Why Erling Haaland is hurting tourism in the Swedish region of Halland
If you Google “Halland”, you will probably not find results or images of the Swedish region, home to around 300,000 people.
Instead, the search engine will ask “did you mean Haaland?”
Norwegian striker Erling Haaland has lit up the Premier League for his new club Manchester City this season, with an astonishing 22 goals in just 15 games.
But his footballing prowess might be overshadowing local tourism in Norway’s neighbour Sweden.
Jimmy Sandberg, the tourism director for Visit Halland, has become frustrated that the region is being buried online.
Sandberg has written an open letter, calling on football supporters and online users alike to make sure they differentiate their spelling.
“Dear football fans of the world, We have a problem. Erling Haalands popularity, and a spelling error, is drowning out our beloved Swedish region of Halland on the internet right now. So please, Haaland fans: give us our hashtag back!” wrote Sandberg.
The tourism director went on to say that that to his despair, “efforts to promote Halland have disappeared.”
“If nothing is done, we fear that our beloved region is at risk of becoming a forgotten Atlantis, a place that is only known in ancient history and scriptures.”
Online comments have been supportive of the tourist board’s effort to promote the region, on Sweden’s west coast.
“Make Halland great again!” wrote one person, while another said “Maybe #haaland will #visithalland and help clarify the difference between the beautiful game vs. the beautiful region.”
According to TripAdvisor, tourists who come to the region can enjoy walks along the coast — or visit museums, beaches and traditional Swedish farms.
Visit Halland has invited Erling Haaland to join his fellow Norwegian holidaymakers and visit Halland this summer.
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