By Kristy Hanft, owner of Flaneur Travel Co.
From a young age, I’ve had a passion for travel that’s taken me all over the world. I even made a career of it, launching my own luxury travel design company, Flaneur Travel Co. And yet, I am keenly aware of the environmental impact that increased tourism has had on our planet. My recent trip to Scandinavia has reminded me that is possible to explore a destination in a responsible, sustainable way. Here are just a few examples of how Scandinavia is leading the way in sustainable tourism:
In 2020, Sweden was ranked number 1 by the Euromonitor International’s Sustainable Travel Index. This was due largely to the country’s push towards using renewable energy for public transport. As of 2017, all buses, metros, and trains run on 100% renewable energy. While in Stockholm, I took advantage of the city’s convenient ferry service. I was happy to learn that Stockholm is looking to implement a plan that will make all maritime traffic in the archipelago 100% emission-free.
Exploring the fjords of Norway by cruise ship has been long been a bucket list experience for many travelers. During the pandemic, the country took advantage of the pause in cruising by passing laws to decrease the fossil fuel emissions produced by ships. The ultimate goal is to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for fossil fuel emissions by 2026.
During my stay in this beautiful country, I connected with one of my destination partners, 62°NORD. They offer unique hotel stays and tours throughout the Ålesund/Sunnmøre region. This company is committed to sustainable travel, without sacrificing luxury. They arranged for a local adventure guide to meet us at our hotel and lead us on a beautiful hike. She pointed out the flora and fauna of the area and explained Norway’s initiatives for increasing electric vehicles and dealing with invasive species that disrupt the ecosystem. And my oh my, the views!
We stayed at two of the hotels that 62°NORD offers, Hotel Union Øye and Hotel Brosundet. Both of these hotels offer elegant dining experiences that lean heavily on local ingredients. At Hotel Union Øye, “the cuisine takes shape through our close collaboration with local farmers and suppliers, and through paying homage to our culinary heritage”. Working with small local producers should be at the forefront of any ecotourism efforts, and these two properties definitely deliver!
I went to Scandinavia to experience the culture and enjoy the immense beauty that the landscape offers. I was left inspired to continue seeking out sustainable ways to explore our planet so that the next generation can do the same.
If you’re interested in booking a trip to this amazing corner of the earth (or any other corner, for that matter!), I’d love to hear from you. My goal with every client is to design a customized itinerary that will create memories to last a lifetime. firstname.lastname@example.org