Our Basic Philosophy
At Nature Travels we believe strongly in the protection and conservation of the natural world. We also believe that properly managed tourism can bring direct and lasting benefit to both the culture and environment of the area visited.
We work hard to ensure that your trip to Sweden, Finland or Norway is as environmentally and culturally sensitive as possible, as well as to make sure that you receive the highest standards of customer service while you are there. For these reasons, all our providers are local, small-scale operations with a commitment to responsible tourism.
Ecotourism Begins at Home
Closer to home, we are continually trying to reduce our environmental footprint as a company. We use recycled and recyclable materials where possible and aim to keep our use of paper resources to a minimum.
The Nordic countries are large and beautiful regions, and contain many unique areas of outstanding natural beauty. Because we aim to support and protect the environment, biodiversity and wildlife, we donate 1% of our profits each year to environmental and wildlife conservation with a focus on projects in our destinations and closer to home. In Sweden, this has included projects dedicated to the White-tailed Sea Eagle, Arctic Fox and Wolf. In 2013 and 2014, we chose to support a volunteer organisation local to the Nature Travels office in Dorset - Dorset Wildlife Rescue. Since 2015, we have been supporting the Marine Conservation Society, a charity working for the protection of marine ecosystems in the UK and worldwide, including habitat protection, turtle conservation programmes and sustainable fisheries management. In May 2015, Bob from the Nature Travels team took part in the MCS Sea Kayaking Challenge in the Scilly Isles.
In 2016, we funded the production of "Wild Guide To Our Seas", a booklet used for MCS' environmental education programme in schools.
In 2017 and 2018, we are supporting another information campaign, this time for MCS' Plastic Challenge, aimed at reducing the consumption of SUPs (Single Use Plastics), the waste from which has become an enormous environmental problem.
Nature Travels and Climate Change
Climate change is one of the most serious environmental problems we face, but through Nature Travels you have an opportunity to reduce the impact of your trip. Since Sweden, Finland and Norway are short-haul destinations from the UK, the damage caused by your flight will be less serious than if you chose to holiday in a destination further afield. Of course, all foreign travel has an environmental impact. For this reason, we offer the option to include a small offset in the price of your holiday which is forwarded to Climate Care on your behalf (see here).
Climate Care uses this sum to offset the impact of your trip by investing in climate change mitigation projects such as tree planting and renewable energy research. By choosing to make a contribution you can effectively make your trip "climate neutral" and travel with a much clearer conscience! The offset for travel currently costs just £5.00 per person.
Our Ecotourism Policy
Definition of Ecotourism by The International Ecotourism Society: "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people."
Tourism is often described as the "world's biggest industry" on the basis of its contribution to global GDP, the number of jobs it generates and the number of clients it serves. The rate at which tourism continues to grow presents both opportunities and threats for the conservation of biodiversity and local culture.
Tourism in key biodiversity areas can be both an opportunity for conservation and a threat to biodiversity. Nature Travels believes that carefully planned and implemented tourism can be a sustainable economic opportunity for local communities as well as a successful conservation strategy. Ecotourism can provide income to local people and, by its reliance on healthy ecosystems, offer a powerful incentive to conserve and protect biodiversity. People who earn their living from ecotourism are more likely to protect their natural resources and support conservation efforts.
Our commitment is to offer experiences that have minimum impact on the local environment, culture and resources. We are also committed to ensuring that local communities benefit from our business. All providers of Nature Travels experiences are small-scale local businesses owned and managed by local people. Our customers contribute directly to the economy of the areas they visit.
Nature Travels is deeply committed to the conservation of our natural world and each year we donate 1% of our pre-tax profits to support conservation work in the Nordic countries and in the UK, where the Nature Travels offices are based.
Through co-operation with Climate Care, we offer our customers an opportunity to reduce the impact of their trip on climate change by selling offsets. These balance out the carbon dioxide produced by reducing an equivalent quantity of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making the holiday effectively "climate neutral".
There is a clear need for all of us working in the travel industry to ensure that the positive aspects of tourism are developed and that negative aspects are reduced or avoided by developing a responsible approach to tourism. In this way, tourism can make a real contribution to the long-term future of a country's wildlife, people, culture and heritage.
Tips for the Eco-tourist
- Support companies that employ local people and purchase locally-grown foodstuffs.
- Never touch, chase or harass wildlife.
- When paying locals for goods or services, make every effort to offer a fair price.
- Seek out responsible, environmentally-sensitive accommodation providers.
- Follow all advisories, rules and regulations regarding protected areas, water sources and wildlife habitats.
- Be sensitive to where, how and when you take photographs.
- Learn a few words of the local language and use them when meeting people. See About Sweden, About Norway and About Finland.
- Be respectful of local people's peace, privacy and land.
- Take nothing with you and leave nothing but footprints.
Nature Travels is a member of the Swedish Ecotourism Society.
For just £5.00 you can offset the emissions from your flight from the UK to Sweden, Finland or Norway. Climate Care uses this sum to reduce the impact of your trip by investing in climate change mitigation projects such as tree planting and renewable energy research.
By choosing to make a contribution you can effectively make your trip "climate neutral" and travel with a much clearer conscience! If you do not wish to purchase an offset, please indicate this on your booking form.
Since our cooperation with Climate Care began, our clients have offset 753.74 tonnes of CO2.