Northern Lights, Hiking Fjords, Oyster Safaris
June 2022 | By Debra Loew | 4 minute read
Following a two-year period of travel quarantines and restrictions, it’s clear that not only are travelers ready to get back out there but that the pause in travel may also have contributed to a shift in how they want to travel. According to a report published by the World Travel & Tourism Council, 83 percent of travelers said they want to travel more sustainably in the future.
Reflective of this renewed focus on sustainable travel, The European Travel Commission together with The Nordic Council of Ministers is working to attract this market with a new marketing campaign.
The Nordics, a coalition of the seven Nordic tourism boards of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, wants to remind travelers of the region’s myriad attractions in the hopes it will help bolster post-pandemic travel bookings.
The campaign is focused on attracting travelers who are looking to both broaden their minds and develop new perspectives while connecting with local culture, eating local food, enjoying nature, and experiencing local traditions – all in a responsible manner.
“From mountains, volcanoes and glaciers to fjords, lakes, forests, and black sand beaches, to progressive, environmentally-minded cities, The Nordics offer extraordinary landscapes and experiences for travelers,” said Christina Koontz, U.S. Project Manager for The Nordics. “Collectively, we recognize the fragility of our natural environment – our greatest asset – and are determined to both provide sustainable tourism solutions and educate our visitors to ensure future generations of residents and visitors alike can enjoy our breathtaking destinations.”
A few highlights of travel experiences by country include:
Home of 41 national parks, three million saunas and outdoor activities such as off-road cycling and ice-skating, is planning to become carbon neutral by 2035. Visitors here often cross the Arctic Circle whether by snowmobile, husky sled, or reindeer sleigh. If that isn’t enough, Finland also ranks first in the list of ten happiest countries globally, according to the 2022 Happiness Report.
A perfect vantage point to enjoy the northern lights, this environmentally friendly destination boasts 80 percent of hotels in the capital city of Stockholm that are accredited for sustainability by a third-party certification body and the city of Gothenburg, which has been named one of the world’s most sustainable destinations in the Global Destination Index for almost five years. For those looking to add a cultural stop, The Gothenburg Museum of Art is an art lover’s dream featuring works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, and Monet, along with many famous Swedish artists and contemporary artists.
In addition to hiking the fjords, visitors can travel along the coast by sailing on hybrid-electric boats. Birders can head to The Faroe Islands where they will find more than 350 different animal species or enjoy a farm tour where the term homemade takes on a whole new meaning with a meal featuring sustainable food straight from the host’s own farm.
From farm to table, visitors here can enjoy a sea-to-table oyster safari in the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea. On land, visitors can enjoy miles of bike paths and skate parks. The country’s commitment to sustainability extends to its secondary use for a waste-to-energy plant — a ski slope! Known locally as Copenhill, this man-made ski slope allows locals and visitors to enjoy skiing without leaving Copenhagen while also helping the country in its continued sustainability and green initiatives.
This under the radar Nordic country offers the perfect location to enjoy everything from icebergs and glaciers to kayaking against the midnight sun while enjoying the summer and northern lights. Travel here is expected to increase in 2024 with the introduction of a 4.5-hour flight from New York.
Geothermal pools, wildlife, and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two UNESCO Global Geoparks make this one of the most sustainable destinations in the world. If that isn’t enough, the country is aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 at the latest. Visitors to Iceland are encouraged to do their part by taking the Icelandic Oath to be responsible tourists by calculating and offsetting their carbon footprint.
Ready for your Nordic adventure? Your Ensemble travel advisor can help plan the perfect sustainable journey.
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