Get pumped up for Halloween

Published by Kajsa Kärnman 27 October, 2017 in Destination.
Frida Winter/Göteborg & Co
Frida Winter/Göteborg & Co

Pumkins. They come in all sizes, shapes and colours and this is your chance to learn more about them. It’s time for a pumpkin bonanza! From 28 October to 5 November, a new exhibition showing numerous varieties of pumpkin and winter quash will be held in Stolboden at the Gothenburg Botanical Garden. At the opening on Saturday 28 October from 11:00 to 15:00, you will learn how to grow and prepare pumpkin. There will also be tastings, seed sales and workshops. Kids can attend a pumpkin workshop during the Swedish autumn holidays (30 October – 3 November) where they can transform pumpkins into beautiful lamps. Buy one or bring your own!

Read more about the event and the Gothenburg Botanical Garden here!

Foto: Tomas Yeh.
Foto: Tomas Yeh.

A new restaurant in collaboration with Stefan Karlsson and Götaplatsgruppen, extended meeting facilities for 700 people, new expo facilities, renovated hotel rooms and a new bar. We visited the Elite Park Avenue to preview the hotel’s biggest renovation project since 2005.

“The main changes can be categorised into three parts. One is the new restaurant, a collaboration with Götaplatsgruppen and Stefan Karlsson, who also provide all the food we serve. Another is the new breakfast area with rooms that can be used all year round. The third is the new expo area. We have extended the facilities by 1,000 square metres, making the hotel far more complete,” says Thomas Heden, sales and marketing manager of the Elite Park Avenue, who is giving us a guided tour.

The extension and renovation work started seriously in April 2017. Now, a few months later, it is almost finished. In the restaurant, which has been given a completely new look, we meet Stefan Karlsson, the renowned, award-winning Gothenburg chef. Although there are no guests here now, Stefan has plenty to do. The restaurant recently opened for both lunch and dinner after a soft opening during the Göteborg Book Fair.

Thomas Heden och Stefan Karlsson. Foto: Charlott Holmåker and Tomas
Thomas Heden och Stefan Karlsson. Foto: Charlott Holmåker and Tomas yeh.

“Our aim is for the restaurant to be a natural meeting place for visitors as well as local residents in Gothenburg. The food can be described as Nordic brasserie style. We want to offer flavours that guests will recognise, and we try to mix Swedish and international cuisines,” says Stefan.

So far the response has been positive, both to the food and the restaurant area. Guests appreciate the fact that there is no wall between the hotel reception and the restaurant. And they also like the food. For Stefan Karlsson and Götaplatsgruppen, who already have several restaurants in Gothenburg, the location was their main incentive for opening yet another restaurant in Gothenburg.

“I personally find this address very exciting. It has always been a popular, culture-promoting venue. It’s fun to be part of the renovation project here, and of course we hope our own ideas will fit in,” says Stefan.

In addition to the new restaurant, the Elite Park Avenue has been extended towards Lorensbergsparken. This opens up a greater range of possibilities. For instance, the hotel can now accept larger dinner groups. The new banqueting facilities can seat 700 people, compared to 450 previously, allowing larger conferences to be held here. There are also larger areas for exhibitions and mingling.

The new extension.
The new extension.

Although the whole hotel has been renovated, it still retains a mix of old and new. We stand in the new extension looking out over Lorensbergsparken through the glazed walls. Then we continue towards the classic Taube room. It is still decorated with paintings by Evert Taube, one of Sweden’s most cherished artists; only the floors have been replaced. Many other details from past decades have also been preserved. According to Thomas, the Elite Park Avenue is dear to many Gothenburgers’ hearts, and it is important to bear this in mind.

“Gothenburgers almost see it as their own hotel, and always have done. We want to focus even more on this aspect,” he says.

The Elite Park Avenue has gone through the biggest change since Elite took it over in 2005. But Thomas prefers not to say whether there will be an inauguration ceremony after the renovation is finished.

“There was no inauguration ceremony in 2005, so it would be nice to have one now,” he concedes. “But I can’t promise anything.”

The new extension will be integrated into Lorensbergsparken, and it is hoped that this will liven up the park. Among other things, there are plans to open a new outdoor dining area there next summer.

Let the adventure begin

Published by Kajsa Kärnman 22 October, 2017 in Destination, Events.
Foto: Jeremie Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Race.
Foto: Jeremie Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Race.

Today is the start of the world’s toughest round-the-world sail race, Volvo Ocean Race. In June 2018 Gothenburg has the honour of welcoming the seven boats to the final stopover before the finish in The Hauge. There will be a big sailing party in Frihamnen where we are all invited to join the adventure. This is the 13th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race and it is the fourth time the race visits Gothenburg.

As the home of Volvo and with the sea stretching right into its heart, Gothenburg is the perfect place to experience this ultimate mix of sporting competition and world-class adventure from an unique perspective. The city and its archipelago offer great opportunities for spectators to be part of this week-long sailing party involving an In-Port Race as well as plenty of happenings and festivities in the Race Village with free entrance. Everyone’s invited! The boats are expected to arrive around the 14-15 June and on the 21 June the race of the final leg toward the finish line begins, after 45,000 nautical miles around the planet.

The Volvo Ocean Race is our chance to invite the whole world to Gothenburg. Gothenburg was founded in 1621 and has since then undergone an exciting journey from being only a shipping and industrial city to also becoming a creative hub for innovation. And further transformations lies ahead. The city has adopted ambitious targets for the three areas of sustainability, and the Volvo Ocean Race Gothenburg Stopover 2018 will reflect this. Volvo Ocean Race in Gothenburg 2018 is also an important milestone that will highlight two of the city’s biggest urban development projects: The River City centred on Frihamnen, and Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary that will take place in 2021.

So, welcome to our compact city where you are never far from great shopping, world-class restaurants, exciting places to meet and the tranquillity of the coast and islands. Welcome to Gothenburg – a sustainable city open to the world!

Important dates for Volvo Ocean Race in Gothenburg
14-15 June Arrival
14-21 June Race Village Opening
17 June In-Port Race
21 June Start of final leg towards The Hauge

Follow the Volvo Ocean Race journey towards Gothenburg: 


For 16 trembling days this autumn, with start tomorrow, Liseberg will be filled with hair-raising houses of horror, shadowy figures, childish mischief and candy, as well as carousels and nerve-tingling roller coasters that are open for Halloween. The park will also be decorated with 30,000 pumpkins.

One of the news for 2017 is The Attic, which is part of the Houses of Horror. Halloween at Liseberg starts tomorrow – on Friday the 13th… You’re terribly welcome!

Read more about the scary Halloween celebrations here!

Photo: Ung Företagsamhet Göteborg
Photo: Ung Företagsamhet Göteborg

Göteborg & Co, Trade and Industry Group supports Junior Achievement Sweden which creates exchanges between schools and businesses, by providing educational programs in entrepreneurship for high school students. This year’s Junior Achievement has just begun and the regional manager in Gothenburg tells us more. Hi there Johan Sandahl!

Hi there Johan! Who are you?

A sports-interested West coast guy who works as regional manager at Junior Achievement Gothenburg. Previously, I worked as a project manager for high school issues. I have been at Junior Achievement Sweden for six years.

Have you planned something special for this year’s Junior Achievement? Something extra that students should think about?

The 2017/18 academic year is full of exciting news that takes our business to a new level. We have launched a digital advisory bank – It simplifies the process for students to find the right adviser to their company. We have also initiated cooperation with SDSN Youth. They support our activities with twelve coaches specialized in sustainability. The coaches visit the classrooms and teach students on how to be more sustainable in their business, both economically and socially.

On October 2nd, Junior Achievement Gothenburg had its kickoff with the theme “Welcome to the corporate jungle”. How did it go?

We had a great day at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre, where nearly 2.200 students participated! Among our guest speakers, Charles Sinclair, CEO of Oddwork, spoke about sales and the importance of working closely with an advisor. Jarno Vanhatapio, founder of and NA-KD, told us about his personal trip and how to build a company. The couple Andreas Hellmers and Alexandra ”Kissie” Nilsson was also part of the kickoff to give inspiring speeches. Andreas runs a unique sustainability business and Alexandra is one of Sweden’s largest bloggers with over 120,000 readers daily. During the kickoff, three prizes were awarded. The most prestigious award for the day was given by our partner JCE Group. The winner of this year, New Buddies UF from the high school Angeredsgymnasiet, won a total of 50.000 SEK!

Photo: Pauline Pontois  /Göteborg & Co
Photo: Pauline Pontois /Göteborg & Co

The activities organized by Go Science have started for this semester. Go Science is a collaboration between the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology and Göteborg & Co, Trade and Industry Group.

In order to welcome the newly arrived international researchers to Gothenburg, Go Science organizes every semester different activities where everyone gets the chance to discover the city and meet other fellow researchers.

On October 3rd the fall activities started with a city tour to discover Gothenburg. The international researchers were given the opportunity to learn more about the history of the city and where Gothenburg is heading for its major urban development and 400th Anniversary in 2021. The trip took the researchers to central Gothenburg as well as outside the city center, including Linnéstaden, Masthugget, Klippan and Hisingen with a stop at Ramberget to get a view of the whole city.

The activities will continue throughout the fall semester with museum and company visits as well as a traditional Lucia celebration in December. See all activities here.

Foto: Charlott Holmåker/Göteborg & Co.
Foto: Charlott Holmåker/Göteborg & Co.

Eight international design bloggers from Germany, France and the UK recently visited designer tourist destinations in Gothenburg. All the bloggers have high profiles in their own countries, but also reach international audiences.

The locations they visited in Gothenburg included Rum21, Engelska tapetmagasinet, Norrgavel, Floramora & Krukatös, Artilleriet and the Artilleriet kitchen, Da Matteo and Grandpa. The bloggers were impressed by the programme and took lots of photos, asked numerous questions and were very enthusiastic.

“I found it very inspiring to be here. It’s a great programme with lots of fascinating people, and it’s good to get an insight into the Swedish design world. I think it’s different from Norwegian and Danish design, which I’m very familiar with. My impression is that Swedish design is a mix between the pared-back style of Danish design and the cosiness of Norwegian design, and that it also welcomes the use of black,” says Camilla Jorddal from Norway.

Following their visit to Gothenburg the bloggers moved on to Borås and Lidköping.

Clarion Karlatornet, Scandic Landvetter, Liseberg södra entrén and HKC Åby. Foto: Pressbilder.
Clarion Karlatornet, Scandic Landvetter, Liseberg södra entrén and HKC Åby. Foto: Pressbilder.

Over the next few years there are plans to open several new hotels in and around Gothenburg, creating over 3,000 new hotel rooms. Those hotel rooms will be needed, as almost all the hotels in Gothenburg were fully booked this summer.

The opening dates for the new hotels vary. HKC Åby will be the first, with 220 rooms planned for completion in 2019. This will also house a new exhibition centre with an area of around 15,000 square metres. It will be followed by a number of new hotels that are due to open in 2020 and 2021. In addition to the new hotel rooms, several of the hotels will also provide meeting and exhibition facilities.

In summer 2017 the existing hotels in Gothenburg had a occupancy rate of just over 80 per cent, which means that they were effectively fully booked. For Sweden as a whole the hotel occupancy rate during the same period was 67 per cent.

Due to open in 2020, the Folkets Hus/Draken hotel will have 400 rooms, the Scandic Gullbergsvass 360 rooms, and the Scandic Landvetter airport hotel 200 rooms.

In 2021 Liseberg amusementpark will open a new hotel near the south entrance providing 450 rooms, while the Nordic Choice Mölndal will create 370 rooms and the Clarion Karlatornet 300 rooms. The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Gothia Towers are also planning to build two new hotels with 500 rooms and 300 rooms respectively, but the completion date has not yet been set.

Right now, in autumn 2017, around 900 square metres of new conference and event space is being completed at the Elite Park Avenue Hotel. The hotel is expanding towards the Lorensbergsteatern theatre. The existing conference space is also being renovated, new hotel rooms are being built and existing rooms are being refurbished.

Bild: Elite Park Avenue hotelImage: Elite Park Avenue Hotel

Photo: Linnéa Simonsson (EuroSkills 2016)
Photo: Linnéa Simonsson (EuroSkills 2016)

On December 2016 Gothenburg was welcoming the European Championship in vocational skills EuroSkills. The event supported by Göteborg & Co, Trade and Industry Group attracted over 65 000 visitors. Just over a year later, the legacy of EuroSkills, Future Skills, will be held on October 10th-12th at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre during the yearly event for elementary school students, High School Days Fair (Gymnasiedagarna).

Future Skills is the new meeting place of High School Days Fair. It is organized by the region of Gothenburg GR Utbildning in cooperation with Göteborg & Co Trade and Industry Group, Business Region Göteborg, Västra Götalandsregionen, and the Swedish Employment Agency Arbetsförmedlingen.

The goal of the event is to create a new arena where young students get the chance to talk directly to companies and organizations, as well as professionals in the business they’re interested in.

Future Skills is primarily aimed at elementary school students from grades 8th and 9th, but jobseekers and adults students at SFI are also welcome. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet representatives of colleges, academy, foreign studies, as well as try different professions and learn more about the industries.

“Future Skills is a lot about gaining inspirational knowledge on which skills will be demanded from specific business. Make sure to discover your talent at Future Skills!” says Lena Sjöstrand, project manager at Göteborgsregionen kommunalförbund for Future Skills.


Photo: Rebecka Bjurmell
Photo: Rebecka Bjurmell

On Thursday 14th September, Gothenburg welcomed approximately 800 new students during a welcoming ceremony at the Museum of World Culture organized by Student Göteborg.

Student Göteborg arranged a fully-packed evening where new students got the chance to participate to many activities. Live music with the band Slowgold and DJ Lovefuck gave tempo to the evening. Student could even attend a dance performance from The Göteborg Opera, screenings, workshops, exhibitions, and much more. All in all, it was a successful event.

“We are proud and extremely pleased to present such a wide and interesting range of content on our welcoming ceremony. We had new activities this year with screenings from Draken Film, Ted Talks, popup store from Emmaus and many exhibitors as well as two conference delegates. It almost felt like Student Göteborg had its own festival!” said Nathalie Bödtker-Lund, project manager at Göteborg & Co for Student Göteborg.

Gothenburg welcomes around 13.000 new students each semester. Student Göteborg has organized welcoming activities and created meeting places among national and international students since 2006. Student Göteborg is a campaign from Göteborg & Co Trade and Industry Group in collaboration with the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers and the student unions.

“The students have to feel welcome, included, safe and inspired to come to Gothenburg,” said Nathalie Bödtker-Lund.

Many activities are organized during the semester. See the entire program here.

Foto: Paula Fröseth
Photo: Paula Fröseth

During the summer 2017, Göteborg & Co Trade and Industry Group contributed to the cultural life of Gothenburg in different ways. The Group supported the concert of the Lebanese artist Nawal El Zoghbi during Gothenburg Culture Festival, but was also involved in other cultural activities and performances in several districts of the city.

A recurring theme this year was “culture and youth”. The project Kultur 4ür Göteborg aims to work for a strong and fair cultural life in the city and fight youth segregation. Participants who were between 14 and 20 years old got the opportunity to perform on different stages. The festival was organized between June 14-21st and spread in seven districts of the city. In total, the festival gathered 5.000 people in the audience. ”The event has been very successful. The business evolved so much that similar projects started to grow in the region.” said Kalle Karlsson, the project leader for Kultur 4ür Göteborg.

As part of the project Creative Places in Biskopsgården, the organization MEETING PLAYS conducted the show “Summer Theater Biskopsgården”. 14 participants, all of them from the district Biskopsgården and who had just graduated from 9th grade, created and performed a theater performance with the help of professional artists. They wrote their own texts and music as they reflected on the theme “money”. Thanks to this project, most of the young participants got the chance to perform live for the first time.

A hiphop festival arranged by the association GBG HipHop took place on August 17th in Röda Sten. The festival invited the audience to experience hiphop culture as a whole with music, competitions, workshops, art and performances. 30 artists and about 500 visitors participated to this successful event. “We are very pleased with the event and with the fact that we managed to get many associations and organizations involved in the festival,” said Robinson Rivera, project manager for the GBG HipHop Festival.

Vy över korsvägen, Svenska Mässan och Gothia Towers
Photo: Anders Wester/Svenska Mässan & Gothia Towers

On 17–21 September 2017, Gothenburg will host the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC). This will be the 43rd conference in succession and is the largest conference in Europe in the field of optical communication. This year, for the first time, the conference will be environmentally certified.

This is the third time ECOC will be held in Sweden, and the second time at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg. The conference is an opportunity for over 1,000 researchers and product developers to catch up on leading research achievements and scientific discoveries in the field of optical communication. A large exhibition will take place in parallel with the conference and is expected to attract up to 5,000 delegates from around the world.

Gothenburg is a great choice for hosting sustainable meetings
In an effort to reduce environmental impact the organisers of this year’s conference have for the first time chosen to environmentally certify the conference to Swedish Environmental Base (Svensk Miljöbas) criteria. This is an important part of the city’s environmental profile, since Gothenburg is ranked as one of the world’s leading destinations for sustainable meetings*. A number of the measures that led to environmental certification focus on catering. The ECOC organisers have for instance chosen to serve fish that is fished sustainably (MSC labelled), fewer meals contain meat and there is always a vegetarian option at lunchtime. All coffee and tea that are served are organically sourced and Fairtrade labelled. All sandwiches have at least two organic main ingredients.

The organisers are also buying credits to partially offset travel by the delegates to and from Gothenburg. Because the conference venue – the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre – is located close to the city centre, visitors can easily walk to hotels and social events, and thus avoid the environmental effects of transport.

Conferences generally have considerable environmental impact. Environmental certification is encouraged by the city and helps to promote the development of sustainability efforts. It is hoped that more conferences will follow the same route and choose environmental certification as a way of making an effective difference and contributing to global sustainability goals.

More details about environmental certification and the work of ECOC can be found at

ECOC 2017 is organised by Chalmers University of Technology, the Technical University of Denmark, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden Acreo, Telia and Ericsson. The conference organiser is Sweden MEETX.