Dense forests, sunken ships & Astrid’s heroes – Interview with Mikael Damberg, Swedish Minister for Economic Affairs

In the Minister Talk with TUI's Online Media, the Minister for Economic Affairs talks about exciting adventures in his home countries beautiful natural scenery, Astrid Lindgren's adventure park, sunken Viking ships, glassworks and Kalix Löjrom.

Mikael Damberg

How do you welcome tourists in Sweden?

Mikael Damberg: Welcome to Land of beautiful nature, exiting adventures, great food and vivid culture

What is the special charm of Sweden?

Mikael Damberg: The silence, the crisp clean air, the sun that never goes down or hardly ever comes up, the untouched nature and how it changes with the seasons.

What is your personal hint to the foreign visitors in Sweden? What should nobody miss when visiting your country?

Mikael Damberg: I tell them to stay a day or two extra! There are so many different aspects of Sweden to discover; everything from the sea of the west coast, to the forests and the cities with their history and cultural life, the archipelago of Stockholm, the mountains of the north and so much more. Take your time to experience it all!

How you say “Enjoy your meal!” in Swedish and what local dishes would you personally offer to a friend and visitor?

Mikael Damberg: “Smaklig måltid!” I would offer the true delicacy “Kalix Löjrom” which is the roe of a small salmonid fish, harvested specifically from the Bothnian Bay archipelago of the Baltic Sea in the northern Sweden. Served on our version of hash browns with fine chopped red onion, crème fraise and a squeeze of lemon it is the best Sweden can serve you.

What cultural highlights and events will the foreign visitor be able to experience in Sweden?

Mikael Damberg: The cultural scene of Sweden is blooming. All state owned museums have free entrance and offer experiences for all tastes, ages and interests. Besides a great variety of music events, food festivals and local handicraft markets I would especially like to mention Swedish design as a cultural highlight that is becoming increasingly popular among foreign visitors. To buy or experience Swedish fashion, furniture, architecture or glass has become a must!

How important is tourism for the Swedish Economy?

Mikael Damberg: Very important. It is a growing sector of the Swedish economy and it gives job to more and more people every year. Since 1995 the number of overnights in Sweden has grown by 71 percent!

The Vasa Museum in Stockholm is rated as one of Europe’s top museums? It attracts more than 1 million guests in a year. What is so special about it and what other museums should visitors experience in Sweden?

Mikael Damberg: What is so special to me about the Vasa Museum is the way it offers you a unique and authentic journey in history. It is amazing how the magnificent ship that never made it out of the waters of Stockholm before it capsized and sank on its first journey in 1628 has been preserved in its full glory like a capsule of time. The museum is located on the beautiful island Djurgården where you find plenty of attractions and museums. The ABBA museum, The Skansen open air museum, the Aquaria water museum, The Tivoli Gröna Lund and even the “love path” of Crown Princess Victoria and her Prince Daniel.

The image of the Swedish countryside and the Swedish landscapes has been considerably influenced by the children’s books of the famous author Astrid Lindgren. Millions of Europeans have grown up with Emil i Lönneberga, The Six Bullerby Children and of course Pippi Longstocking. All these novels take place in the Swedish region of Smaland, which makes it a popular family holiday destination. What can families with children experience there?

Mikael Damberg: Well first they can enter the exciting and beautiful Astrid Lindgrens World and say hello to the characters we all love. They can be there when Emil hoists Ida up the flagpole, play tag with Pippi Longstocking or explore Matts’s fort - be a part of all the classic stories!

Not far away they will find the Kingdom of Crystal where they can have complete immersion in famous Swedish art glass and glass ware. They can visit the glassworks and glass studios and blow their own glass. If they are more interested in chasing a thrill they should visit Little Rock Lake, a zipline in the deep forests of Småland that lets you experience the forest, the streams and lakes from a breath taking view high above the forest landscape.