As some of you may know, I have the distinct honour of being LGBT travel ambassador to Sweden in the UK. So this is a little bit of a shameless plug for a new campaign that I have created for the country’s tourist board, VisitSweden – but a relevant one never-the-less. Together, we’ve launched a brand new online portal on the interactive story-telling portal, Medium – designed to inspire LGBT travellers to find out more about Sweden, its destinations and open-minded Swedish lifestyles.
The site is part of VisitSweden’s ongoing effort, as one of a handful of national tourist boards to proactively, attract and engage LGBT travellers. After all, the country has so much to offer – a fusion of urban and nature in close proximities, exciting and innovative things to experience, not to mention stunningly beautiful people and environments – but moreover – an amazingly forward-thinking approach to diversity.
Same-sex sexual activity was legalized as early as 1944 and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity has been banned since 1987. Sweden was also the first country in the world to allow trans* persons to a change their legal gender in 1972.
The new portal will showcase the country’s top destinations, including:
Last year, Stockholm’s capital was crowned “Destination of the Year” at the British LGBT Awards. Most recently played host to arguably the best Eurovision Song Contest ever put on. Stockholm is a gorgeous city straddling two bodies of water, offering something for everyone from deep history to contemporary urban chic.
Gothenburg is a hip and happening city renowned for its music festivals and foodie scene (from its seven Michelin Star restaurants at the high-end to Swedish treats like gourmet meatballs, to lunchtime herring-trucks). Just outside the city, a grand and breathtaking archipelago awaits – where lobster safaris, fresh oysters, stunning sunsets and quaint waterside towns abound.
Just across the water from Danish Copenhagen, Malmö is an eccentric city, made more famous by Scandi-Noir crime series, The Bridge. A great place to spend summer is at Ribersborg Beach, where you can people-watch and spend some time unwinding at the Ribersborg Kallbadhus, a heritage bath-house where you sunbathe, sauna and sea-swim in the best way, nude. Skåne just outside the city is a magical place with awe-inspiring landscapes, rolling hills and beautiful, sandy beaches.
The largest but least populated part of Sweden is all about the light. It is the most LGBT-welcoming place in the world to revel in the midnight-sun and in winter, to chase the stunning Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. Progressive, diverse and fun – Swedish Lapland is home to some amazing places to stay – from the majestic ICEHOTEL to the spellbinding TreeHotel.
Photography courtesy of Visit Sweden LGBT