Frequently Asked Questions

Invest Stockholm is the official investment promotion agency and assists and informs corporate investors about business opportunities in the Stockholm region. Invest Stockholm offers advice and practical assistance, free of charge, to companies interested in setting up or expanding business in Stockholm.

Stockholm Business Alliance is a partnership of 53 municipalities with the purpose to strengthen the joint resources in the effort to attract foreign investments to the Stockholm region. The SBA partnership is promoted through one common brand: Stockholm – The Capital of Scandinavia.

SBA is a project run by politicians of the region and operations are run by Invest Stockholm in close cooperation with partnering municipalities.

Invest Stockholm is a subsidiary to Stockholm Business Region, which is wholly owned by the City of Stockholm. The members of the board at the parent company Stockholm Business Region are the city’s leading politicians.

Visit Stockholm is the official tourism promotion agency of Stockholm. The aim is to increase international tourism and further promote Stockholm as host for corporate meetings, incentive travel, congresses and events. Visit Stockholm is a subsidiary of Stockholm Business Region and is owned by the City of Stockholm. Stockholm Business Region stands behind the city brand Stockholm – The Capital of Scandinavia.

Visit Stockholm works to:

  • Increase the number of leisure travellers. This includes promoting the city as a destination for LGB-travel and cruise ships.
  • Bring corporate meetings, incentive travel, and conventions to Stockholm
  • Bring events to Stockholm
  • Providing tourist services and service to international media.

Stockholm appeals to the global traveler who is environmentally and socially involved. The typical Stockholm traveler has already been to other cities and wants to experience something different. The typical visitor prefers unusual, enriching experiences in genuine destinations. It is an experienced traveler and has high demands for availability and service. It is important with experiences that broaden their horizons and give them stories to take home. They are used to looking for information and booking travel online.

Within the leisure travel segment, marketing is aimed primarily at the DINK segment – couples who travel without children. This includes LGB-travel and Cruise segments.

Within the business travel segment, marketing is aimed primarily to the core business segments of Stockholm and the target group markets. That is corporate meetings, incentive travel and conventions.

Overnight stays have increased by more than 50 per cent in the last ten years, and in 2013, Stockholm had close to 11 million commercial overnight stays. International visitors mainly come from Germany, followed by Great Britain, the USA, and Norway.

More facts and figures on the tourism and hospitality industy.

Stockholm is one of Europe’s top ten destinations. Stockholm is also one of the fastest growing regions in Europe as judged by its ninth place ranking in the European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report 2012. Overnight stays have increased by 50 per cent in the last ten years, and in 2013, Stockholm had close to 11 million commercial overnight stays. International visitors mainly come from Germany, followed by Great Britain, the USA, and Norway.

How is the tourism and hospitality industry going to develop in Stockholm over the next ten years?

The goals for the tourism and hospitality industry in Stockholm are to, by 2020:

  • Increase the number of commercial overnight stays by 50% to 15 million
  • Increase the workforce by 50%
  • Increase the financial inflow from the industry by 80%

The goals were set in 2011 in the joint Stockholm Strategy 2020 (Stockholmsstrategin 2020) project at the initiative of Visit Stockholm, Visita, Swedavia, Visit Sweden, and about 40 public and private sector companies. The Archipelago Strategy (Skärgårdsstrategin 2020) aims to turn the archipelago into an attractive all-year-around destination.

Short-term, both good and poor economies affect tourism. In recessionary times, people tend to travel to nearby markets and take fewer long-haul trips and fewer business trips.

Stockholm – The Capital of Scandinavia is a position statement that distills the strengths of the Stockholm region and packages Stockholm’s image – it is a message, not an identification of the sender or a physical designation.

The decision to devise a new position statement was made in 2003 when representatives of the City of Stockholm, under the leadership of Mayor Annika Billström, determined that Stockholm needed a strong brand in order to measure up to international competition. Julian Stubbs, a British brand consultant who had fallen in love with Stockholm, was commissioned to identify a strong position for the city. The position statement, Stockholm – The Capital of Scandinavia, was launched in 2005 at the end of a two-year strategy project.

Elected representatives, civil servants, private enterprise, and organizations, along with 53 municipalities in the region, have a common, express ambition for how the region wants to be perceived internationally. This ambition begins with the position statement, Stockholm - The Capital of Scandinavia. The Stockholm Business Region (SBR), along with its two subsidiaries, Invest Stockholm and Visit Stockholm, are tasked with coordinating and managing the brand.

Almost all cities promote their advantages in order to attract people and investment to the city – a kind of marketing called positioning. This is accomplished by trying to create a space in the minds of the target group. Positioning involves deliberately communicating the unique advantages of a place along with the values and messages the place wants to be associated with. Positioning works like conventional product marketing – it must be unique, easy to remember, and it is not cleared with competitors before it is launched.

You must be consistent and take a long-term approach to reach a desired position. It is important that the position sticks in the mind and leaves an impression on the recipient. As a city, place, and region, there is much to be gained by having a strong position. When Stockholm becomes an increasingly attractive destination and a sought-after climate for international investors, this in turn generates jobs and enables the region to improve and develop public services for the people who live here.

SBR is working with partners strategically and long-term to put the Stockholm region on the international map. This may involve gathering, organizing, and offering information to investors, visitors, and journalists, or providing platforms and meeting places for various kinds of stakeholders. It is accomplished via personal networks, trade shows and seminars, promotional campaigns, websites/social media, printed and video material, etc.

A Swedish translation of the word capital does not mean only capital city, but also main and significant. To the rest of the world, Scandinavia is the most recognizable geographical term for our region, as shown in guidebooks, websites, and other descriptions.

The message is based on three main arguments, which are in turn based on sources, facts, and logical arguments:

  • Central - Stockholm is centrally located and is the largest city in Scandinavia
  • Business – Stockholm is the economic center of Scandinavia
  • Culture – Stockholm sets the tone of arts and culture in Scandinavia

The values the region is associated with are openness and sustainability. The Stockholm region is also perceived as an innovative and trendy city.

Stockholm is the most centrally located and largest city in Scandinavia. The region has a population of 3.5 million. There are 25 institutions of higher learning here. In 2010, the EU named Stockholm the first Green Capital of Europe. There are seven ports and five international airports in the region. There is a wide array of arts and culture here and a wealth of experiences counted in the number of restaurants, events and concerts, as well as several unique attractions like the Vasa Museum and Fotografiska.

The city’s tourism and hospitality industry is thriving and accounts for more than 40% of the industry for all of Scandinavia. Last but not least, Stockholm is known as the place where the Nobel Prize, the Polar Prize, and the Water Prize are awarded. These are only a few examples of why the position statement Stockholm – The Capital of Scandinavia is true. Read more »

The position statement is aimed at investors and business locators, entrepreneurs, and companies that want to invest in the region. In tourism and hospitality, the target group includes business travelers, convention, event, and meeting planners, and tourists. SBR and its subsidiaries are responsible for these target groups.

The City of Stockholm is responsible for the people of Stockholm themselves as a target group.

Stockholm will be the leading sustainable growth region in Europe by 2020.