The clever marketing stunt is meant to draw attention to the Swedish concept of “allemansrätten” — or, the Right of Public Access — which allows anyone to freely roam most of the country’s public lands as long as they don’t trash the place. You can camp, hike, and pick wild berries. You can can even enter private properties if you don’t destroy or seriously disturb the land or landowners.
“We love allemansrätten but it’s also something that I believe we take for granted a bit as we are almost born into nature and are raised having access to it whenever we want and we spend a lot of time in it,” Jenny Kaiser, president of Visit Sweden USA, the company behind the stunt, told Digital Trends. “To spend time in nature regularly should be on everyone’s agenda, especially when traveling. It is really a people’s right but at the same time it comes with a great responsibility and as long as we live up to the rules the right will remain.”
Kaiser admits that Sweden isn’t a conventional travel destination and that the Swedish brand has a bit of work to do if it wants to compete. The country is cold much of the year, it’s expensive compared to most southern European countries, and it can be a bit out of the way. For most Americans, Sweden is known for things like ABBA and Ikea, so Kaiser and her team hatched a plan to highlight the country’s lesser-known offerings.
“Being a small destination compared to the more traditional ones we need to be clear on what Sweden has to offer and we need to find new and effective ways on how to reach our target group,” she said. “We don’t have an ‘iconic monument’ like the Big Ben, Times Square, or the Great Wall of China.”
Sweden does, however, have allemansrätten and Kaiser hopes that will entice some travelers to head farther north.
If for some reason Sweden isn’t your thing, you can find other countries around the world with laws similar to allemansrätten, including the Scandinavian nations, Scotland, Austria, and Estonia.
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