News about: Destination

Gothenburg is at the top among the world’s most sustainable cities for the fourth year in a row according to the Global Destination Sustainability Index 2019. This was revealed on Wednesday at ICCA World congress in Houston.

Annika Hallman recieved the prize from Guy Bigwood, GDSI, and James Reese, ICCA. Photo: Buller

 

The GDSI was launched by MCI-Group together with the international organisation ICCA. On Wednesday October 30thAnnika Hallman, Director at Gothenburg Convention Bureau, was able to accept the award on behalf of Gothenburg:

“In recent years, Gothenburg has taken a leading role and inspired other destinations to become more sustainable. We have lectured and received study visits from other cities and used our top position to drive the development towards a more sustainable meeting industry, as well as strengthening Gothenburg’s profile as a leading congress and convention destination”, says Annika Hallman.

The ranking was made for the first time in 2016 and this year the interest has been greater than ever, and the level of performance has improved. More than 50 cities and destinations participated and among the newcomers this year are Denver, Brisbane and Lyon. The top three cities were Gothenburg followed by Copenhagen and Zurich.

Another achievement was when Gothenburg recently was appointed European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 by the European Commission. Here, too, the city’s work on sustainability is a weighty reason and Gothenburg was also awarded the special award in the category of sustainability.

“More and more cities are looking at Gothenburg and next year there will be a major focus on how to work to become smarter in areas such as digitalization, accessibility, culture and sustainability”, says Peter Grönberg CEO of Göteborg & Co.

GDSI measures all elements of sustainability: environmental, social and economic. But to gain a high ranking, it is not enough just to involve the hospitality trade, with facilities and hotels; the city as a whole must also be engaged in sustainability issues.

The cities are assessed based on several criteria: such as how effectively the city recycles and disposes of waste, environmental certification of hotels and restaurants, emissions of greenhouse gases, accessibility, the traffic situation, rental bike systems and whether both public and private stakeholders have sustainability strategies in place.

To find out more about the survey and the results for all cities involved, please see: http://gds-index.com/

Gothenburg is the most hospitable city in Europe! Christina Bonnevier from Gothenburg Tourist Centre, which is part of Göteborg & Co, recently accepted the ECM TIC Hostmanship Award 2019 in Ghent, Belgium. The award recognises that she is the best in Europe at greeting visitors.

Christina Bonnevier. Photo: Peter Kvarnström/Göteborg & Co.

“I think this competition is brilliant because it focuses on emotional human values in our encounters with visitors. It feels absolutely fantastic and it’s a great honour to win,” says Christina Bonnevier.

Christina was nominated for the award by her manager, Annelie Karlsson. In her nomination, Annelie Karlsson stressed that working in a tourist centre is a way of life and makes you more aware of what is happening in the city and who comes to visit it. The most significant encounters do not always happen in the tourist centre itself. One such encounter took place in Heden car park one morning, and also played a part in Christina’s nomination.

“I met a foreign family who were here on a visit, and they did not have a credit card that would work in the ticket machine. They were on their way to a meeting and were very short of time. I offered to pay their half-day ticket, but they were reluctant as they wanted to pay me back as soon as possible. I told them they could come to the tourist centre and ask for me, which they did later that day. They were very grateful and relieved,” says Christina.

As well as being the best tourist adviser in Europe, Christina Bonnevier is also an authorised city guide and speaks five languages ​​fluently: Swedish, Danish, English, Spanish and French. Her job also involves authorising city guides and assisting with the city’s tourism site, goteborg.com.

Göteborg & Co invests in personal service by operating the city’s tourist centres, which welcome around 400,000 visitors each year. The company also invests in the website, goteborg.com, which is growing steadily and attracts almost three million unique visitors annually. Good hospitality involves a combination of digital tools and human encounters, which together ensure the best possible results. As a result of good hostmanship these visitors become valuable ambassadors for Gothenburg.

The TIC Hostmanship Award is presented by the ECM European Cities Marketing organisation, which is made up of members from European tourism organisations. To win the award as Europe’s best tourist adviser, a nomination is first required from one’s manager, and the winner is then selected by the management of TIC Expert Group, which is made up of representatives from ten cities. The award was presented in Ghent on October 24, and Christina Bonnevier was there to receive it.

Gothenburg, Sweden, was awarded The European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 at a ceremony in Helsinki on 9 October. The title is awarded by The European Commission aiming at rewarding cities with the smartest, most innovative and inclusive approaches to tourism development. “This marks the start of a new era for Gothenburg. We are going from smart to smarter, and we intend to be a motor for the entire EU”, said the city’s representative Peter Grönberg.

Peter Grönberg, CEO of Göteborg & Co and the Lord Mayor of Gothenburg Anneli Rhedin are happy to receive the award in Helsinki.

35 cities from 17 EU-countries took part in the competition that evaluates candidates from four categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation and culture & creativity. Ten was selected for the final presentation in Helsinki.

In the entry for The European Capital of Smart Tourism 2020 award, Gothenburg focused on strengths in all four categories and on being ready to share best practices and learnings with other destinations.

Gothenburg is in the digital frontline, with high connectivity and a large number of tech companies. Also, the city is a leader in sustainability, with a number one ranking in the Global Destination Sustainability Index.

– As Lord Mayor of Gothenburg, it is very rewarding to be here in Helsinki to discuss Gothenburg as a smart destination. We are very proud of our city and we work hard to win even more people’s confidence to visit us, said Anneli Rhedin, Lord Mayor of Gothenburg.

– This is a recognition to all the work and creativity that our local partners put in when it comes to making Gothenburg a smart destination. We know that investing in sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation, culture and creativity is wise. With the help from the title, we will be an even stronger ambassador for this mindset, said Peter Grönberg, CEO of Göteborg & Co, the destination management organisation of Gothenburg.

Outtake from Gothenburg’s entry:

Being smart makes what is good even better. Our pocket-sized metropolis has for 400 years gathered people who believe in international and cultural exchange. To anyone who perceive “smart” as a tech term we wish to show another side: a side filled with warmth, inclusiveness and human values. Gothenburg is a sustainable city open to the world.

Two of Sweden’s biggest private employers are located in Gothenburg – Volvo Cars and Volvo Group. Roughly a quarter of a million people in the Gothenburg region depend on these two companies for their livelihood, either directly or indirectly.

Paul Welander in front of a vintage Volvo P 1800

“A wide spectrum of businesses depend on our presence in the city, from the smallest hot dog stand to a large part of the service sector,” says Paul Welander, Senior Vice President at Volvo Cars.

In light of this, he finds it disturbing when some people glibly suggest that the automotive industry will disappear within a decade.

“What does the automotive industry contribute to society? We create opportunities for everybody to get around and have more freedom. Moreover, our vehicles are constantly being developed to become more sustainable and more integrated with other transport solutions,” he says.

He adds that in future, the automotive industry needs to get more involved in Gothenburg’s development as a city.

“As a company, we want to have a higher purpose and give back to society. We’re not just here to earn money; we want to improve safety. We have a vision that nobody will be seriously injured in a Volvo vehicle in 2020. When we invented the three-point seat belt, we made the design free for other automotive manufacturers to use. The same philosophy applies to many of our safety solutions.”

Volvo Cars made headlines by declaring that 50% of its sold cars would be all-electric by 2025, and it’s important to meet this target.

“It’s hard to predict how self-driving and connected vehicles will impact on people’s time, but we hope to be able to give back a week of quality time per year by 2025. This is equivalent to the time drivers typically spend in tailbacks today.

“We all depend on smooth-running infrastructure and mobility, and efficient transport is necessary to attract more outside investment. This is especially true in a city with canals and trams like Gothenburg. We must think bigger in terms of social economy.”

Paul’s background is in polymer engineering, but he has worked most of his career in the automotive industry.

“I love the core of this culture, that people are our central focus and that we offer products that are relevant to everyone.”

He remembers one Friday night when he and his wife had parked outside a restaurant in a newly launched Volvo XC60. A man came up and spoke to them.

“He asked if I liked the car. I said that I certainly did. ‘So do I, because I built it,’ said the guy, smiling proudly.”

Paul doesn’t think this kind of pride could have been created anywhere else.

“If Volvo Cars had been headquartered in Stockholm, we’d have been a different company. Our history, with the textile industry that created SKF, which in turn created Volvo, could only happen here. And with the city’s harbour and shipyards, Volvo and Gothenburg are constantly strengthening each other.”

Paul gives us a tour of the Volvo Museum. It’s an exciting journey through Sweden’s industrial history and social development with a large dose of nostalgia. Plans are underway to make this history more accessible to everyone visiting Gothenburg. Discussions are in progress about creating an activity and experience centre next to Liseberg, Sweden’s largest amusement park, which is currently investing in a big new family hotel and water park.

Liseberg’s CEO Andreas Andersen is very positive to these plans.

“The synergy is clear for all three players: Gothenburg, Volvo and Liseberg. From a national perspective, Liseberg is a leading brand – one of Sweden’s top five – but internationally, Volvo has a stronger brand than either Liseberg or Gothenburg. When I’m abroad I sometimes get asked if I’m from Volvo city,” he says.

Copyright: Ulrica Segersten (text), Samuel Unéus (photo)

This article is an excerpt from “Magasin Göteborg”. To read the entire Magazine (in Swedish) click here.

Anna Hylander, Project Manager Göteborg & Co Möten/Gothenburg Convention Bureau. Photo: Linda Nordberg/Göteborg & Co

Anna Hylander is one of the people who was closely involved in preparations for the Associations World Congress & Expo (AWC) and was also at the congress, when almost 500 international visitors gathered at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in April. The congress was backed by the Association of Association Executives (AAE).

Hi Anna, how did the event work out?
“Really well, nearly 500 delegates from all over the world took part and we got excellent feedback afterwards.”

What was the most enjoyable part of the process?
“All the international contacts and making plans to host the congress. Linking together all the different contributors, from politicians and people in research and the visitor industry, to specially invited guests and speakers, and of course the association’s team.
“It was also good to be able to show how a meeting can be organised sustainably, getting environmental certification for the entire congress and sharing our knowledge by contributing local expertise to the programme.”

Gothenburg Convention Bureau is not usually involved in organising meetings, why was this the case for AWC?
“Yes, that’s right. Normally we provide support during all the stages that are needed to bring a congress to Gothenburg. That can involve strategies, application documents, marketing materials, valuable contacts in the city, advice and information.
“But AWC was a strategic initiative that also required active hosting on our part. It is a step in raising awareness of Gothenburg as a meeting destination and showing off the city to the people who decide where international congresses are held. And we were successful in that.”

What was the best part of the congress?
“The positive feedback about the programme. And that we managed to get prominent local figures as speakers, for example from Volvo Car Group and Nobel Media. It also gave us the chance to showcase local innovations, in medical technology and bio-printing for example, and to feature choir singing as a link to the European Choir Games.
“There were already a lot of people in the city when AWC began, as it coincided with the end of EuroHorse. So the city was buzzing with lots of activity when the delegates got here.”

How does it feel now it’s all over?
“Brilliant! Everyone is so pleased with the experience and that we hosted it successfully. The food was great and the staff were praised by everyone. Especially at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre / Gothia Towers and when the celebrity chefs turned up and surprised everyone at the congress dinner at Kajskjul 8 on behalf of Gothenburg Restaurant Association and ‘Taste of Gothenburg’.”
“There were so many delegates who wanted to learn more about Gothenburg and stayed an extra day to join the Destination Day we organised, with visits to AstraZeneca in Mölndal, Lindholmen Science Park and the new centre for artificial intelligence.”

What do you hope visitors took home from the congress?
“Naturally I hope they feel that it was the best programme ever. I also hope they got a positive image of Gothenburg as a sustainable meeting destination and feel inspired to come to future meetings and congresses, whether they are held here or somewhere else in the world. But of course I hope that organisers see us as a natural choice for upcoming congresses.”

 

Before the age of 30, Lisa Emelia Svensson had already gained a PhD and landed a top job in New York. Today her stellar career has led her all the way to the United Nations, where she is Global Director for Oceans. Her favourite place is a small island in the West Sweden Archipelago.

Lisa Emelia Svensson at her favourite island, Käringön.

Lisa’s career path has been unusually linear. But it wasn’t mapped out like this from the outset. Although she comes from an enterprising family, she grew up far from the world of big business and politics.” She and her four siblings were raised in Bohuslän in West Sweden, and their lives centred more around the sea than the house.
“My father spent a lot of time at sea and encouraged us to do the same. I learned to love the sea and the archipelago from an early age. It determined how I saw the world. We had the vast sea in front of us, and beyond it was the rest of the world – which I became very curious to explore.

After graduating from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law, Lisa applied to the Swedish Trade Council for an international trainee position. She landed the job and was posted in New York.
“I loved being there. People say big cities are stressful, but for me it was the opposite. My first feeling was one of calm. The rest of the world was moving, and I could stand still in the midst of it.”

After a time in New York, she returned to Sweden to start the internship programme of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This was followed by work at the Swedish Embassy in Washington and as a trade negotiator at the European Commission in Brussels. Lisa also spent a year as Diplomat-in-Residence at John Hopkins University, where she also finished her doctoral dissertation as well as a book on climate change.

Käringön is located north of Gothenburg with the open sea just outside.

Back in Sweden, she started working as Ambassador for Sustainable Enterprise.
“At that time, sustainability and CSR were not yet strongly established. It wasn’t unusual for people in prominent business positions to say that they were only interested in results. Today nobody would claim that companies don’t have a strong responsibility for sustainability.”

Many companies today are taking important initiatives to promote these issues. For example, Lisa points out that Volvo has transitioned from primarily selling cars to focusing more on how to meet people’s mobility needs. Volvo is also phasing out disposable parts and aims for 25% recycled plastics in all Volvo cars from 2025.
“The great added value of this is that it creates a pressure in the market and can encourage more companies to use recycled plastic for other types of production. This can be a way of initiating and driving change. It is crucial to our future that more companies set this type of example.”

Sustainability has been Lisa’s primary focus area since she became Ambassador for Sustainable Enterprise. Her work has focused particularly on matters regarding the sea.
“There’s something about the sea that always attracts me. I don’t know what it is; maybe I’ve got salt in my veins! There’s something out there in the waves that never stops beckoning me. However, the sea is endangered and there is a widespread lack of knowledge on how to manage and utilise its resources sustainably.”

Two years ago, the United Nations called to offer her the post of Global Director of Oceans at the UN Environment Office. She accepted without hesitation. Since then her office has been in Nairobi, Kenya.
“Using the United Nations Environment Programme as a platform for promoting marine issues seemed like a natural path forward. My greatest motivating force has always been curiosity and an urge to explore and understand new contexts. And now that I’ve gained an understanding of this context, I’ll be happy to move on to new challenges.”Her work involves a lot of travel and she’s seen many exotic places across the globe. But deep in her heart there’s always one place she’d rather be.

“The best thing in life is nature. Walking barefoot on rocky cliffs is what gives me energy. Even if I’m on the most beautiful exotic island in the world, there’s no place I’d rather be than a wet, stony cliff in Bohuslän or outside my house on the island of Käringön. That’s bliss for me.”

Working with sustainability and being Global Director for Oceans is no easy job. Eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the sea every year. If people continue to use the sea as a dumping ground at this rate, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
“So much stuff just gets pumped into the sea. People think it will just disappear,” says Lisa. “But of course it won’t. There is a strong link between the ocean and climate change. The world’s oceans absorb nearly a third of our carbon emissions, and seaweed beds bind carbon.”

Half of the carbon stored in living organisms is in the sea. The sea is crucial to our survival, but the overall context is not explained and communicated in a way that decision-makers and the public can easily grasp.
However, she points out that there’s hope. Awareness about climate and sustainability has steadily increased, and more and more individuals are making conscious and climate-friendly choices.
“We need to find creative systemic solutions that are based on science. Even if people stop buying plastic bags at the supermarket, a systemic solution is needed to bring about real changes. And that’s what we’ve got to find.”

Copyright: Magnus Carlsson (text), Katja Ragnstam (photo)

This article is an excerpt from “Magasin Göteborg”. To read the entire magazine (in Swedish) click here.

For the first time ever, Sweden will be organizing a Champions League final. This was decided by the UEFA Executive Committee when they appointed Gothenburg as host for the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 2021.

Photo: Per Pixel Petersson

– This is a milestone in Swedish football history. As of this year, the Women’s Champions League final is a separate event, and the final played in Budapest in May showed the positive progress for women’s football, says Swedish Football Association’s chairman Karl-Erik Nilsson.

– Gothenburg will once again host a major sporting event and the fact that it’s about women’s football makes us extra happy. We are also looking forward to paying attention to Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary with the help of the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 2021, says Magnus Hallberg Director of Events at Göteborg & Co.

The final will be played in May 2021 at Gamla Ullevi, the Swedish women’s football national arena.

You are invited to Sweden’s first beer week on 5–13 April! How about a tour on a Paddan canal boat, stopping at various breweries along the way? Or walking the dog from the Beerbliotek to Brewdog breweries? Or enjoying an IPA session, tap-room party or beer crawl in central Gothenburg? The possibilities are almost endless.

Photo: Peter Bergqvist

Gothenburg is often called the beer capital of Sweden. And for good reason. The number of breweries has rocketed in Gothenburg and the surrounding area. The highpoint is GBG Beer Week, which was the idea of Petur Olafsson and Fredrik Berggren and is about to take place for the fifth year in a row.

“The aim of GBG Beer Week is to make the city’s beer culture thrive and grow even stronger. For one brilliant week in April we celebrate the diversity of Sweden’s rejuvenated beer culture,” says Petur Olafsson.

Every brewery has a place at GBG Beer Week: small or large, local or international, broad in appeal or specialist.

“Together we have set in motion a series of events, arranged by breweries, importers, restaurants, pubs and associations, that get the whole city fizzing with refreshing experiences. The culmination is A Beer & Whisky Fair, a two-day event that attracts over 23,500 visitors,” continues Fredrik Berggren.

So why has Gothenburg become the Swedish beer capital?
“Gothenburg has always been a beer city with a proud history of brewing. That tradition continues today, in a unique cooperative spirit as new and established breweries help and encourage each other. Many of these breweries are leading the way internationally, in quality, innovation and ambition,” says Petur Olafsson.

By the way, it is probably not so strange that Gothenburg should be called Sweden’s beer capital. As reported in the regional newspaper, Göteborgs-Posten, in February, two 400-year-old beer taps were unearthed during the construction of the Västlänken rail link in the area around Skansen Lejonet. Beer taps like these were originally used to serve beer from barrels. In those days the people of Gothenburg brewed and drank a lot of beer. A tradition that the people of Gothenburg still hold close to their hearts!

To find out more about Gothenburg’s microbreweries:
https://www.goteborg.com/mikrobryggerier/

GBG Beer Week, 5–13 April:
http://www.gbgbeerweek.se/

A Beer & Whisky Fair, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, 12–13 April:
https://olochwhiskymassa.se/

 

For 40 years, Gothenburg’s large hotels have been engaged in a unique partnership in which competitors team up to attract more visitors to Gothenburg. Today, the Association of Large Hotels is comprised of Gothenburg’s 23 largest hotels and is working more actively than ever.

Kristian Andreasson and Alice von Geijer

Kristian Andreasson is Regional Manager for Scandic Hotels in western Sweden, while Alice von Geijer is Hotel Director of Radisson Blu Riverside Hotel. But they are also colleagues, acting respectively as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Association of Large Hotels, Gothenburg.

“The association works together to promote travel to Gothenburg and develop reasons for visits and overnight stays. We collaborate up to the point where a visitor decides to visit Gothenburg, which benefits all of us,” explains Kristian.

“Of course we’re competitors, but we’re also colleagues with similar jobs. Together we address many ideas and issues of common concern, such as skills provision and how to ensure that Gothenburg and our industry continue to evolve and remain at the cutting edge. We maintain a high level of integrity and are good at keeping our roles separate,” says Alice.

The Association of Large Hotels, Gothenburg, was founded in 1980 as a non-profit association. Back then, far fewer hotels met the membership criterion of having over 100 hotel rooms. Today there are 23 member hotels with approximately 7,000 hotel rooms and 4,500 employees between them. Gothenburg also has an association for smaller hotels: the Association of Gothenburg Hotels.

Radisson Blu Riverside Hotel at Lindholmen. Caption: Per Pixel Petersson/Göteborg & Co

Both associations participate actively in Göteborg & Co’s efforts to attract meetings and events and grow Gothenburg as a destination.

“Our partnership allows us to discuss matters at a different level than is usually possible. For this to work, it is necessary to have Göteborg & Co as a coordinating link. Everyone knows they are a neutral party with no profit-making interest,” says Kristian.

This working model allows all the hotels to be involved at an early stage in Gothenburg’s efforts to attract large scientific conferences or events. For an organiser, it is easier to have one point of contact for all hotels than contacting each hotel separately, as is common in other cities.

“We want it to be simple to do business with Gothenburg, and this method works well. The partnership is unique and causes some degree of envy in Stockholm and Malmö,” says Alice.

The business plan of the Association of Large Hotels comprises four focus areas: Cooperation, Accessibility, Safety and Skills Provision. The association deals with issues such as developing reasons for visiting Gothenburg, making the city more accessible, and conducting marketing and training.

Examples of projects supported by the hotels include Autumn City and Halloween at Liseberg, the Volvo Ocean Race, and supplementary events in conjunction with major events. Other matters dealt with by the partnership include common safety and environmental certification and attracting conferences and events to the city.

“Major conferences and events are extremely important: they bring many guests to our hotels and promote a positive image of the city. The visitors are often hugely impressed,” says Kristian.

Several new hotels are being planned in Gothenburg. There is a strong will to invest, and Gothenburg will have about 4,000 new hotel rooms by the second half of the 2020s. This is over 30 per cent more than today. Meanwhile, housing and workplaces are being built at a rate not seen in Gothenburg for many years.

“The whole city will grow, and this expansion benefits Gothenburg. Another of our aims is to actively develop new reasons for visiting. We in the hotel industry feel a need to participate and contribute in this respect,” explains Alice.

Another role of the Association of Large Hotels is to collaborate with decision-makers over urban planning and development. A hotel contributes to a lively urban environment by attracting a flow of visitors and residents. Staycations are becoming increasingly popular. This is a form of tourism where residents or visitors from the region treat themselves to a weekend in a hotel rather than travelling further afield.

“The initiatives we support and develop should also benefit Gothenburg’s residents. We want Gothenburg to be a great city to live in, both now and in the future,” says Kristian.

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association has announced that they intend to start the final negotiations with the City of Gothenburg regarding the World Junior Championship in ice hockey in 2022. The plan is that the championship will take place in Scandinavium and Frölundaborg on December 26, 2021 – January 5, 2022.

Scandinavium. Photo: Jorma Valkonen

– We are very happy and proud of the possibility that such a large international event as the World Junior Championship in ice hockey will come to Gothenburg. The event will also be a fantastic display window for the conclusion of Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary in 2021, says Magnus Hallberg, Managing Director Events at Göteborg & Co.

The World Junior Championship in Ice Hockey has grown into a very popular event that attracts international visitors and international broadcasting. 2019 the championship was held in Vancouver, Canada, and the last time it was held in Sweden was 2014, in Malmö. In 2022, it’s time for Sweden again and this time in Gothenburg.

– It feels very good that our long-term cooperation with the Swedish Ice Hockey Associations has yielded results and we look forward to full stands and a hockey fest in Scandinavium and Frölundaborg, says Lotta Nibell, CEO at Got Event.

Ten countries participate in the IIHF World Junior Championship and over 30 matches are played. The work of getting this championship to Gothenburg has been a collaboration between Göteborg & Co, Got Event, Gothenburg Ice Hockey Association and Frölunda HC.

– Congratulations, Gothenburg and Swedish hockey! WCJ is a fantastic tournament and to experience the world’s best juniors, the next generation star players, at home is a unique opportunity. Hopefully we’ll see some young Gothenburg players chasing the World Cup title in the Tre Kronor player dress, says Christian Lechtaler, Frölunda HC and Patrik Norrman, Gothenburg’s Ice Hockey Association.

Attendance capacity
Frölundaborg 7 520
Scandinavium 12 000

 

A team of Gothenburg chefs from the six star-restaurants in the city.

World class restaurants, first class ingredients with seafood as fresh as you can get without wetting your feet – Gothenburg has it all. But there is also a group of talented chefs ready to cooperate whenever Gothenburg hosts a large event. Stefan Karlsson explains how they succeed.

You have probably heard the expression “Too many cooks spoil the broth”. It is not true when it comes to Gothenburg’s gourmet scene. The city boasts six Michelin-starred restaurants, and several with high ambitions to cook and serve mouth-watering culinary experiences. An extraordinary achievement for a relatively small city.

The key to success is a tradition of close collaboration between the chefs. They are competitors, but also friends and colleagues. Stefan Karlsson currently runs three restaurants in Gothenburg of which SK Mat & Människor (Food & People) received a Michelin-star in 2015, less than a year after it opened.

Stefan Karlsson
Bild: Jäger Arén

– When I started some 30 years ago, we were a bunch of young, eager chefs that learned from the old ones and from each other. Over the years, we’ve shared ideas and developed a collegiality that you don’t often see elsewhere, says Stefan Karlsson.

One catalyst has been the development as an events and meetings city that Gothenburg has undergone since the 1990’s. Whenever a large championship, a political summit or a convention with thousands of delegates takes place, the chefs plays an important role.

– Preparing a dinner for a banquet with a great number of guests is a challenge in many ways. At these occasions chefs from different restaurants work together, which creates a great team spirit.

The collaboration was taken a step further when Gothenburg Restaurant Association “Taste of Gothenburg” was founded in 1999. Taste of Gothenburg has a mission to strengthen and profile Gothenburg as a culinary destination, the relationship with local producers and suppliers as well as working together to ensure a high level of quality.

One upcoming task for Gothenburg’s chefs is to create the menu for the Congress Dinner and awards ceremony at Associations World Congress 7 – 10 April. Stefan Karlsson plans and coordinates the work.

– We want to give guests a taste of all six restaurants, with flavours based on Swedish traditions and culture, but with a delicious twist from the participating chefs that reflects their special focus, concludes Stefan Karlsson.

On the west coast of Sweden, in Gothenburg to be specific, you will find three hotels at the top of Tripadvisor’s list of the top 25 hotels in Sweden: Upper House is closely followed by the Hotel Pigalle and Avalon Hotel.

This recognition comes from Tripadvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards 2019, which are based on reviews and opinions from Tripadvisor travellers over a period of one year. In 2018, Gothenburg took the top two places, but this year the city has taken the entire podium, with three city centre hotels: Upper House in first place, Hotel Pigalle in second and Avalon Hotel in third. Upper House tops the list for the third year in a row!

All three hotels are ideal for visitors who want to experience and explore Gothenburg’s inner city on foot. They are close to museums, the opera house, parks, shopping, Michelin-starred restaurants, bars and cafés. Most are within walking distance.

Design flair in Gothenburg
The three top hotels are also recognised for their strong sense of design, and if design is your thing there is plenty to discover in the city:

  • On 23 February the Röhsska Museum of Design and Craft will re-open after major refurbishment. The Röhsska Museum is the perfect place to explore design from different places and eras.
  • The sauna in Frihamnen harbour on Hisingen is part of the preparations for Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary in 2021. The sauna was designed by the German architectural collective Raumblabor Berlin. Its sheet-metal exterior is constructed from totally recycled material and the changing room walls are made from 12,000 recycled glass bottles.
  • Along Magasinsgatan, one of the central arteries for shopping and dining in Gothenburg, you can find a great selection of unique designer shops, including the interior design store Artilleriet with its mix of modern and vintage, Rum 21 with its Scandinavian furniture and interior design goods, and Engelska Tapetmagasinet with its wallpapers, cushions and interior furnishings. Another shop that is worth a visit is Miksajo on Vallgatan – a unisex store that focuses on fashion, design and lifestyle accessories.
  • Set in an old factory building in Lindome, just outside Gothenburg, is Spinneriet, which has been developed into a design centre. You’ll find several exciting shops, artists, second-hand shops and a cosy restaurant.

In addition to the top three places, the Dorsia Hotel & Restaurant took 21st place, and Sankt Jörgen Park took 24th place in Tripadvisor’s ranking.

Gothenburg hotels ranked among Sweden’s best hotels:

1. Upper House
2. Hotel Pigalle
3. Avalon Hotel
21.Dorsia hotel & restaurant
24. Sankt Jörgen Park