Lapland holiday, Muonio Winter Adventure at Christmas

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Date
Price
Basis
22 Dec 2016
£ 1595
including UK flights
Full
 
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Lapland holiday, Muonio Winter Adventure at Christmas

Environment

Tourism in Finnish Lapland has become a major source of employment and income, replacing traditional industries such as forestry. For this reason, we must take a great deal of responsibility - socially, environmentally and economically - in these remote areas of natural beauty. We fully appreciate the impact of tourist visits to local communities and their residents and strive to ensure that our trips have a positive effect.

This holiday operates in the beautiful, unspoilt areas of Finnish Lapland. For this reason, we ensure that all guides implement a strict leave no trace policy and ensure that this is followed for the duration of your holiday. All activities are operated by knowledgeable, local guides who have a wide understanding of the region.

The winter cottage accommodation has been designed to be in keeping with the traditional architecture found in the region and all cottages are small and single storey. They have been built using sustainable wood supplies.

Where snowmobiles are used, the group sizes are limited and the routes are all kept strictly to marked and maintained trails to ensure that any impact is minimised. The snowmobiles are all very modern and have efficient engines which are serviced regularly to lower emissions. Snowmobiles are not just a ‘hobby’ in Lapland they are an essential means of transport and keep remote communities in contact with one another. The road infrastructure in Lapland is very limited and so the machines have been adopted as a means of efficient and low-impact transportation. They have also enabled Sami reindeer herders to continue herding in the traditional way as they have been able to make the process efficient enough to remain financially viable in the modern world.

The alternatives to snowmobiles would in most cases be large, off-road vehicles that produce high levels of gas emissions. Snowmobiles are not operated in any protected areas.

Activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are very low impact environmentally and the guides make a major point of ensuring that their guests are informed about the flora and fauna that they encounter as well as information regarding its fragility or conservation.

The welfare of the huskies and reindeer used during the safaris in Muonio is of paramount importance and they are all kept to excellent standards and in line with all legislation and veterinary standards.
Throughout the holiday transfers are shared in order to reduce unnecessary use of vehicles.

Community

Lapland is a region that has suffered a great deal of rural-urban migration and the area around Muonio has not been spared. Tourism provides a central means of employment and a range of roles and careers that have offered opportunities to local young people.

Our activity guides at Muonio all work for a locally owned and family run company who have invested in the area heavily over the years and have nurtured young guides for decades.

Obviously, with an influx of visitors into a remote region, it is vital the traditions and culture of the region are preserved. Our Muonio holiday includes a visit to a reindeer farm and manor house which is a prime example of how tourism is helping to preserve the cultural traditions. The reindeer farm in question is one of the oldest farmsteads in Lapland and has been preserved due to the money from tourism; it now operates guided tours and a small museum as well as a range of reindeer safaris. Guests can really learn a huge amount about this little-known culture and the importance of the animals to the region.

Throughout the holiday guests will get to sample local cuisine and may have the chance to purchase traditional handicrafts, providing them with further insight into life in the region. The fact that the guides are typically all local also means that our guests can get a firsthand understanding of day to day life in the Arctic.

The money that is put into the local economy by our guests does not leak elsewhere in Finland as the companies we work with are locally owned which means that the benefits of tourism are felt in the local area, provide further employment via the multiplier effect and then also benefits the preservation of the wilderness areas which attract the tourists in the first instance.

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