Responsible tourism: Iceland new year holiday, Northern Lights explorer
This nature-driven short break is run with environmental awareness and consideration wherever possible.
Firstly, guests are situated in the centre of Reykjavik and can choose from a range of hotels that have been chosen specifically for their convenient locations. This means that whenever guests visit the city centre, all sights, restaurants and shops that they are likely to visit are within walking distance. This eliminates the need for transport, therefore reducing the amount of potentially harmful chemicals that cars and buses release into the environment. Should guests want to travel further and book an optional activity that requires a transfer, a bus is used to take many passengers, including those from other hotels, in order to limit the number of vehicles driving to the same activity.
All of the activities focus on showcasing Icelandís fascinating and striking landscape and therefore operate with the preservation of nature as a top priority. Activities that could pose a potential threat to the environment, such as the dolphin and whale watching excursion, operate with especial care and awareness. Whale watching is a famous and popular pastime in Reykjavik due to the magnificent myriad of underwater wildlife that the area has to offer, yet it has become recognised as potentially harmful to wildlife if operated without careful guidelines. For this reason, IceWhale created a Code of Conduct for responsible whale watching in 2015, and the included excursion proudly follows this set of rules and regulations in order to respect and protect the magnificent ocean wildlife.
The available hotels for this trip pride themselves on the traditional cuisine that is served in their own hotel restaurants. For example, Fosshotel has an extremely popular restaurant that serves fresh Icelandic produce and moulds its menu in order to reflect the current season. It also boasts a beer garden that serves a selection of traditional Icelandic sausage and of its own draught beer. Allowing guests to try local and Icelandic cuisine is a truly enriching experience and educates guests on Icelandic traditions and culture. Whatís more, serving local food greatly benefits the local community from a monetary point of view as local food suppliers profit from restaurants serving their produce, as do any other companies involved the trade.
As guests are in Reykjavik for New Yearís Eve, there are a number of traditional activities that they can participate in. They are advised to book a dinner in the old town, putting them in the perfect location for admiring the customary fireworks that will fill the sky. This integrates guests with the locals and encourages them to appreciate Icelandic traditions on this day of worldwide celebration. Guests are also highly likely to spend their money in local restaurants, bars and cafes, not only on this evening but for the duration of their stay, as each day is left free of activities. Guests, therefore, give to local businesses financially as they invest in their services, aiding local companies and enterprises.