The Swedish government cut £1.86m (20 million Swedish krona) from the tourism organisation’s budget of £13.04m (140 million Swedish krona), after which it chose to cut one sector, rather than embark on a widespread reorganisation.
Staff at Visit Sweden have also been cut from 110 to 90. Its number of foreign offices is unchanged.
"It was a very tough decision to cut any of the marketing sectors we are focusing on. But, looking at the total number of visitors in Sweden, the MICE segment represents only around five per cent of the total number," Thomas Brühl, chief executive of Visit Sweden, told C&IT. "We chose to cut a business sector rather than [make] small decreases all over the company and by doing so we think we can continue to sharpen our marketing efforts in the sectors we are keeping,"
He added that it is too early to say how Swedish organisations and companies will handle the MICE market from January 2013. "We will now have a discussion with our partners on how to make the transition to another solution as smooth as possible," he added.
"In a nation branding perspective all business travellers are also ordinary people who are, hopefully, affected by messages about a country, good or bad. If we keep working on strengthening the Sweden brand, it will also reach out to people who travel in business."
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