Photo: Johannes Lovund
Fjord Tours Articles / 6 Feb 2020

Norway: A Top Destination For Sustainable Travel

There is no doubt that the landscape and scenery found in Norway is one of a kind. It might be one of the reasons that the country consistently ranks highly on the UN’s World Happiness Report. Norwegians are known for being an active population that embraces the great outdoors and all it has to offer.

Thankfully, Norwegians support a booming tourism industry that opens up the glorious nature of their country to international visitors. However, they are adamant about ensuring the impact of tourism doesn’t adversely affect the environment.

Norway is getting serious about strategies and policies to combat climate change in an effort to help protect the wide variety of plants and animals that call this country home. Let’s take a look at some of the steps Norway is taking to become a more sustainable travel destination as well as some of the key locations within the country that are leading the way.

Geirangerfjorden ©Øyvind Heen
Photo: Øyvind Heen

Sustainable Destination Designation

Norway is an incredibly welcoming country known for embracing tourists as they visit the stunning destinations within Scandinavia. Tourism is also an important industry in Norway. It makes up for approximately 4.2 % of the country’s GDP and creates 10% of all new jobs in the country. However, Norway has been equally mindful of the impact travel can have on the environment. In order to continue to be a welcoming and thriving tourist destination while also protecting the country’s natural landscape, Norway is taking significant steps to become a more sustainable travel destination.

Most notably, Innovation Norway launched the Sustainable Destination designation in 2013. There are ten key principles for sustainable tourism that must be met in order to qualify for the designation. The destination must work to conserve nature, the environment, and culture. It must also work to strengthen social values. Finally, the destination should promote economic sustainability. In 2018, Innovation Norway’s Sustainable Destination Standard became recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

If you’re planning your trip to Norway and you’re curious about how to make sustainable travel choices, sticking to Innovation Norway’s Sustainable Destinations might be a good idea. Here are a few of the locations that meet the standard.

Roros-Tr.Heim_CH - Visitnorway.com.jpg
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

Røros

This small mining town of Røros is a UNESCO world heritage site. The town has conserved its 17th and 18th-century wooden buildings. You can expect to be warmly welcomed by locals at traditional food markets, farms and shops around the small town. Once you’ve explored the historic mining town, there are three national parks nearby to discover. Dog sledding tours work to promote ecotourism within the area. In addition, visitors can enjoy fishing, cycling, canoeing, and horseback riding in Røros.

You can visit Røros on these two tours: Experience Røros or Hurtigruten & Norway in a nutshell® tour.

002320_Yngve Olsen Saebbe_www.nordnorge.com_Tromsoe.jpg
Photo: Yngve Olsen Saebbe_www.nordnorge.com

Tromsø

Tromsø is called the "Gateway to the Arctic" because it enjoys more Northern Lights than anywhere else in the world. The city also has two whole months of Midnight Sun. Tromsø is the largest city north of the Arctic Circle in the Nordic countries and it is famous for the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun, Polar Nights, the Arctic Cathedral and the University of Tromsø.

We highly recommend experiencing Tromsø and the Northern Lights on the Northern Lights & Norway in a nutshell® tour.

002930 Frank Andreassen Www.Nordnorge.Com
Photo: Frank Andreassen

Longyearbyen & Svalbard

As a part of Norway’s vulnerable Arctic, it’s no surprise that Longyearbyen and Svalbard are also Sustainable Destination certified. These destinations have been hit the hardest by climate change and, as a result, they are now working hard to protect the delicate balance of their ecosystem. A visit to Svalbard island to see the incredible population of polar bears (that actually outnumber the humans on the island!) is definitely a stop worth making. Once you see these incredible creatures, it’s hard not to feel inspired to protect them.

Norway’s unique and stunning landscapes are undoubtedly worth protecting. Arctic regions of the country are already experiencing the devastating impact of climate change. But it’s not too late to turn things around. If you’re looking for ways to ensure that you travel responsibly and sustainably while you are in Norway, we can help! Reach out to our team to go over your options for creating a trip that does its part to help preserve Norway’s beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife for generations to come.

Naroyfjorden Hiking Crop© Sverre Hjørnevik Www.Fjordnorway.Com (Orginal 4795Px)

Fjord Tours & Sustainable Travel

Fjord Tours is Norway’s largest provider of tours and activities. This is something that we are of course very proud of, but we are also aware of the responsibility that comes with it. Although we already focus on eco-friendly travel, which you can read more about in the article Eco-Friendly Travel with Fjord Tours, we are currently working on implementing a Sustainability Strategy for 2020 and the years ahead. We look forward to presenting this strategy which will be posted on our website!