Swedish Welcome’s history
It started with a small group from Småland who wanted to be the best. The best at taking care of their guests. It continued with a larger group of entrepreneurs, destinations and partners who wanted to help develop Swedish tourism in quality and sustainable development.
A gold digger’s crazy ideas
A group of Småland entrepreneurs ventured out into the world to look for the best tourist experiences. One of them is gold digger Rolf Guldström, who travelled to New Zealand and came home with the idea of quality assuring Swedish tourism.
Standing on the shoulders of others
Some passionate tourism developers turned logs and stones to find further methods for inspiration. They found VisitScotland and Green Tourism as well as Qualmark in New Zealand who had all started to work systematically with the concepts of ‘guest satisfaction’ and ‘sustainable development’.
With a solid foundation from Scotland began construction of something new – the world’s first integrated framework for assessing guest experience and sustainable development. Swedish sustainability organisations such as The Natural Step, Sleep Well, Svanen, KRAV, Nature’s Best and many others contributed their knowledge.
West Sweden Tourist Board laid the foundation with ‘Hållbar besöksnäring’ (Sustainable tourism). Some regions showed great interest and a group of experienced Scottish advisors conducted the first advisor visits. In 2012, the first 100 pilot companies helped to lay the foundations for the finished Swedish Welcome method.
Certification with Swedish Welcome
The method was ready for Swedish conditions – a unique integrated approach that contributes to a better guest experience and the sustainable development of Swedish tourism. Swedish advisors were employed and the method used to certify accommodation and visitor experiences by a membership organization owned by the association Swedish Welcome.
Development method Swedish Welcome
West Sweden Tourist Board took back the administrative operation and now provides, together with other regional Swedish Welcome members and partners, the opportunity to use the method to develop tourism operators. The analysis and advice is delivered by authorised advisors and the development of Swedish tourism continues around the country.