More tourists choose Sweden
Foreign tourism in Sweden is blossoming, according to new statistics from the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket). And it is mostly tourists from countries outside of Europe—like India and China—who want to visit. ”This has to do partly with an increasing prosperity in some countries outside of Europe; their conditions for traveling is increasing,” says Dennis Bederoff, project leader at Tillväxtverket. "We are talking about countries like China, India and Brazil.” Bederoff calls India "very exciting” since that country has doubled its touristic volume to Sweden since 2010. As a matter of fact, the Chinese and Indian tourist nights both increased 18 percent during 2013, and the Chinese reached a record of 190,000 overnight stays. The Indian tourists are not yet that many but stayed at nearly 130,000 nights.

Hard times and more are dining out
The restaurant business had a great 2013, but it doesn't necessarily mean Swedes are kicking up their heels. "Restaurant visits usually increase during dire financial times," says Stefan Nilsson at Trendgruppen. "You may not dare buy a new car, but you still want something, and so you often choose a cup of coffee or a beer with a friend.” According to statistics, the entire restaurant business increased their revenue by 4.4 percent last year in comparison with 2012. The lunch restaurants increased their earnings by 6.7 percent, but the real winners were the coffee- and pastry shops (”konditorier”), where the growth increased 8.6 percent in current prices. During the same time, the food industry’s total revenue increased 2.7 percent. ”What’s positive is that we’re socializing outside,” Nilsson continues. ”Today it’s normal to meet a friend at a bar or a café. Any day of the week is fine also, it doesn’t have to be on a Friday evening with lots planned. The Swedes have become much more continental.”

Smaller screens may lead to myopia
If you focus on something small, like the screen on your smartphone, for long periods of time, you may risk becoming myopic. Says Anders Behndig, physician at the eye clinic in Umeå: ”This is one reason why there are more nearsighted people today than 25 years ago.”

Ivar Kreuger's passport sold
The last passport belonging to Ivar "the Match King" Kreuger (1880-1932) has been sold at an auction for SEK 40,000 ($6,000). The passport bears Kreuger’s signature and was stamped for the last time at Le Havre in France on March 11 in 1932, the day before Kreuger was found shot in his hotel room in Paris (a suicide). The passport had been pawned by a person who could not afford to redeem it, which is why it was auctioned off. Both the person who turned in the passport and the buyer wish to stay anonymous. Ivar Kreuger was a Swedish civil engineer, financier, entrepreneur and industrialist who, in between the two world wars negotiated match monopolies with several governments in Europe as well as in Central and South America. His financial empire collapsed during the Great Depression, which presumably led to his suicide in Paris.

Swedes in the air
More Swedes choose to fly to their destination. In January of this year, 2.4 million Swedish travellers flew, according to statistics from Swedavia, a state-owned group that owns, operates and develops ten airports across Sweden. The number of flights, both domestic and international, increased 8 percent during January on the ten airports that belong to Swedavia.