Where is Fjärdhundraland located?
Fjärdhundraland is located to the west of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. The destination is in a broad area between cities Västerås, Sala, Strängnäs, Uppsala, Enköping and Stockholm. We focus on genuine, small-scale slow tourism, so the beautiful, rural areas between the cities are of most interest to us. Take a look at the map!
What does "Fjärdhundraland" mean?
The name comes from the Viking/medieval administrative region – "folkland" – of the same name. Read more here!
When was Fjärdhundraland formed?
The association was formed in 2011 as a result of the Leader project Tourism in Fjärdhundrabygden which went on in 2009–2011.
How many members does Fjärdhundraland have?
In August 2022, the association has just over 150 members.
How do you work?
We work from two directions:
We work for you who visit us. We want to make it easy and enjoyable for you who visit us. That's why we ignore old borders and boring stuff like municipalities and counties and focus on making the destination as complete as possible for you as a visitor. We do this by seeing ourselves from the visitors' point of view and creating strong networks. We visit each other, keep curious about how others work and are open to changes in the outside world. This way we can meet you who come and greet.
We are working to develop the area. Fourth Century Country is an economic association owned and run by its members, whose own driving forces are the foundation. These are people with a strong will to do their thing - entrepreneurs, nerds, hometown researchers, artists. We want to create a climate where a variety of strong wills create an interesting whole. The Association's fuel is all the competence and drive that exists with the individual members. By encouraging new collaborations, we create a destination that is larger than the sum of the parts.
How is Fjärdhundraland financed?
Our basic business is funded by membership fees, service fees and participant fees at our events. In addition, we work with a lot of volunteers, because it is fun and gives a lot back! In this way, we manage to run our events and a running economic association that gives value to our members.
When we find calls for projects hat suit us, we apply, and can thus finance development in addition to what we can manage on our own. By working for a limited time focused on an area, with paid project management, we can take further steps in our development.
Who can join?
According to the statutes, the purpose of the association is to work with rural development, for example by running projects, having joint marketing and increasing collaboration between members. The focus is on tourism and small-scale rural enterprise, as well as compatible business. ”
You who have a business that develops the countryside by turning to visitors are warmly welcomed as a member. Our principle is to be open to different types of business. Those who are actively seeking collaborations in the association will benefit most from membership, especially if you are targeting target groups interested in small-scale quality, local production and local development.
Here you can read more about becoming a member.
Can you help me with my new business?
Support for a living countryside
We want to promote a vibrant rural area. That is why we are happy to help you if you want to start a new business that caters to visitors. It is mainly about getting in touch with other members who have made a similar journey as you have before you. When you start, we help you reach out by sharing your posts in social media and taking you to our well-visited web. Send an email to [email protected] or call 0701-73 93 99 and we will talk further.
How do you work with sustainability?
One of the cornerstones of the association is to provide a context for the person who starts a new business, and a platform for those who need to find customers. We associate small businesses with the non-profit and create a climate where there are opportunities to do their thing in a permissive and open context.
We also work for quality, small-scale tourism that grows organically. The goal is for visitors to come with a strong interest in what we can offer, so that our companies and attractions have access to target groups that pay enough for a good supply. In this way, we achieve sustainable growth in tourism and avoid the backs of mass tourism.
Reduced commuting is one of the effects of the growing small business in the area. However, car dependency is great - even for customers who want to visit us. That's why we invest in cycling, with carrot in the form of a discount, bike paths and information.
We have supported our members with information on what opportunities to improve are available, for example. Climate stride. We encourage our members to sell via REKO to improve logistics. We have started a venture to work with nature's places, and there create understanding and knowledge of issues such as climate and biodiversity.
Our socially sustainable, qualitative, small-scale tourism is also environmentally more sustainable, because it does not focus on quantity, but quality.
We measure the economic development of the association in an annual survey, and see a very positive development, with 2018 employing an estimated 100 full-time jobs and a turnover of up to SEK 100 million.
But, not least, it is much easier to start a new business in the area now than it was when our first project started in 2009. Now there is an infrastructure that makes it much easier to reach the specially interested customers who want to pay what is needed so that you can live on your qualitative, small-scale business. By cooperating, we also shop locally, and gain a stronger local economy throughout the area.
Can we come for a study visit or can you come to us?
We gladly receive visits, and tell you about our trip and how we work. A common arrangement is that we visit one or two members, listen to their history, eat something good and then talk about the Fjärdhundraland for an hour - with an inspiring lecture on the lessons we have learned during ten years with and without projects. Get in touch if you want to know more!
Do you want a lecture or workshop with you? Mats Thorburn regularly gives appreciated lectures on rural development, marketing and sustainable projects, based on the lessons learned from Fjärdhundraland. The lectures are adapted to your conditions and wishes. Keep in touch!