled whereas the other activities have more than doubled during the 2000s. In all, this represents an increase of 257 per cent or in excess of 20 per cent per year. When it comes to ski lift days, they have increased from 16 100 in the summer 2000 to 28 000 in 2010 representing a 74 per cent growth.

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Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Table 4 Development of non-snow activities and swimmer days 2004–2011

Year

Hiking & other

Biking

Total

Swimmer days

2004

12 903

6 813

19 716

2005

17 499

9 366

26 865

2006

22 333

13 509

35 842

168 531

2007

22 870

16 598

39 468

182 238

2008

29 215

17 560

46 775

174 774

2009

28 391

16 739

45 130

213 399

2010

27 835

17 117

44 952

208 223

2011

29 843

20 963

50 806

199 401

Swimmer days refer to Holiday Club all year round.

The guest survey conducted during the summer 2011 (see part 3.9) identifies the most popular ­activities. Based on the survey, certain deductions can be made, as shown below. Indoor waterpark (year round), hiking and downhill bicycling are the most popular. Regrettably there is no data available for activities like zipline, fishing, cross-country bicycling, white-water activities, paddling, horseback riding, golf, climbing, and paragliding. What we do know is that our visitors have stated that they have spent time on these activities corresponding to 1–8 per cent per activity or in total about 30 per cent during their stay in Åre. Knowing this, these activities summed up are a little more engaged in than downhill biking, i.e. at least 20 000 activity days in 2011.

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Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

3.7 Swimmer days – the waterpark One important ingredient in the venture on Lakeside Åre Strand was the indoor waterpark designed to satisfy the demand at the time. The waterpark is a great complement to skiing during the winter season but also a major attraction the rest of the year. The pool area in combination with a day spa also adds an essential competitive edge in the conference market. With the addition of the waterpark, the local residents now have access to a modern pools environment at a reasonable cost.9 The waterpark p ­ resently accommodates almost 200 000 swimmer days per year, as shown in diagram 15. Diagram 15 Swimmer days 2006–2011

3.8 Distribution of the guests’ expenses The distribution between expenses (‘the tourist krona’) in Åre is reported in the guest survey ­conducted in 2010/2011. The result is based on the visitors’ estimated distribution between expenses spent on ­activities during their stay in Åre. However, it is not entirely compatible with the distribution of ­expenses elsewhere in Sweden since we use different ways of classifying the expenses. So, for example ski passes and tickets are not categorized per se for the country as a whole but included in the ­category ‘culture and recreation’. We have also separated accommodation and restaurants while they are ­added together nationally. The category purchases on a national level probably includes both groceries and other shopping in Åre. The figures for Åre do not include the journey to and from but only the m ­ oney the visitors pay at the destination. It is certainly interesting data for the destination but the visitors still have to pay for the entire holiday – including the journeys – which may be important when choosing one resort before another, and this should be considered by the destination. When we look at the d ­ istribution of expenses nationwide, the journeys account for about 20 per cent of the holiday ­expenses. It should be reasonable to suppose that the travel expenses for the Åre visitors are in line with this. There is also a countywide distribution of expenses with yet another variation in categories. Stated in SEK is the distribution of expenses in Åre in the diagram below.

9 As stipulated in the agreement ruling the waterpark the inhabitants in the municipality pay half the admission to the waterpark.

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Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 16 Distribution of the guests’ expenses in Åre 2011 re activities (1000s SEK) (Source: Guest survey 2010–2011)

Here it is obvious that winter is dominant, representing 83 per cent of the total turnover in 2011. The total turnover in Åre in 201110 reached 1 192 TSEK of which referable to the winter season 11 1 039 TSEK or 87 per cent and the dry-land season 12 152 TSEK or 13 per cent. The distribution of expenses in per cent is shown in the next diagram. Diagram 17 Distribution of the guests’ expenses in Åre 2011 (year round) in per cent (Source: Guest survey 2010–2011)

As shown, accommodation and ski passes represent around 55 per cent of the expenses paid in Åre, corresponding to a turnover of just over 640 MSEK. The average guest spends just under a fifth of the budget on restaurant/nightlife whereas another fifth (22%) pays for groceries and shopping. The post ‘transports’ is only attributable to travels within the destination and not the journeys to and from Åre. 1 0 Oct

2010 – Sep 2011. 2010 – Apr 2011. 12 May – Sep 2011. 1 1 Dec

20


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 18 Distribution of the guests’ expenses in Åre – winter and dry-land in per cent

When comparing expenses during the winter and snow-free seasons we note that during the winter, accommodation and ski pass represent more than half of the expenses (56%) while the share during the dry-land season is merely 40 per cent. This is of course due to the fact that the dry-land activities are much more diversified than the winter ones although the mountain bike guests, hikers and others also use the lifts. The lift prices are also reduced during the dry-land season. The restaurants’ shares of the expenses are on the same level. During the dry-land season, the guests use a larger portion of their expenses on shopping and groceries – 30 per cent compared to the winter visitors’ 21 per cent. The guest survey also contains data on how much money per night that the guests leave at the ­destination. The so-called commercial guest staying in a hotel, holiday village or other type of ­commercially let accommodation spends, on average 1 106 SEK per night in the winter and 755 SEK in the dry-land season. The hotel guest spends the most, 889 SEK in the dry-land season and 1 558 SEK in the winter, see table 5. Table 5 Expenses per day by form of accommodation and market (Source: Guest survey 2010–2011)

Winter

Accommodation

Market

Sweden

Nordic

Other foreign

Average

Hotel

1 782

1 398

1 495

1 558

Holiday village

1 027

853

761

880

Commercially let

1 027

853

761

880

Average

1 279

1 035

1 006

1 106

21


Åre Destination

Dry-land

Accommodation

Development 2000--2011

Market

Sweden

Nordic

Other foreign

Average

Hotel

939

1 005

723

889

Holiday village

644

828

590

687

Commercially let

644

828

590

687

742

887

634

755

Average

Guests staying in other accommodation – own cabin/apartment, privately let, with family or friends – spend on average less per night: 604 SEK in the winter and 490 SEK in the dry-land period. Based on these data, the total turnover can be calculated at 1 192 million SEK of which in ­commercial accommodation approximately 775 MSEK (65%) and in non-commercial some 417 MSEK (35%). Since the journeys to and from the destination are excluded from these, and we have assumed that the journeys correspond to 20 per cent of the total expenses for the visitors, the total costs for our guests amount to around 1 500 MSEK i.e. 1.5 billion SEK. The distribution of the turnover in markets and types of accommodation is depicted in diagram 19. Diagram 19 Total turnover in commercial accommodation Åre 2011 by market and type of accommodation

In addition to the commercial accommodation above, the turnover for non-commercial ­accommodation in 2011 is estimated at 417 MSEK split into privately let accommodation 172 MSEK (41%), own cabin/apartment 174 MSEK (42%) and staying with friends or relatives 71 MSEK (17%). Please note that the amounts show the total expenses related to the form of accommodation and ­market.

22


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

3.9 Guest surveys 3.9.1 Summer 2011 The guest survey 13 conducted during the dry-land period 2011 contains a variety of data in terms of who the guest is, what he or she is doing and the impression of the destination. The visitors mainly stem from the south of Norrland, and from further south in Sweden as well as Norway. Götaland, Stockholm and Norway each count for about 20 per cent. Mid-Sweden and southern Norrland each count for about 15 per cent. The largest single type consists of “families with children aged up to 12 years”, representing about 50% of the guests. After these, with 23 per cent, come “couples without children”. Their main purpose with the visit is to “take part in activities” (67%), followed by “visit attractions” (28%).

Top five in terms of activities are:

Indoor swimming

56% of the guests

Hiking

49%

Riding the cable car

41%

Biking downhill

25%

Outdoor swimming

15%

Top five in terms of outings are:

Åre Chokladfabrik

30% of the guests

Tännforsen

20%

Ristafallet

12%

Åre gamla kyrka

11%

Fröå gruva

10%

The survey also clearly shows that there is a wide variety of activities and attractions, each of them ­attracting 1–8 per cent of our guests. If we add together the activities zipline, fishing, cross-country bicycling, white-water activities, canoeing/paddling, horseback riding, golf, climbing and paragliding, we reach about 30 per cent, somewhat more than the downhill biking. There is thus a wide ­spectrum and a great potential for development of the portfolio. It is especially pleasing to see that indoor swimming is a major attraction, since this was an essential argument when the multi-purpose hall project was under discussion some ten years ago. Indoor swimming, the waterpark, has gained major importance as an attraction during the summer, although it does not compare to alpine skiing in the winter. The waterpark also plays an important role in the winter as a complement to skiing, not least at times of poor weather. It is also worth noting that Mount Åreskutan is an important attraction in itself also in the summer and that Åre Chokladfabrik is more attractive than the Tännforsen waterfalls.

1 3 NordAnalys

AB: Summer 2011 Guest survey.

23


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 20 Activities and attractions summer 2011

Indoor swimming

56%

Hiking

49%

Kabinbanan

41%

Åre Chokladfabrik

30%

Biking Downhill

25%

Tännforsen

20%

Outdoor swimming

15%

Day-spa activities

14%

Ristafallet

12%

Åre Gamla Kyrka

11%

Fröå Gruva

10%

Zipline

8%

Biking Cross Country

8%

Fishing

8%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

In terms of the quality perceived, (‘the overall experience’) some 85 per cent state very good (= rating 5–6 on a six-grade scale), as shown in diagram 21. Diagram 21 Guests’ perceived quality summer 2011 60% Others

Åre

52%

50% 43% 40%

42%

36%

30%

20% 10% 10%

10%

0%

0% 0% 1 Very poor

2

4%

2% 3

4

5

The other destinations are Vemdalen, Funäsfjällen, Lofsdalen and Bydalen.

24

6 Very good


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Individual parts of the hospitality and the perceived quality can be summed up as follows: Positive factors • Good value for money • Attractiveness children/youths, family-friendliness • Service skills, staff • Accommodation Negative factors • Attitude from the local inhabitants • Activities • Food/restaurants Answering the question whether the guest would recommend others to visit Åre, 62 per cent state ‘certainly’ and 33 per cent ‘probably’, in all 95 per cent. 49 per cent state that they will certainly return to Åre, 35 per cent say ‘probably’. Summary of the conclusions drawn from the survey: • A fabulous summer – all time high! • The Norwegian market – major contributor • Varied offering of activities • Different visitor groups – varying needs • Reasonably even perception of quality • Good value for money • Hospitality It is worth noting that Åre consistently shows somewhat lower values compared to the other tourist destinations in the county which are included in the same survey.

3.9.2 Winter 2010/11 There is also a guest survey carried out during the winter season 2010/1114 also comprising Vemdalen, Funäsfjällen, Lofsdalen and Bydalsfjällen, making it possible to compare the destinations. The season is seen as particular because of the following factors: • The calendar effect • Little – lots of snow • Strong SEK – weak Euro

1 4 Source:

Nordanalys guest survey winter 2010/2011.

25


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

In all, the number of commercial guests has dropped by ten per cent, the skier days by six per cent and the trade index by two per cent compared to the previous season. Out of the visitors to Åre, the ­families with young children represent 47 per cent, a smaller share compared to the other ski resorts in the county, and where the leading destination is Lofsdalen with 79 per cent. In terms of the guests’ ­assessment of the hospitality and quality, Åre is given 5.03 on a six-grade scale which is marginally less than the other resorts but an improvement compared to the previous season. Diagram 22 Overall rating 2010/11 6,00 5,50 5,00

5,03

5,12

5,20

5,22

Åre

Vemdalen

Funäsfjällen

Lofsdalen

5,34

4,50 4,00 3,50 3,00 2,50 2,00 1,50 1,00

Bydalsfjällen

When considering individual factors in terms of hospitality and quality they can be summed up as ­follow: Positive factors • • • • • • •

Skiing/the ski area – a large and varying ski area The total offering Activities Restaurants Nightlife Shopping The town and its atmosphere

Negative factors • • • • • •

26

Skiing/the ski area – dated lifts and long queues at times Impersonal and industrial Price level Queues/crowded Uneven hospitality The weather


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

This shows that Åre has developed into a destination with more than skiing to offer and that the guests appreciate the other activities to complement their stays. It is also obvious that the price level is ­higher in Åre compared to the other destinations and when it comes to value for money, Åre reaches the lowest rating. Despite this the guests to Åre expends more than 1 000 SEK per person and night while the guests in Bydalen and Lofsdalen pay less than half of this, about 500 SEK. Diagram 23 Value for money 6,00 5,50 5,02

5,00 4,50

4,59

4,64

4,68

Vemdalen

Funäsfjällen

Lofsdalen

4,30

4,00 3,50 3,00 2,50 2,00 1,50 1,00

Åre

Bydalsfjällen

On the question if the guest would be recommending anyone else to visit Åre, some 62 per cent answer ‘Yes’ while ‘only’ 52 per cent reply that they will return to Åre. This is substantially less than for the dry-land season and also less than the other destinations in the county. Here is obviously scope for improvements. Could it be that the post-World Championships honeymoon has come to an end as well as the attraction of the ‘new Åre’ and that there is a need for new ventures? The conclusions drawn from the guest survey for the winter 2010/11 can be summarized as follows: • Åre is basically a first-rate ski resort • Being the biggest and best not only brings advantages • Guests with high expectations/varying expectations • Perceived uneven quality • Guests from abroad differ positively • The weather and Mount Åreskutan essential but factors hard to influence • The ski area is a key factor but perceived by many as out of date & under-dimensioned • The price level does not always match the quality • The hospitality is regarded as unreliable

27


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

3.9.3 Hospitality projects Throughout the 2000s, several companies have engaged in various hospitality-promoting projects. Training of staff is an important ingredient in maintaining and developing the hospitality at the ­destination. Hospitality is about making guests feel welcome. Åre has produced a basic hospitality training course, and some 2 000 personnel have completed it with another 200 have taken on the further training programme “Ett steg till”. Diagram 24 Hospitality training programmes 2006–2010

3.10 Conferences, congresses and the meetings’ market

(Source: Holiday Club)

One essential part of the investment on Lakeside Åre Strand with the Holiday Club, multi-purpose hall, waterpark, bowling etc was to create the facilities to host congresses and conferences. Several major international congresses have chosen to locate their meetings to Åre, without the investment this would not have been possible. Here are a few examples: 2005 2006 2009

28

EAPC – European Atlantic Partnership Conference, with a large media turnout and massive security efforts. EU Environmental Ministers’ meeting Two ministers’ meetings, energy and the environment


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Also some major Swedish/Nordic meetings with more than 500 participants: 2006 Snilleblixtarna, Sweden’s social services managers 2007 Världens fest, Sveriges överförmyndare, Persson Invest 2008 Antikmässan 2009 Postens IF 2010 Proffice AB, Accenture/Eventyr, Voice Event, Eventyr AS 2011 IOGT/NTO, Centerpartiet annual meeting, Frontparters AS During the period 2006–2011, some 100 major conferences with more than 200 participants have been hosted at the Holiday Club using the multi-hall 15 as the arena. In all, more than 40 000 ­conference guests have visited Åre which translates into more than 145 000 conference days. The growth over time is shown in diagram 25. Every year, an average of 17 conference organisers have ­chosen Åre during the same period. To this should be added all the conferences partly staged at the Holiday Club and partly at the other hotels with conference facilities. So far the statistics do not ­include these types which could be remedied through the agency of Åre Convention Bureau. There are no statistics available for 2005 – Holiday Club’s first year in the market. Diagram 25 Conference guests and days 2006–2011

After a dip during the financial crisis in 2008–2009 the market has recovered and in 2010 peaked at more than 29 100 conference days distributed over 19 conferences/meetings. Over the period we can see a growing trend from about 20 000 conference days in 2006 to almost 30 000 in 2011, representing an increase of about 50 per cent. There are no statistics available prior to this but on the other hand, there were no facilities available to accommodate more than 200 conference guests and thus these 30 000 conference days should to a large extent be made up of new guests to the destination.

1 5 Mix

Megapol Arena 2006–2009 and TV4 Sport Arena 2010–2011. No data available for 2005.

29


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

3.11 Development of commerce and restaurants 16 The shopping facilities are growing in importance for tourist destinations and more than 20 per cent of the expenses paid by the visitors in Åre refer to shopping and groceries. This is in line with expectations as the development towards an all year destination was initiated in the early 2000s. Another important factor is the border trade, attracting large numbers of shoppers from Norway and adding substantially to the turnover. In order to meet the demand, additional commercial space has been created, during the 2000s growing from 8 700 in 2006 to 18 800 square metres in 2011, more than double the space. The number of shops has grown by about 20. Most of the commercial space is located within walking distance of Åre Square. Årevägen of today resembles an urban shopping street, giving Åre the character of a small town but still retaining the village atmosphere. The growth continues with commercial space in combination with tourist accommodation on the northern side of Årevägen to the west. The rent levels for commercial space in prime location in Åre lie at 1 900–2 300 SEK per sqm and year. The rent levels vary a lot depending on the contracts’ constructions and terms. We have seen that restaurant visits are of high importance to the visitors and Åre has a wide ­selection of restaurants, both in the centre and in the ski area. In February 2011, the number of restaurant seats in Åre reached 7 770 and in Duved 1 200. The total is 8 970 seats, corresponding to 65 per cent of the total number in the municipality, 13 600 seats. The data refer to restaurants with full licence. The ­municipality has one of the highest numbers of restaurants in the country when calculated per ­inhabitant. Several of them are of very high class and at the front in terms of quality in the country.

3.11.1 Seasonal opening Previously a winter destination, the resort over the past decade has developed into an all year ­destination. With the addition of the Holiday Club in 2004, Åre has been provided with a large year round resort with accommodation, conference facilities, a wide variety of activities etc. Through the cooperation between the businesses the offering in terms of restaurants, cafés, shops etc has grown and also when it comes to opening hours during the snow-free period (May-Nov). The opening of the Holiday Club led to a substantial change during the dry-land period:

Pre HC

Post HC

Open hotels

1

7

Open restaurants

1–3

23–25

Open shops

4–6

46–48

These data speak for themselves and demonstrate the trust in the future which arose with the venture on Lakeside Åre Strand etc. The business development was also propelled when the decision was taken for Åre to host the 2007 World Ski Championships. The turnover within trade has been monitored since 2009. In 2009 turnover reached 979 MSEK (of which dry-land 127 MSEK or 12 per cent). This leads to a revenue per guest night of (734 000) of 1 333 SEK. Turnover has grown over the past three years by an average of 12 per cent per year / 8 per cent per year. The turnover within trade refers to the whole of Åre Municipality, the day visitors are very important to the trade turnover. 16 Source: examination paper 2010 and own statistics.

30


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

4 Communications – travel patterns Throughout its history as a tourist destination Åre has been dependent on the railway and that still today rings true. Despite the climate debates, flights have gained in importance; Åre is served by two airports: Åre Östersund Airport and Trondheim/Vaernes Airport. Ever since the beginning of the 2000s, there have been regular airport transfers between Åre and Åre Östersund Airport in the winter season. Since 2009/10 there is also a limited service to and from Vaernes, with some support from the destination. Despite access to such good public transport still 64 per cent of the visitors travel here in their own car. Another 15 per cent travel by air and 20 per cent arrive by train. This should be compared to data for the county where train and air represent less than 20 per cent whereas the car journeys rise to 78 per cent, meaning there is a large difference between Åre and the county as a whole. Charter flights (incoming) existed on a small scale already in the 1990s but have grown continuously in the 2000s to run from Russia, Finland, England, Denmark and Holland during the winter ­season. The last season merely included charter flights from Great Britain. The incoming international flights at Åre Östersund Airport amounted in 2010 to 46 flights, of which from Amsterdam 5, ­Copenhagen 9, London 19, Manchester 10, Moscow/St. Petersburg 3. The interest for organizing charter flights has dropped, the reason being that the cheap ticket airlines’ choices of destinations affect the t­ ravel ­patterns. The possibility of creating your own journey from a laptop will radically change the destination’s distribution patterns. One essential agreement is the one with Luftfartsverket presently Swedavia, which means that the nearest airport, since November 2006 is called Åre Östersund Airport. The train service Mittnabotåget, which is a joint venture between Nabotåget (Östersund–Trondheim) and Mittlinjen (Sundsvall–Östersund) has played an important role in the transportation of visitors to Åre, primarily for the Norwegian guests. The Nabotåget service started in September 2002 and the two services were merged in June 2007. During the winter season the main role is played by the ­overnight train service from the south and centre of Sweden, there are also day trains and, primarily from ­Stockholm, some charter trains to Åre/Duved. Besides Mittnabotåget, the operator of long-distance train services to Åre is SJ. The most important ­period for train journeys is January-April. Over the years 2009–2011, train journeys have dropped by 10 per cent. In case of the overnight trains, the passengers have dropped by 11 per cent, a strong decline in 2010 followed by a certain recovery in 2011. At most, the passenger numbers count about 2 500–3 500 per week during the winter season. However during the winter sports holiday weeks (weeks 7–10) the predominant travellers come from Stockholm (about 20 000 passengers and ­Gothenburg (almost 15 000). The average occupancy rate in sleepers or couchettes for the SJ overnight train lies at 75–80 per cent. The development of overnight train journeys is depicted for the years 2010–2011 in the diagram below. This also illustrates other journeys to Jämtland and the distribution in time during the winter period (Jan–April). The obvious peaks occur at winter sports holidays and Easter. Interesting is the sharp drop at the end of the winter season.

31


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 26 Train travel overnight (Jan–April) to Jämtland and Åre 2010–2011 (Source: SJ)

Jämtland V = Västra Jämtland where Åre is by far the largest destination. Diagram 27 Train travel in total (Jan–April) to Åre 2010–2011 (Source: SJ)

Local public transport The public transport within the municipality is dominated by Länstrafiken’s buses. Late in 2007 a new service started operating between Mörsil and Duved with service every other hour and late evenings to facilitate commuting and leisure trips to and from the destination.

32


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 28 Public transport by year and month (Source: Åre Local Authority) 8.000 2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

7.000 6.000 5.000 4.000 3.000 2.000 1.000

c De

No v

Oc t

Se p

Au g

Ju l

n Ju

M ay

Ap r

M ar

Fe b

Ja n

0

The public transport within the municipality has grown steadily since the introduction of the ­commuter service between Mörsil and Duved. The passenger numbers have more than tripled with even stronger growth during the period Jan–April. In total public transports have grown from just over 10 000 in 2006 to almost 60 000 in 2010. Diagram 29 Public transport in total 2006–2010 (Source: Åre Local Authority)

Public transport within the destination is primarily handled by the ski bus service which enables the guests to utilize the entire ski area, from Duved to Björnen. The ski pass is valid as a bus ticket and the service starts before the opening of the lifts and runs till the end of the day, approximately once every hour. The ski buses fill the void in the ski area between Tegefjäll and Rödkullen, where there are no lift services. The ski buses also contribute to a faster link compared to the ski lifts and also run in the evenings so that the guests can travel to and from the nightlife in central Åre. The ski bus service t­ ransports some 160 000 to 200 000 passengers every winter season, of which around 25 000 ­passengers in the evening service. The service is run by Skistar jointly with Åre Destination and is excluded in the public transport statistics. Besides these public transport solutions there are many taxi companies, especially during the winter period, with a large number of vehicles taking guests to various activities and the nightlife. In relation to its population, Åre in the winter period is probably the place in Sweden with the highest number of taxi cars. 33


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

5 Population statistics

(Source: Åre Local Authority)

In year 2000 Åre Municipality had 9 745 inhabitants (in 2001 the figure was 9 607 before the change in trend) and at the end of 2011 the number has grown to 10 259, representing a growth by 514 persons or just over 5 per cent. This development places Åre among the leading municipalities outside the main Swedish cities. In the north of the country, in Norrland, only Umeå and Haparanda can demonstrate a higher growth during the 2000s. In Jämtland County Åre is in the lead. Since 2008, the positive trend has been replaced by a slight downward trend and after the peak at 10 278 inhabitants in 2009 the population has diminished slightly and on 31.12 2011 Åre had 10 259 inhabitants. The local authority has now adjusted the development plan for the period 2012–2014 using 2011 as the base year but still the prognosis points out an increase of 50 inhabitants per year. The prognosis is revised annually at the time of budget work. Diagram 30 Population development in Åre Municipality 1990–2011

6 10 .0 21 10 .1 27 10 .2 60 10 .2 78 10 .2 74 10 .2 59

9. 96

21

9. 60 7 9. 69 2 9. 69 2 9. 8

9. 74 5

38 9. 75 4

9. 8

9. 93

9. 97 5 9. 96 6 9. 93 6 9. 99 4 10 .

10.000

11 5 10 .1 33 10 .0 77

10.500

0

11.000

9.500

19 9

0 19 91 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01 20 02 20 03 20 04 20 05 20 06 20 07 20 08 20 09 20 10 20 11

9.000

There is a strong connection between the development of tax income and the positive population trend reported by Åre Local Authority. The tax income has grown from 221 700 TSEK in 2000 to 364 700 TSEK in 2011. (Refers to tax income excl. equalization subsidy in current prices).

34


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 31 Municipal tax revenue 2000–2011

A calculation of factual salaries paid out in businesses within destination Åre shows a two-fold increase over the same period, the figures are not fully comparable but seem to indicate that the taxable total of salaries has grown heavily but that the tax effect is reduced since a large part of the employees pay taxes in other municipalities. Diagram 32 Salaries paid within the destination private employers 2000–2009

The salaries paid by private employers within destination Åre. Based on prices in 2000.

35


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

In the case of Åre Parish, the population continues to grow albeit a minor weakening in 2011. The population in Åre Parish has grown by 750 inhabitants from 3 049 in 2000 to 3 803 in 2011, ­representing an increase of 24.7 per cent. Åre Parish has during the period passed Undersåker Parish and is now the largest in the municipality. Åre is by now larger than the municipality centre Järpen. In 2011, Åre village had a population of 1 624 and for Järpen the number was 1 577. In the beginning of the millennium (2003) the respective numbers were Järpen 1 548 and Åre 1 271. Diagram 33 Population development in Åre Parish 2000–2011

Since 2004 it is possible to monitor the population development in the Åredalen valley separately, the area from Staa in the west to Såå in the east and thus not the entire Åre Parish 17. Over the period, the population has grown from 2 565 to 3 255 inhabitants, i.e. by 690 persons or 27 per cent. Diagram 34 Population development in Åredalen 2004–2011

17 Åre Parish stretches from the area west of Staa all the way to the Norwegian border – Ånn, Enafors, Handöl, Storlien and the villages along Skalstugevägen.

36


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 35 Population development in Åredalen by location

With an indexed population count from 2000 it becomes obvious that the growth has been far ­stronger in Åredalen compared to the municipality as a whole but also within Åre Parish. Diagram 36 Population development in Åre (indexed) 2000–2011

37


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

A comparison with the other municipalities in Jämtland County shows that Åre Municipality enjoys a clearly stronger growth over the 2000s. Only Östersund and Krokom show, like Åre, a positive ­development. In a licentiate’s dissertation ‘Place and entrepreneurship – the Åre case’ Micael Skålen has made ­comparisons between Åre and a large number of municipalities of corresponding size 18 in ­Norrland and the national average in terms of population changes, business development etc. The aim of the d ­ issertation is to illustrate the reasons why Åre comes forward as an obvious trend breaker in Norrland’s inland in terms of population and financial growth. The dissertation shows that over the past decade, Åre is the only municipality in the group where the population has grown and in the company of Haparanda has seen the best growth since 1950. Following a decline throughout the 1950s and 60s, trends changed in the mid-1970s and with the exception of the drop in the late 1990s, the population has developed positively. Skålen also makes comparisons in terms of entrepreneurship with other municipalities in the country where Gnosjö and Haparanda are two compatible municipalities. The comparison shows that Åre is quite competitive both in terms of new businesses and the number of companies per inhabitant. In the comparison, Åre lies well over the national average. The results or answers presented in the dissertation can be summarized in the following two ­quotations:

”Åre Municipality and central Åre in particular is a place which attracts people with a strong passion for skiing or outdoor recreation, where the environment is the prime reason for moving there; the drive to settle down here in combination with a positive business climate and a strong local market have meant that an unusually large portion of the population have chosen to start their own business”.

”Åre has succeeded in creating an arena where public and private interests have joined forces and where a shared vision for tourism within the destination has been produced. The objectives are clearly defined and followed up on a continuous basis, in combination with reassessments /revisions of the ­objectives a strength has developed where the destination, rather like a manufacturing process aims to realize the ­objectives. The visionary work aims at developing and improving the advantages embedded at the destination, something other municipalities can make use of in their aim to develop their own local economies”.

1 8 Municipalities

38

with a population in the interval 10 000–13 000 inhabitants in 1950.


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

6 The business sector 6.1

Employment

The number of gainfully employed, aged 20–64 years in Åre has continued on a higher level through­ out the 2000s compared to the county as well as the country and reached in 2007 a peak at 83 per cent. In the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008–2009 the share of employed persons dropped to below 80 per cent in 2009. Åre still ranks above the county and national averages of 77 and 75 per cent respectively. The county and Sweden are back at the same level as in 2000 while in Åre the share of employed persons has increased from 75 per cent in 2000 to 79 per cent in 2009, according to statistics from Arbetsmarknadsverket. Diagram 37 Share employed (indexed) in Åre, in Jämtland County and Sweden 2000–2009

6.2 Business development The number of businesses has grown by almost 45 per cent, from 1 370 in 2000 to 1 878 in 2011. The increase during the past year is the single highest year of growth in the decade. The dominating type of business is one-person businesses, currently representing 56 per cent, followed by limited ­companies with 38 per cent and partnerships 6 per cent. In comparison with the early 2000s, the share of limited companies has increased from 31 per cent to 38 per cent, mainly at the cost of the ­partnerships. The single-person businesses are still dominating in numbers.

39


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Diagram 38 Number of businesses in Åre 2000–2011

Diagram 39 Growth (indexed) of businesses in Åre 2000–2011 Number of companies

40


Åre Destination

6.3

Development 2000--2011

Unemployment

The unemployment rate in Åre has throughout the 2000s remained on a lower level than the other municipalities in the county and during the winter season there are about 1 000 seasonal workers employed in the tourist sector. The variations over the seasons are clearly identifiable in statistics with substantially lower unemployment during the winter season in relation to the rest of the year as shown in the diagram below. It is also obvious that the unemployment seen over time from 2000 enjoys a declining trend, except for a brief relapse during the financial crisis in 2008–09. The variations over the seasons have also decreased during the period primarily due to lower unemployment during the ­dry-land period. Diagram 40 Officially unemployed 2000–2011

41


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

7 Construction of housing In response to the expected expansion, a large number of flats for permanent housing have been built in Åre and Duved. The municipal property company, Årehus AB, has built 98 flats while the private sector contributed 85 flats, in total 183 new flats. A number of new plots of land for permanent housing have been made available, west of Åre, in Björnänge and at Totthyllan, adding another 79 units, in all an additional 262 units for permanent housing within the destination. The spread over time is shown in the diagram below. Diagram 41 Construction of housing units in Åre Destination 2000–2010 (Source: Åre Local Authority)

One problem with providing plots of land for permanent housing is the often subsequent sale to ­non-residents where the units are converted into tourist accommodation, a situation which cannot be prevented within the current legal regulations. Another problem is to provide personnel housing for the seasonal staff during the winter period. It would be difficult to solve this by building permanent ­housing units since the demand during the rest of the year is much lower compared to the winter period. The high pressure on the own-home market in Åre is obvious in that Åre during the 2000s, together with Östersund/Krokom has seen the strongest development of house prices. This is mainly explained by the increased demand for tourist accommodation within the destination which pushes the prices for housing.

42


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

8 The environment The destination’s environmental efforts have been undertaken in various projects since the beginning of the 2000s. In the context of the production of Vision 2020, i.e. during the revision of Vision 2011, the environmental issues gained strongly in importance and the different stakeholders’ respective ­responsibilities were defined, as seen in Vision 2020. The vision stakes out concrete environmental objectives within several areas, such as ‘green’ e­ nergy, efforts to reduce the consumption of energy, to increase the share of eco-cars, the facilities for ­commuting using public transport. The base year is 2010, there is also a current situation for these areas and the improvements to be made up to 2020. Ten years of environmental work can be summarised as follows: • 2001: A joint project involving Åreföretagarna, Skistar AB, Jämtkraft AB, SJ AB and Åre Local Authority is initiated within the framework of ‘Rent av Roligt’. A ten-point programme is ­produced including activities within refuse handling, sorting of waste, the climate issue, eco-friendly ­products, green transports, energy efficiency, glacier projects, introduction of youth prizes and ­sustainable economy, they were initiated and some of them realized. • 2002: During a round table conference on sustainable tourism, Indian chief Oren Lyons challenged Åre Local Authority to join the Earth Charter, which materialised the same year. Earth Charter includes guidelines for the sustainable development in terms of ecology, economy and social aspects. • 2003: A survey of lichen is conducted which shows that the air quality is generally improving in Åre and its surroundings, however an increase in nitrogen-favoured species suggests impact from cars in busier traffic environments. • 2004: A group including representatives of the municipality and the local businesses connected to Rent av Roligt produced suggestions for practical solutions for waste sorting and easily available information thereon to guests, companies and permanent residents. • 2005–2006: Vision 2011 was revised and landed in Vision 2020 which clearly raised the ­environmental issues. • 2006: An inventory of the flora in the upper zone of Mount Åreskutans is conducted jointly by the destination company, Skistar and Åre Local Authority with financial support from Rent av Roligt. The objective is to take stock of environments worthy of protection, open up for paths that ­recognize the mountain flora and provide a basis in the follow up of climatic changes. • 2006: An Interreg project in cooperation with Norwegian Meråker starts, aiming to promote the development of nature and eco tourism. The efforts have been successful and Åre Municipality is regarded as the area in Sweden with the densest occurrence of eco-tourism. • 2007: A plan for snowmobiling is passed which aims to make sure that all snowmobiling is ­restricted to paid-for tracks. The ambition has not yet been reached. • 2007: The local high-school took part in the environmental work at the Worlds and was awarded for this by the local authority.

43


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

• 2008: Fjällkraft is the name of the process in which the environmental aspects of Vision 2020 were interpreted by the participants during an Åredag and the result became an environmental strategy, ‘Ansvar för miljön’ – Responsibility for the environment. • 2008: The funicular Bergbanan with Grottan and part of the square in Åre become protected. Bergbanan shall continue to contribute to the lift system. • 2009: A conference on the traffic of the future is held with wide representation from the business sector, associations and public administration. • 2009: An environmentally adapted vehicle policy for Åre Local Authority is produced in ­cooperation with automobile associations and local companies. • 2009: A wind-power plan is produced in deep consultation with the inhabitants and local ­businesses. The consultations included a public hearing and students were especially invited to ­comment at the exhibition of the plan. • 2009: Vision 2020 also comprises the shared objective ‘An attractive habitation”. This will ­complement the vision with a more focused sustainability dimension. • 2010: Metering of the air in central Åre is undertaken in a joint effort by the local authority and the destination company with financial support from Rent av Roligt. There is a risk of exceeding the limits in the central parts and to counteract this happening a project was initiated discouraging drivers from leaving their vehicles idling, including training of local freight companies, taxi drivers etc. • 2011: A proposed traffic strategy tied to the environmental strategy in Vision 2020 was produced following consultation with stakeholders within Destination ÅRE. • 2011: The question regarding a national park in Södra Årefjällen was reopened and an initial study started.

44


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

9 Public investments/efforts 9.1

Municipal investments

During the 2000s, the local authority has contributed to the development of the municipality t­ hrough a large number of investments to satisfy increased needs. The single most important investment is certainly the contribution in the Åre Strand project (Holiday Club), where the local authority has invested 26 MSEK in the multi-purpose hall (Åre Kongress AB), the bridge across the railway to the Holiday Club – in excess of 27 MSEK together with a depreciation loan to the waterpark of 25 MSEK. The agreement ruling the loan stipulates that the residents in the municipality are entitled to half the admission to the waterpark. In addition, the local authority has advanced payment of Åretunneln (the E14 tunnel underneath the Alpine National Arena with 35 MSEK. The loan runs free of interest with repayments as and when the state road authority’s funds may allow. In the beginning of 2012, repayments have reached 30.5 MSEK, the outstanding amount is thus 4.5 MSEK. Adding to the above, Åre Local Authority incl Årehus has invested around 136 MSEK, distributed over the following areas:

Nurseries

15.2 MSEK

Schools

3.2 MSEK

Senior housing

5.0 MSEK

Vikverket, sewage plant

79.0 MSEK

Water and sewage pipes etc.

21.3 MSEK

Streets and roads

9.8 MSEK

Miscellaneous

2.6 MSEK

Total

136.1 MSEK

Investments in connection with the preparation of plots for permanent residents housing: 22 MSEK. Årehus AB has built 98 flats for 122.6 MSEK. One major issue, discussed at length over the years is the traffic and parking question. The in-depth general plan for Åre produced in 2005 includes several suggestions to this important question. The chaotic traffic and parking situation mainly at the peak winter periods – winter sports holidays and Easter – is difficult to solve. Despite the stipulations in the detailed plans, the sheer volume during these weeks precludes a reasonable solution for central Åre. Over the period, a relatively large number of parking areas have been added in connection with the development projects, such as Station Åre with an underground car park and also parking west of the old railway station, around Produkthuset, at Åre Strand etc.

45


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Recurring efforts have been made to find an overall solution to the parking problem in central Åre, with a centrally situated multi-storey car park as a basis. The financing of such a project has yet to be solved which is why a new investigation including public transport solutions/parking areas started in 2011. The outcome shows that there are 1 477 parking bays in central Åre except those reserved or else wise restricted. Of these are 1 094 within reasonable walking distance of Åre Square. The main issue is finding the financing for additional parking grounds and a stakeholder responsible for these.

9.2 Local plans and building permission Another way of measuring development is to consider the number of building permissions, local plans etc for the period. The pressure to deliver exploitable plots of land has been and still is, extremely high in Åre Municipality. During the 2000s, within the destination some 80 local plans have been approved, most of these for some kind of tourist accommodation but also some for permanent residents, industrial purposes etc. The local plans differ in scope, size and complexity, but the number still portrays the sheer volume of the activities which have been one of the provisions for the expansion at the destination. After the approval of a local plan usually follows building-permit applications and during the period 2000 to 2007, the number of applications have in principle doubled, from 480 to 922. After this period the number has dropped to a normal level of some 550–600 per year. Diagram 42 Number of applications to build 2000–2010

46


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

10 Private investments 10.1 Generally In the evaluation of the 2007 World Ski Championships it was noted that during the period 2002–2007 approximately 3 billion SEK was invested in Åre. However, it has been impossible to find a more reliable estimate of the private investments.

10.2 The ski area Over the period 2000–2011, Skistar has invested 545 MSEK in the ski area, split into the following projects and year:

Year

MSEK

Project

2000–01

10

Snow-cannon system

2001–02

64

VM-6 ski lift

2002–03

47

Snow-cannons system, pistes serviced by the VM-6 lift

2003–04

12

Snow-cannon system

2004–05

25

Snow-cannon system, technological centre

2005–06

37

Picnic cabin in Rödkullen and snow-cannon system

2006–07

147

2007–08

20

General improvements in the ski area

2008–09

45

Grooming machines, snow-cannon system

2009–10

34

General improvements in the ski area

2010–11

103

VM-8 ski lift, pistes, cable car stations renovated

Snow-cannons and new pistes in Björnen

47


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

11 Exploitations Over the last few years, the expansion of the destination has characterised the outlook where building cranes and scaffolding have been an integrated part of the environment, for better or for worse. In retrospect, looking back ten years and comparing the vision of Åre then and today, the image is very different. In Appendix 3 the air photos illustrate the main new additions in central Åre during the period. The large number of projects of varying dimensions have affected the image of central Åre and brought on an environment more resembling a town. The development has provided for a highly positive property market and via estate agents, the annual turnover lies at some 600–800 MSEK. The market prices for flats, apartments, plots of land etc are shown in Appendix 4.

48


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

12 The change of Åregruppen/Åreföretagarna into Åre Destination AB The village associations In the beginning of the 2000s, the tourism sector in Åre was organized in the village associations: Åregruppen, Duved–Tegefjällsgruppen and Björnengruppen. The associations pursued the develop­ ment issues within each village. Åregruppen was strongly engaged in issues around Åre Square, Duved–Tegefjällsgruppen was successful in a joint effort with Å.R.E AB in connecting the ski area with Duved village through the addition of a ski tunnel and lift. Björnengruppen was mainly engaged in cross-country skiing. The village associations were, together with Södra Årefjällens Turistförening and Kallbygdens Intresseförening owners of Åre Turistbyrå AB whose mission was to run the tourist information bureau on behalf of Åre Local Authority. In 2000–2001, Åregruppen changed its name to Åreföretagarna to strengthen the profile of a local business association. The interest from the businesses in contributing towards the development of tourism grew dramatically during this period. From village associations to a destination company In 2005 it was decided to create a more explicit destination organisation. Åre Turistbyrå AB with its mission to carry out the tourist information issues and act as a platform for specific projects ­almost became a parallel organisation to Åreföretagarna. A merger seemed reasonable and for practical ­reasons Årefjäll Turistbyrå AB was incorporated in Åreföretagarna including the takeover of the tourist bureau’s tasks. The creation of Åre Destination AB is the most effective organisational measure towards developing the destination introduced in Åre during the period. Its mission is “through cooperation, to increase the number of guests, provide for very satisfied visitors, more profitable member companies and to promote the sustainable development of Åre”. A candidate’s d ­ issertation “Cooperation in Åre – a study of the seasonal resort’s problems and the ­dry-land ­products” 19 contains a description and analysis of the problems that the company has to face in the 2010s and Vision 2020. The first measure undertaken by Åre Destination AB was a new model of income where the ­members’ fees with improved precision would mirror the benefit from tourism in each respective business ­segment:

Type of business

Property companies

0.1% of turnover

Restaurants/cafés

0.4% of turnover

Accommodation

Consultants/agents

Associated companies

1 9 Mittuniversitetet/Turismvetenskap

Fee

300 SEK per bed for own beds, 80SEK per bed for agents 1500 SEK per employee 1500, 5000 or 20 000 SEK depending on the size of the company

VT 2011 by Frida Fritz and Lisa Skoog Dahlman.

49


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

The activities organisers, shops and sub-suppliers were also subjected to the fee model. The model takes into consideration the floor surface, turnover, number of employees and whether the business is ­operated in own premises or rented. By summing up the parameters for each criteria and comparing the totals with the values of the table, the annual fee payable to the destination company is determined. Activities, trade and sub-suppliers

A) Surface (sqm)

Factor

B) Turnover per year ex VAT (TSEK) Factor

1–59

1

1–499

1

60–124

2

500–999

2

125–299

3

1000–1999

3

300–599

4

2000–3999

5

600–999

5

4000–7999

7

1000 or more

6

8000–15999 (etc.)

9

C) No. employees (annual calc.)

1–3

1

Own

2

3–5

3

Rented

1

6–8

5

Works from home

2

9–11

7

12–17

9

Factor

D) Premises

Factor

18–49 (etc.)

Activities

Trade

Sub-suppliers

One-person company 1500

One-person company 1500

One-person company 1500

1–7

12

5000 1–7

5000 1–7

5000

8–11

25000 8–11

15000 8–11

8000

12–15

35000 12–15

20000 12–15

12000

16–19

45000 16–19

30000 16–19

16000

20–23

55000 20–23

40000 20–23

20000

The work on developing Åre Destination AB was intensified in 2009–2010 and the result is a ­remarkable success. In February 2012, the company counted 250 member companies which had signed service agreement and in total providing revenue of 6.3 MSEK annually. Through carrying out commissions and projects, Åre Destination AB reaches a turnover of around 14 MSEK per year. The company has taken the role of cooperation node for the destination, while Björnängegruppen and Duved–Tegefjällsgruppen take care of activities and events in the respective villages.

50


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

A decisive difference compared to the previous setup is that Åre Destination AB now has disposal over the member companies’ fees, means that they can be distributed or used as leverage for efforts at the destination or in the villages. The ownership of Åre Destination AB is spread over 70 companies, most of them controlling small stocks of shares. The distribution among companies with 100 shares or more is:

Company

Number of shares

Skistar AB

4063

Holiday Club

1000

Diös

200

Bjufors

150

Grand Åregården AB

140

Arevoir AB

120

ICA Åre

100

Panetrik

100

Stadium

100

Hanson sport

100

Total number of shares

8251

Visionary work – the Vision 2011/20 group The visionary work and the build-up of the destination organization to its present form is the result of the visionary group’s efforts. The visionary group consists of politicians from the local authority, Skistar’s destination manager, the Managing director of the destination company, the Director and Business Manager of the local authority and the Holiday Club Destination Manager. The composition has varied over the years. The group’s work has taken a more or less informal form and the objective can be described as follows:

“This is a self-nominated informal group consisting of decision-makers and leading local politicians. Regular meetings and shared objectives enable decision making on a destination level. The purpose of the group is to synchronize efforts to avoid proposals falling between two stools regarding the ­undertakings by the local authority and the business sector.”

The shared views and pragmatic attitude which have characterised the group’s work have been highly important in the development of Åre. The objectives established in Vision 2011 were in part achieved already in 2005 so in 2006, the decision was taken to work on a new vision with a more long-term perspective – Vision 2020.

51


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

The group’s visionary work had the ambition to enlist as wide support as possible and the interest in taking part in formulating Åre’s future turned out impressive. The visionary work engaged more than 160 persons, including small as well as large businesses and the local authority. In 2009–2010, a ­refining process of Vision 2020 was undertaken at the destination’s villages (Duved–Tegefjäll, Åre and Björnen). The process invited the possibility of adding additional components to the Visions areas of ­undertakings: • • • •

Unique experiences Concern for the environment A borderless welcoming Åre An attractive habitation

All the new initiatives were connected at a process level to avoid off-shooting proposals. The process levels are stipulated on destination, village, company/association and individuals levels. The most successful project has been Duved–Tegefjäll with a project on village level ”Duved towards 2020” with a turnover of about 1 MSEK with main financing from Leader Åres Gröna Dalar. Duved–Tegefjällsgruppen took back its original name Duvedsgruppen in 2011.

52


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

13 Projects and major events The single largest project during the period is certainly FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2007 which attracted some 220 000 visitors. The turnover related to tourism was 210 MSEK and each visitor spent almost 1 100 SEK per day. The investments totalled more than 3 BSEK over the period 2002–2007. The project is well documented in ‘Final Report FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Åre Sweden 2007’. For many years, Åre has been at the frontline of the development of alpine skiing and since 1998, hosting the FIS World Cup events in principle every season. Åre has also hosted the World Cup Finals three times, in 2001, 2006 and 2009. Over the years Åre has hosted 23 alpine World Cup events of which six finals since the first event in 1969. Åre has also hosted Freestyle World Cup moguls events every year since 2008. The Swedish Ski Association is now a candidate to host the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2019, after losing the 2017 Worlds to St Moritz. Some of the other major events which started up in the 2000s and recur on a regular basis are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Red Bull (Freeride) Freestyle FIS World Cup (moguls) Istravet (Ice-trotting) Åre Bike Festival Maxi Avalanche (Mountain bike, downhill) Jon Olsson Invitational (Freeride) Work Out Åre (Fitness) Motorkultur (Cars and rockabilly) Axa Fjällmaraton Tour of Jämtland (Road bicycling) Nordic Open Paragliding Acro Championships Skutan Runt (Trail running) Holmtångsrocken (rock festival) Aviation and motor days

Some of the events have changed their name and/or content over the years.

The events with far longer history with a continued positive development include the road relay race, S:t Olavsloppet, Åre Extreme Challenge, Åre Golf Week and Fäviken Game Fair. In 2012, for the first time, Åre hosted one of the Red Bull Chrashed Ice which is an international skating event, downhill on a specially designed ice-course. This first time, an audience of some 20 000 came to watch. The autumn fair, Åre Höstmarknad, which started in 2005 has grown to become a strong ­symbol of Åre as an all-year destination. The theme of local products and food in combination with ­accommodation, entertainment and activities attracts some 20 000 visitors.

53


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Peak Innovation The objective of Peak Innovation is to promote the Jämtland region towards becoming the leading European environment for research and business development within tourism, sports and outdoor recreation. Peak Innovation is an innovation system based on partnership involving the business sector, the ­university, public sector and sports movement. The stakeholders are Peak Business & Sports AB with Jämtland–Härjedalens Idrottsförbund, Mid-Sweden University, the local authorities of Östersund, Krokom and Åre as well as Regionförbundet Jämtlands län. Peak Innovation is organised in Mid Sweden Science Park AB as the first business. In Åre, Peak Innovation has assumed the role of liaison between the academy and the business sector, and where university programmes have started within product development and outdoor management. Through the innovation system, the companies have been trained in Lean Services for efficient ­production of services and also in social media. Some of the other results of Peak Innovation’s activities are Peak Innovation business centre in and Nationellt Vintersportcentrum Åre, in the premises of the national alpine arena. Olympic Winter Games – candidate and museum There have also been projects which never came to fruition but still engaged many people within the destination. Under the umbrella of the Swedish Olympic Committee, Östersund and Åre were ­hoping to host the OWG 2014, but the Swedish Government refused to provide the necessary financial ­guarantees and the project concluded with a preliminary study. At present, in the spring 2012 there are ongoing discussions regarding a new application for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, but yet again, the support from the government seems to be failing. During the planning of the new railway station in Åre, the possibilities were investigated for creating a museum depicting the development of Åre. The project failed due to lack of financing. Awards Åre Municipality has received many awards during the 2000s in light of the work and the resulting development. 2006 Growth municipality of the year 2008 Commerce municipality of the year – second place 2008–10 Tourist municipality of the year 2009 New business municipality of the year 2009 Best municipality in Norrland for habitation Åre municipality with its positive development and the prosperous cooperation between the local authority and the local business sector have raised high interest in the rest of the country. A number of studies, dissertations etc have been made analyzing the development in Åre which so differs from the other inland municipalities in the north of Sweden. The Åre brand has grown very strong and ­contributes to many business activities within the destination. This is most obvious within the sports and outdoor sector where names such as Klättermusen, Skhoop and Elevenate are some successful examples. 54


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

14 Summary The contents of this report describe the fabulous development since the turn of the millennium and that the objectives set out in Vision 2011 have been surpassed. The development over the last two years shows that the positive trend has weakened and that the destination has seen a dip in terms of skier days and guest nights during the winter. The weather and the calendar over Christmas /New Year and Easter are contributing factors but a more in-depth analysis may prove necessary to change the current trend. The period shows the very close cooperation between the individual companies, the local b­ usiness ­association, village groups and Åre Local Authority. The attitude has been pragmatic and the ­agreements rather informal. The general development and the formation of Åre Destination AB have meant an increased number of stakeholders. The cooperation necessitates the clarification of each ­stakeholder and a more clearly defined limitation between the parties’ areas of responsibility. This report contains a large number of data which describe the development within several areas of the destination. From a retrospective point of view, statistics are missing for a number of areas, especially for the dry-land period, and there is a shortage of historic data, together making it difficult to follow the development. The report anyway shows the present situation which should provide a sound basis for the future. Now that Åre has entered the 2010s, on the basis of Vision 2020 it is important that the destination decides which key factors should be followed up to monitor development on a continuous basis. This report could provide the basis which together with Vision 2020 becomes an active document ­subject to regular (annual) revisions. Åre Destination AB in cooperation with Åre Local Authority should jointly formulate the statistics that could be used to monitor efforts in the 2010s. The report has been financed by Åre Local Authority and Skistar AB.

55


Ă…re Destination

56

Development 2000--2011


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Appendix 1 – Vision 2011

Vision 2011 • Joint growth strategy for Åre Local Authority, Åregruppen and Å.R.E. AB • Åre- the most attractive European winter destination • 50% more guests in 2011 (in total 225 000) • Of these, 50% during the dry-land season and 50% during the winter • The share of returning guests shall grow by 50% • Åre shall demonstrate a welcoming atmosphere and be characterised by professional hospitality • Åre shall aim for growth, built on economical, ecological and social sustainability • A ski master plan, general plan, design programme and brand profiling • 5 000 new beds • 2 500 new restaurant seats • 400 000 more skier days • Trains and flights

Vision 2011 • • • • • •

800 new jobs 1 000 new inhabitants + 26 MSEK in new tax revenue 200–300 new housing units Intensive planning work + 15 MSEK investments in infrastructure: roads, water and sewage, schooling, childcare

57


Ă…re Destination

Development 2000--2011

Appendix 2 – Vision 2020

58


Ă…re Destination

Development 2000--2011

59


Ă…re Destination

60

Development 2000--2011


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Appendix 3 – Photographs showing the new resorts and facilities added in central Åre

61


Ă…re Destination

62

Development 2000--2011


Åre Destination

Development 2000--2011

Appendix 4 – Market price development, owner’s apartments, villas and holiday homes The diagrams are based on sales statistics from Bjurfors i Åre.

63


The report has been financed by Ă…re Local Authority and Skistar AB

Åre Destination Development 2000-2011  

A summary of statistics and relevant events

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