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Sustainable Arctic Tourism Association


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STS - The Mountain Hut of Grovelsjon, Sweden

We started to source-separate waste as early as 1993, a very symbolic action because the community’s refuse collection wasn’t completely organized. We were even reported for recycling too much paper! The fact is that the contractor was paid less for our garbage. …

Today the contractor is very grateful to the diligence we showed. Now he’s taking care of all recycling and has also improved his work environment. We, on the other hand, have become experts in recycling and a dialogue partner to the community. It has contributed so that the community has become really good at source-separation.

Fjällhästen AB, Lapland, Sweden

Fjällhästen AB offer horseback riding excursions in Lapland. A certain percentage from each package tour they sell goes to a project for saving the Arctic fox. The company operates near Arctic fox habitat – although the animal has become almost extinct in northern Scandinavia. Fjällhästen staff discuss the problems regarding the Arctic fox with their guests and in this way help to spread information on this endangered species. They also take care to avoid sensitive areas during their horseback trips. The guests are impressed and proud of being able to be part of the Arctic fox project.

Lapplandsafari, Lapland, Sweden

Lapplandsafari (WWF Award Winner), a Sami company, also supports the project and both these operations are listed on the official Arctic Fox Project website – responsibility towards nature and good-will marketing for the companies as well.

Rid I Jorm, Sweden

Rid I Jorm, Sweden, is active in a project to save the gyrfalcon in the area. A portion of the price that the guests are paying goes straight to the project. In return, we receive information about what is happening, the actions which are taken and quite a lot of marketing. Our guests think that it’s very exiting to hear about what’s going on and are satisfied to know that they are contributing to the rescue work.

If you are not educated in nature conservation you can start to co-operate with someone who is. It’s also good to complement with different education and courses. For instance, we are co-operating with a school that includes its course on Mountain Ecology with us and from which we have learned a lot. Much of the information such as inventories of species of vegetation can be found at forestry companies and authorities.


Because of the fact that we are located in a national park and have to apply for sanction for our business, it’s important to us to have close and good cooperation with nature conservators, owners of reindeers and authorities. It leads to the possibilities of exchanging information and experiences with all participants. For instance the nature conservators participate in our tour riding once a year to see how we act in nature.

We, on the other hand report to them what’s happening in the area. Our cooperation has been working out very well. By showing that we handle things well, we achieved an expanded sanction for our business in the national park.

Mountain Quest Adventure Company

Mountain Quest Adventure Company of Alberta outlines their policy for sustainability. “Our agenda is to have everyone leave with a higher environmental conscience”.

  • We follow ecotourism guidelines.
  • We use local suppliers as much as possible for lunches, transportation and other supplies.
  • We use local guides and support people as much as possible
  • We educate people about the park’s mission and mandate, and the importance of properly managing these special areas.
  • We work with researchers and, on occasion, park employees, to help with program delivery and design.
  • We go to places that are away from the high human use.

Isle of Mull Wildlife Expeditions, Scotland

David Woodhouse is a founding member of an organization called Holiday Mull of which his business is also a member. The aim of the organization is to bring businesses together to market Mull as a tourism destination. ... Through Holiday Mull, David and others in the group have initiated a visitor tree-planting scheme. Planting will take place during the busy Easter season and will give visitors the opportunity to plant a native tree on Mull.

Quoted from Greening Scottish Tourism: Ten Best Practice Case Studies

Canadian Mountain Holidays

“taking the time to understand our business; looking at commercial tourism operators as positive contributions to the park, rather than negatives...looking for opportunities to work together...most of this occurs through regular meetings during the off-season, and regular meetings on-site with Parks staff during the season.”

Kluane National Park/Vuntut National Park (Yukon)

“The most important collaborations are formal meetings with affected operators. The guidelines and issues discussed at these meetings are directly related to fulfilling our mandate to protect the resource. These meetings are used to explain the rationale and process behind the resource protection must be prepared to identify and stand by your bottom line, and you must be prepared to change if/where possible.”

Nahanni River Adventures (Northwest Territories)

“The Nahanni River Outfitters Association relations have ‘developed’ in a spirit of trust and open communications. Small number of members (4 – 5) meet yearly and communicate by phone and email during the season with Nahanni National Park.”

Uncommon Journeys, Yukon

“...As active members of the Wilderness Association of the Yukon we have been vocal supporters of efforts to protect the Yukon’s precious landscape and fauna. In fact twice a year we submit trip reports to the Department of Renewable Resources to help provide data used in determining the carrying capacity of the areas in which we travel.

It is our hope that our efforts will ensure that in time, your grandchildren will be able to visit the Yukon and feel the same awe that you do; as you experience this pristine wilderness with us for the first time.”

Lapplandsafari: Traditional Sami Cultural Camp

…we went collecting useful information in the area, such as measuring old edifices, taking photographs, visiting museums and talking to old people and relatives to obtain as much information and knowledge as possible. It was also important to find somewhere where the camp could fit into nature and with the right conditions – a spring, fishing grounds and hunting grounds – exactly as Sami were thinking 100 years ago.

The perfect place was located in a nature reserve. We thought it would be a bit tricky because of all the strict rules about construction work and commercial business in protected areas. But we had no problem with that, thanks to all the excellent information we had found. We had, without knowing it, taken into account all the aspects that are required for a sustainable tourism project – the ecological, the social/cultural and the economic effects and benefits. The authorities considered the project favourable to the nature reserve.

Ecomertours Nord-Sud Inc., Québec

Adventure Travel and Ecotourism Best Practices Tour 2000, The Economic Planning Group of Canada on behalf of The Canadian Tourism Commission, July, 2000

Our naturalist is a certified biologist who is still continuing with her reading and research, which is necessary so that she can have an in-depth knowledge of the fauna and flora of each of the sites we visit and of the history of these places. She attends the training program of the Marine Mammal Active Observation Network, offered at the beginning of the season. As well, our biologist trains the hospitality employees in biology for when they accompany the passengers on their day excursions.

Polar Sea Adventures, Pond Inlet, Nunavut

Because we use the land as part of our business we have a vested interest. We exercise self-regulation regarding wildlife viewing – careful not to harass wildlife. Show our clients how fragile the Arctic is – places where footprints remain from one year to the next. Licensed operators can play a vital role in exposing bad practices and therefore aid appropriate agencies in enforcement of regulations.

Working with Parks

Mingan National Park reports their operators provide “real involvement and support to the preservation mandate of the park (e.g. operators report wrong-doing from visitors.)”

Algonquin Outfitters: “We also cooperate with park management in enforcement activities – sharing information, providing canoes for ‘undercover’ work, etc.”

Missinaibi Headwaters: “We are the eyes and ears on the river, alerting park management to infringements of the park operating plan. These come from logging encroachments, garbage etc.”




SAT - Sustainable Arctic Tourism


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