Now, Sweden Aims To Put An End To The Confusion.
A recent study commissioned by Visit Sweden uncovered that 50% of respondents in America are not confident in their ability to decipher differences in Swedish and Swiss culture.
A Solution for Decades of Confusion
To contextualize this common mix-up, Visit Sweden, the Swedish tourist board, conducted a survey about people’s perceptions of both Sweden and Switzerland*. The results prove the confusion is clear, as half of the surveyed population cannot decipher the differences between Swedish and Swiss cultures.
Cultural associations with Sweden and Switzerland are greatly overlapped, especially as it relates to nature and sightseeing. For example, over 80% of survey respondents associate both Sweden and Switzerland with mountaintops – but less than 20% associated Sweden with the country’s beautiful coastline, which stretches for nearly 2,000 miles! When it comes to natural wonders, some of the respondents even associate the Northern Lights with Switzerland, when the phenomenon is a Swedish claim to fame. We won’t even get started about meatballs…
The confusion sometimes has greater implications: one in ten respondents in the survey have admitted to booking, or nearly booking a flight, tour or activity in the wrong country when traveling to Sweden or Switzerland. In some cases, the mix-ups have even been life changing. One story involves a Swedish woman named Anna, whose mother from Aruba was planning to visit Switzerland in the late 60’s. Instead, she ended up in Sweden and got help from one of the few people who knew English at the time. This later became Annas’ dad.
Not all stories are quite as serendipitous, so to solve the issue, Visit Sweden is urging for an end to the confusion and is with a good portion of humor, reaching out to their European friend, to highlight the differences between the two countries by deciding who talks about what.
Sweden: Luxury of a Different Nature
“If people struggle to separate our two countries, we need to help them. We can’t change the names of our nations, but we can become more distinct. Switzerland is often referred to as the pinnacle of luxury – however, Sweden offers luxury of a different nature, and these differences, in all of their beauty, are what we want to showcase,” said Susanne Andersson, CEO at Visit Sweden.
Watch the proposition from Sweden to Switzerland, and it’s easy to see why travelers flocking to Sweden are eager to experience the accessible nature the country has to offer – ranging from island hopping in the picturesque archipelagos, to taking in the views of the stunning Northern Lights.
Sweden’s plea is simple: “We will be able to celebrate attributes like sandbanks, rooftops and silence. Meanwhile Switzerland will focus on banks, mountain tops and yodeling.”
The full proposition and information about the Swedish kind of luxury can be read and signed at visitsweden.com/sweden-not-switzerland with the goal that hopefully, in the future, tourists will know that they are visiting Sweden (and not Switzerland).
*Visit Sweden conducted this survey in partnership with first-party data platform Dynata to understand Americans’ perceptions of Sweden and Switzerland’s geography, culture, and tourism.
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