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Tourism

Sweden and the Swedish tourism industry have a well-developed infrastructure that compares favourably with the international arena. Sweden has a very well developed highway system and an excellent network of rail, ferry and air transportation. The country also has a tourism profile that is well suited to the demands of travellers from any country. Sweden is a sparsely populated welfare society where everything functions smoothly. Its large areas of untouched land, from the environmental point of view, are free for visitors to roam in.
Both Sweden's nature and culture are considered exotic by many foreign visitors. Sweden is also a safe country to visit, free from political unrest and natural disasters.

Sweden has long been considered an expensive country. But due to the devaluation of the Swedish krona in November 1992, Sweden has become more affordable for travellers from most countries in and beyond Europe. As awareness of the new price levels grows, the impression of Sweden as an expensive destination is being toned down.
 
Stockholm, the capital, is being marketed as "Beauty on Water". It is situated on 14 islands and its water is so pure one can both bathe and fish in the heart of the capital. Stockholm was founded in the 13th century, and had in 1995 some 1.5 million inhabitants (including the suburbs). In Stockholm's Gamla Stan or Old Town one can still find many buildings dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The Old Town also features a variety of cafes, restaurants and shops.
 
Lapland and Norrbotten in northern Sweden attract those seeking experiences in open and untouched nature in Europe's best-preserved wilderness. Due to the fact that a major portion of the area lies above the Arctic Circle, there is perpetual daylight during the summer months. Here can be found endless opportunities for outdoor activities and adventurous hiking in the mountains, fishing, riding, shooting, cross-country and downhill skiing, dog sleighing and much more. Many Swedish Sami (Lapps), known for their herding of reindeer, beautiful handicrafts and strong cultural traditions, live in the area. The area also includes Sweden's tallest mountain, Kebnekaise, whose peak stretches 2,111 metres above sea level.
 
Sweden Vacation
Tourism is an industry of vital importance to the economy and employment in many parts of the country. There are approximately 20,000 businesses engaged in tourism in Sweden, directly employing some 200,000 people.
Tourism today accounts for as many full-time jobs as the pulp, paper and printing industries combined. More than half the turnover is directly accounted for by operations within the tourism industry itself, e.g. transportation, hotels and restaurants, while the remainder is attributable to other areas, such as the grocery and other retail trades and travel by private car.
 
The Sami people in Sweden
Two thousand years ago, the Sami inhabited all of present-day Finland. They also lived in coastal areas around the Gulf of Bothnia and the Atlantic Ocean, all the way from central Norway, north to the White Sea, in what is now Russia. The oldest archaeological discoveries were found along the coast of the Arctic Ocean in northern Norway and are about 10,000 years old. Evidence of later human habitation has been found throughout Sápmi. It is likely that these are the remains of a people who later came to be called Sami.

Their society consists of family groups (siida) which live and utilise natural resources together. The families move between summer and winter pasture areas. But they often have one or two homes in the vicinity of these pastures, where they live permanently. Today, reindeer breeding is organised in Sami villages. There are 43 of these in all.

To the Sami, the concepts of handicraft and art are intertwined. Everyday items, some of them still in use today, not only had a practical function but were designed to be aesthetically pleasing. The drum of the noaidi was not only a musical instrument, but also an artist's image of the worlds of men and gods. The kolt, the traditional outer garment of the Sami, is not only functional and warm, but is also a beautiful example of textile art, with its embroidery work and bright colours. The shape and appearance of such everyday objects as knives, bowls and harnesses are as important as their functionality. Typical Sami materials include reindeer horn, wood and leather goods.
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NordicHouse in Krakow is a consulting company, which was created with the purpose of initiating and developing the interregional cooperation between the Nordic countries and the Southern Poland through promotion of contacts for business, tourism and culture.
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