The Swedish Tourist Association (STF) and is a not for profit member organisation with roughly 240,000 members. The purpose of the organisation is to promote tourism in Sweden, and encourage more people to explore the country. The organisation runs over 250 travellers’ hostels, hotels, mountain stations and mountain cabins from north to south.
The activities of STF are mainly funded through revenue from the accommodation facilities, and through membership fees. The STF Group comprises the parent organisation STF and the wholly owned subsidiary STF AB.
STF was formed in 1885 and even in those early too the purpose was to get more people to explore Sweden. One of the association’s first missions was to make the Swedish mountains accessible to visitors. In 1887, the first hiking trails were marked out and in 1899 plans began for the King’s Trail between Abisko and Kvikkjokk.
STF built the first mountain cabin in 1888. It was a hut on Varvek River on the trail between Kvikkjokk and Sulitelma. Since then and network of mountain facilities has been developed, which is spread along the trails that cross large parts of the mountain range.
The King’s Trail between Abisko and Ammarnäs is the longest and best known hiking trail in Sweden. It is over 400 km long and was created by STF at the beginning of the 20th century. Along the trail there is a system of mountain stations, travellers’ hostels and mountain stations which facilitate a stay in the mountains. Today, STF has 16 mountain cabins along the King’s Trail. The cabins are located at suitable one-day stages of about 10 to 20 km. Between Kvikkjokk and Ammarnäs there are no STF cabins, but other accommodation is available.
STF created the first trails in the mountains, but nowadays it is the County Administrative Board that is responsible for the trails. The County Administrative Board maintains facilities such as bridges and wind shelters, and marks out winter and summer trails in the state trail system.