Lonely Planet Writer

Stockholm pens open letter inviting "lovers, haters and hesitators" to visit

The city of Stockholm in Sweden has put together an open letter inviting “lovers, haters, and hesitators” to come and visit their vibrant city. “The idea that everything should be accessible for everyone is in the DNA of Stockholm. People across the world are curious about Sweden and Stockholm, in relation to our values of equality, sustainability, accessibility and much more. We believe that ‘openness’ is one of the things setting us apart.” said Thomas Andersson, CEO of Visit Stockholm. 

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Crowds of tourists and locals enjoying the summer sunshine beneath the colourful townhouses and quaint restaurants of historic Stortorget, Great Square, the iconic landmark plaza on Gamla Stan in the heart of Stockholm. Image by GettyImages/fotoVoyager

Written as if it were the city of Stockholm itself, the letter starts by stating that: “I don’t know who you are, where you came from, who you voted for, what your family name implies, if you’re a rebel or a conservative. I don’t know who you love, what you just can’t stand, if you’re rich, poor or somewhat in between. If you’re a man, woman or somewhat in between. I don’t even know how you feel about me. If you love me, hate me or if you haven’t made up your mind. You are welcome anyhow, just as you are, with your dreams, beliefs, doubts, and preconceptions”.

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Summer sunset over Riddarholmen, a small islet connected to the old town of Stockholm. In the photo one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm stands out, the Riddarholm Church, the burial church of the Swedish monarchs. Image by GettyImages/Patrik Bergström

It concludes that it would like to get to know the visitor better and that the global public are always welcome to visit Stockholm – “The Open City”. Hoping to fuel action, the city is also focusing in on social media to spread the word. Those who mention “Stockholm” or “Sweden” online will also have the opportunity to win a free two-night stay at a hotel in the capital.

Stockholm has a total of 50 hotel nights reserved for visitors invited through social media and the campaign will continue until all of the rooms have been offered.

“Our visitors want to explore an open society that stands firm in its belief that everything should be accessible for everyone – from paternity leave to good design and access to nature” said Ewa Lagerqvist, CEO, Visit Sweden. Stockholm is situated on 14 small islands and is famous for its colourful LGBT community, gender neutral fashion scene and ties with nature.