‘It must be joke’: Bitter debate in Sweden over plans to use Camel Park to integrate migrants
Sweden’s second largest city of Gothenburg has invested in a Camel Park saying it will help integrate migrants and turn a depressed neighborhood into a tourist mecca despite strong criticism from politicians, businessmen, and locals.
The Camel Center is expected to be built in Gothenburg’s north-eastern migrant-dominated suburb of Angered, and the major goal of the park would be to create jobs for migrants and ease their integration into Swedish society, the Goeteborgs Posten, a local daily, reports.
Geza Nagy, the man behind the startup, said many migrants from the Middle East and Somalia have “extensive knowledge”of camels, which they will be able to apply in the park. He also expressed his confidence that his Camel Park could become a major tourist destination.
“Tourism will become the largest source of income [for the park]. There is a huge interest in camels both in Sweden and abroad. We expect that tourists will come from all over the world, including Japan and China,”Nagy told the Goeteborgs Posten.
He also said he has the support of local officials, who “have been very positive about this.”
“They [the authorities] really believe in our idea of making Angered a tourist resort,”he added. Nagy went on to say that he plans to build stables and a paddock and purchase camels and alpacas at the first stage of the center’s creation, adding that visitors would be able to pet and ride the camels.