Research on music tourism indicates that fans travel long distances to go to live concerts with their favourite bands, says one of the researchers of the project, Christine Lundberg.
-In the case of ABBA fans, our survey shows that almost 80 per cent say that they have travelled to see ABBA in concert. Also, one out of ten has travelled to another country or even to another continent.
The study also shows that ABBA fans travel long distances to experience things like an ”ABBA atmosphere” or a sense of emotional closeness to the band. Nine out of ten travelling fans state that they have travelled more than a hundred kilometres as a result of their interest in ABBA. This makes them ABBA tourists according to international definitions.
Now, the fans are able to visit a real location connected to ABBA. The expectations surrounding the long awaited ABBA museum are high. Research shows that pop cultural phenomena are of major importance to Swedish tourism.
-Almost six out of ten ABBA fans say that they have visited Sweden previously, says Christine Lundberg. 83 per cent state that they are likely or very likely to visit the ABBA museum in the future. The corresponding figures for future visits to Stockholm are 85 per cent and 70 per cent for visits to Sweden in general, says Maria Lexhagen one of the researchers.
According to the survey results, almost eight out of ten fans state that they would not have visited their destination during their last trip if not for ABBA. This indicates the importance of pop culture for the tourism industry. ABBA fans also travel a lot. A noteworthy 47 per cent say that they have travelled ten times or more with ABBA as their primary motive.
The importance of information on the Internet and in social media is clear in the results of the survey. Only one out of ten use traditional travel agencies while 50 per cent of the fans look for information on ABBA related websites. This ABBA research is part of a research project at ETOUR, focusing on pop cultural tourism. Researchers find strong similarities between ABBA tourism and tourism emerging in the wake of the Twilight Saga, which was previously studied.
-Similar to Twilight tourism, ABBA tourism shows the importance of pop culture fans to tourism in general and to destinations specifically. Destinations are suddenly attractive to new groups of visitors due to their connection to a pop cultural phenomenon. Furthermore, both studies show that to a great extent, the fans themselves plan and organize their trips without the assistance of traditional travel agencies, says Christine Lundberg.
Some facts about the fans in the survey:
•67 per cent are men
•most of them come from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Australia
•they travel together with friends, family, or alone
•the trip is mainly planned by the fan, together with his or her family, close friends or online friends
•seven out of ten ABBA fans have attended higher education.