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 experience in Sweden, Finland, Norway or Estonia 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.
The great majority of our experiences are accessible by public transport and we encourage you to make use of this as much as possible. We provide detailed guidance on how to travel to all our experiences, including how to book train and bus connections where these exist.
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 keep our use of paper resources to a minimum.
Ice Skating on Natural Ice. Photo: Pauline Swain.
Nature Travels and the Marine Conservation Society
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 the past, this has included conservation projects dedicated to the White-tailed Sea Eagle, Arctic Fox and Wolf in the Nordic Countries and a wildlife rescue centre in the UK.
Discover Wilderness Canoeing in Rogen. Photo: Sebastian Nufer.
Since 2015, we have been supporting the Marine Conservation Society, both through an annual corporate donation and through collecting voluntary donations from our guests.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is a charity working for the protection of marine ecosystems in the UK and worldwide, including habitat protection, turtle conservation programmes and sustainable fisheries management.
Self-guided Sea Kayaking in Bohuslän. Photo: Jed Richards.
Nature Travels and the Forest Credits Scheme
Climate change is one of the most serious and urgent environmental problems we face. For travel within the destination countries, the great majority of our experiences are accessible by public transport and we provide detailed information and assistance to encourage you to choose these options rather than taking a domestic flight.
However, we recognise that, depending on where the experience is located and where you are travelling from (the countries we offer are much easier to reach without flying for our guests from Europe than from those in Australia), you may well be flying for at least some of your trip, and of course all travel has at least some environmental impact.
Timber Rafting on Klarälven. Photo: David Hocking.
Through our partnership with Rainforest Concern's Forest Credits scheme, you have an opportunity to reduce this impact. When booking, we offer the option to include a small donation, which is forwarded to the Rainforest Concern Forest Credits programme.
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.
Discover Dog Sledding in Lapland. Photo: Ian Cameron.
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 carbon offsetting initiatives, we offer our customers an opportunity to reduce the climate impact of their trip by supporting climate change mitigation programmes.
Backcountry Skiing and Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland. Photo: Tristan Hale.
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.