Ecotourism in the Nordic Region offers sustainable, experience-rich travel.
50 Degrees North reveals their leading partner hotels and activity providers in the field of sustainable ecotourism. Innovations and Awards include Green Key Certification, White Flag International and the Grand Travel Award for Best Swedish Ecotourism business.
For the Nordic travel wholesaler and tour operator, 50 Degrees North, this year was a great year in the field of sustainable tourism and responsible travel. Several of our accommodation and/or activity providers won sustainability awards or in some other way demonstrated their commitment to ecotourism and innovation. It might come as a surprise that most of them are located in Lapland, also known as 'Europe's last wilderness'.
Not travelling so far afield? Many of our key hotels in larger cities also proudly offer green accreditation such as the Nordic Choice hotels which have all been recently certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 environmental standards.
At the beginning of 2019, 50 Degrees North teamed up with Aurora eMotion, the first and only electric snowmobile (eSled) safari provider in the world. Based near the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Finland, Aurora eMotion's safaris give travellers the chance to experience the beautiful and pristine Arctic nature in a completely new and sustainable way: On an emission-free and silent eSled. This is a very unique way to experience the enchanting Arctic landscape - thrilling yet silent and peaceful.
Read further about how to include Silent Snow-mobile Safaris on your Winter tour.
In 2019, the Sapmi Nature Camp, one of 50 Degrees North's unique accommodation and activity suppliers, won the Grand Travel Award for Best Swedish Ecotourism business. They offer travellers a genuine Sami (indigenous) experience, joining in on everyday activities, such as food preparation and cooking, fishing and reindeer herding, and excursions in nature - all filled with storytelling and learning.
You can visit this Sami camp on one of our Swedish Lapland tours.
Also in February 2019, White Flag International certified the innovative Manshausen, another unique and remote 50DN supplier, as the first plastic-free island in Scandinavia. For nearly a week, a team of divers cleaned the bottom of the sea around Manshausen, successfully removing 300 kilos of waste and plastic. And the work continues! Filled with eco-cabins and pristine waters, Manshausen is an adventure paradise owned by the polar explorer, writer and photographer, Børge Ousland.
You can visit Manshausen on our short 4-day break, White Beaches, Sea and Manshausen tour.
As the year went on, the spotlight returned to Lapland again. In July 2019, another innovative 50DN supplier, the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi, Finland, became the first privately owned hotel in Lapland to achieve the Green Key certification. The certification includes criteria, such as environmental education for staff, clients, and owners; environmental preservation and reduction of environmental impact; economical management by reducing consumption and waste; and taking responsibility beyond the individual establishment. The staff of this family-owned luxury hotel also recently spent a day planting 10,000 pine tree seedlings in the Arctic forests.
You can several tours staying at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel including our Christmas special departure.
In early September, 29|2 Aurland, one of 50 Degrees North's key suppliers in Norway, was featured in the national magazine Aftenposten due to their sustainability efforts. Their aim is to preserve and protect the natural environment and the local community, minimise waste, and to keep their carbon footprint as small as possible. Therefore, they only offer what they term as 'soft adventure' activities, such sharing about the history, culture, and people of Aurland while taking guests on walks in the mountains and the local community, teaching fly-fishing and kitchen gardening, cooking over open fire and eating outdoors, as well as visiting local farms, craft makers and storytellers.
50 Degrees North offers many tours staying at the 29|2 Aurland including active, premium and winter fjords tours.
Finally, one more 50 Degrees North supplier, the Harriniva Wilderness Resort in Finnish Lapland, deserves its own mention as well. Their sustainability and responsibility action plan contains a variety of sustainability goals, including environmental, economic, and social / cultural. At the heart of their operations is the desire to preserve the wilderness and to help the local community thrive. This is demonstrated, for example, by their switch to geothermal heating (saving approximately 200,000 litres of heating oil in a single year) and their choice to serve locally and organically produced food in their restaurants.
Needless to say, sustainable tourism and ecotourism are a key part of 50 Degrees North's philosophy. Our aim is to create and maintain sustainable business practices, partnerships and products that not only provide economic benefits for the local populations in the destinations, but also respect and protect nature, cultural heritage, and local values, with the aim of preserving all of these for future generations.