Sweden and Switzerland have been suffering from a long-standing problem; people keep confusing them. It may seem unlikely to the seasoned traveller but it's been a long-running bone of contention for proud residents of both countries. Now one airline is aiming to end that confusion by offering people a trip to Swederland.
Swiss Air says the link between the two countries is so strong in people's minds, some have begun referring them as Swederland. To end the confusion once and for all, the airline is offering 24 mixed-up people a chance to explore Switzerland. To enter, you must find a Swedish friend willing to travel with you and help teach you the differences between both countries.
Winners will receive free return flights to Zurich and a Swiss Travel Pass. Out of the 12 pairs, one will win the golden ticket, providing them with accommodation, meals and an incredible week-long trip through Switzerland on incredible panoramic trains to explore the diversity of the country. Entries must include a reason why you feel you need this trip. Have you ever been embarrassed at a pub quiz or in front of a Swiss or Swedish person? Now is your chance to tell the tale and right those wrongs.
“During the many years that SWISS has traveled the route, we have encountered Sweden / Switzerland confusion many times” said Gabriel Leupold of Swiss Air. “Therefore, we decided to do something about it, and send those who need a geography course to Switzerland, together with a Swedish travel guide, explaining the differences between countries.”
There are, of course, some similarities between the countries; both are famous for winter sports, beautiful mountainous landscapes, political neutrality and have a fondness for chocolate. Residents of both countries have reported mishaps while travelling across the world and some of the confusion seems to be stem from language. In both Mandarin and Spanish, the name of the countries is very similar.
The confusion between the two is so widespread in China that in 2013 the Swedish and Swiss consulates in Shanghai teamed up to run a competition to get Chinese people to submit humorous ways to tell the countries apart, with the winner being awarded a 12-day trip through the countries to complete their education.
The Swiss Air Swederland competition is open worldwide (except to residents of Switzerland) and entries are open until 28 November.