This summer, a new initiative has launched in West Sweden, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the Swedish lifestyle from a local perspective.

Meet the Locals enables curious travellers to engage and spend time with locals in Gothenburg and West Sweden who are eager to offer a taste of the Swedish way of life, whether hiking through stunning landscapes, cooking traditional foods or simply enjoying ‘fika’ together.

The West Sweden Tourist Board has gathered together an extensive database of locals across West Sweden, all of whom are keen to meet visitors to the region and share a slice of their everyday life or hobby. All of the locals are listed on the West Sweden Tourist Board’s website, with information about themselves and what they can offer visitors. Visitors wishing to get in touch can submit a brief questionnaire about themselves, which is then sent through to the local in question in order for them to make direct contact.

Ann-Charlotte Carlsson, head of marketing and communications for the tourist board, said: “One of the difficulties when travelling to a new country or region for the first time is meeting locals and getting a real understanding of the people and culture.

"We wanted to give visitors to West Sweden the chance to get much closer to the Swedish lifestyle, so we came up with theMeet the Locals initiative as a new way to experience, and travel around, the region. The fundamentally Swedish concepts of sharing, collaboration and equality are at the very heart of the initiative, from individuals who want to share their hobby through to activities that advocate the sharing or borrowing of resources.”

Examples of ways visitors can ‘Meet the Locals’ include meeting up with nature-loving Anna and her dog, Ronja, in Norsesund and going for a walk with views of Lake Mjörn, followed by fika on Anna's veranda; enjoying dinner with foodie couple Sigbritt and Calle who live in Fiskebäck, just outside of Gothenburg, for a taste of authentic local cuisine and conversation; and joining yoga-fan Maria for an early morning yoga class at Hagabadet, Gothenburg’s most renowned spa.

For further information see meetthelocals.se and visitsweden.com

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