Responsible tourism: Sweden holiday, Lulea Archipelago in Autumn
Brändön Lodge overlooks the Bay of Bothnia, a lesser-known area of Sweden’s coast. Its brackish waters sustain a variety of seals and freshwater fish, as well as a vast number of seabird species. In addition, the islands of the Luleå Archipelago are home to a rich selection of Scandinavian flora and fauna. Our insistence on using highly experienced local guides on boat and forest tours ensure that these natural environments are treated in a knowledgeable and respectful manner, remaining unspoilt. Those heading on excursions to forage for berries and mushrooms are instructed how to do so responsibly, preventing damage to precious wild resources.
A ‘no trace’ philosophy is implemented throughout the trip, at all locations. Walking around the Gammelstad Church Town, visitors are made fully aware of its historical significance, which instils an overall respect for the location. They are taken on a specially guided route which allows them to appreciate this World Heritage Site without interfering with its environment.
On the whole, we keep group sizes small and use collective transfers to minimize traffic and emissions.
Basing trips around local experiences is central to our company practice, and this is no less the case in Brändön. Guides from the area are present throughout the trip, from greeting those arriving and showing them around Gammelstad, to touring the archipelago and foraging in the woods. Visitors consequently receive an authentic native experience, added to by their stay at the locally owned Brändön Lodge.
The food served at the lodge is all regionally sourced, as is that served at open fire cooking experiences and several surrounding restaurants. All in all, this local emphasis results in a positive economic effect on the community. As always, we make it a point to pay suppliers a fair price.
Like many of our other Lapland holidays, this introduces participants to the Sámi people. We are proud to promote Sámi handicrafts and artistry, both of which are culturally valuable sources of income for their community. In keeping with the focus on traditional practices, we also take participants to meet a local fisherman, building awareness and support for a longstanding industry.