For holiday destinations across the world, the environmental and social impact of tourism is huge. While the influx of tourists presents multiple opportunities for local value creation and employment, it also has negative impacts. These include increased pollution, damage to the landscape and disturbance to local communities.
“Sustainable Destination” certification is awarded to destinations in Norway that are working systematically to reduce the negative impact of tourism. In order to be certified, a destination must preserve local nature and culture, strengthen social values, demonstrate political commitment, have effective management, and be economically viable. Each of these five criteria has sub-criteria and indicators that make it clear which actions to take. Read more about sustainable tourism in Norway.
Eateries in sustainable destinations must have a certain percentage of locally produced food and beverages on their menus. Lyngenfjord has put together a local food guide to showcase food and beverage producers, eateries and catering companies in the region. The guide compiles detailed information to make it easy for inhabitants and visitors alike to find locally produced delicacies such as the region’s renowned lamb and whisky.
Sustainable destinations must also have an overview of modes of transport and how tourists move around. Lyngenfjord is collaborating with several experience providers and the cluster Winter Experiences Northern Norway on the Arctic Route wintertime bus service. The aim is to streamline transport in the Tromsø region, reduce emissions, and make it easier for visitors to Tromsø to come to Lyngenfjord and enjoy activities such as ice climbing and a visit to the world’s northernmost whisky distillery.
Tourists are increasingly choosing tour operators that focus on sustainability. Tour operators can recommend any Norwegian destination certified as sustainable, secure in the knowledge that the destination is working continually to advance sustainability – economically, socially and environmentally – while providing an excellent experience.
Lyngenfjord has enjoyed strong growth in recent years, especially during the Northern Lights and skiing season. It is expanding its portfolio of summer activities as well as activities for the shoulder seasons in the effort to exploit the full potential for value creation and ensure year-round employment.
It is also finding ways to minimise the impact of activities on the environment. A project is underway to make more sustainable paths for mountain biking.
Photos from top: MTB – Anna Ribelova; Fish – Villkokken Berit Bjørnholt; Ice climbing – Jan Oliver Koch