Routa travel organises unmotorised and unique nature activities for small groups in Wild Taiga area in Eastern Finland.
Member since: 21 Oct 2010
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- One of our key statements is to co-operate with local people as much as possible. We don't want to hire staff that comes to work for the season and then leaves for another community, thus forming an environmental bubble. Instead, we want to offer work for local people who really wish to stay all year round on this distant area where finding a job may not be that simple. By that way we do our share to keep the local community alive.
- All our subcontractors are local companies and we do our shopping in local shops. Our cuisine is strongly based on local products. I try to gather quite much ingredients from the nature myself (mushrooms, berries, herbs for herbal tea). I also buy berries and mushrooms straight from local people who pick those to earn some extra money. Bread comes from a local bakery.
- Potatoes, other vegetables, wheat and rye flour (sometimes I bother to bake myself) and beef i buy from a small organic farm (actually run by my parents) so I know exactly where the meat comes from and how the cattle is kept. Their farm is an organic one where cattle gets to roam free which is obviously good for the animals as well as improves the taste of the meat.
- When I serve fish, it is either caught by myself or i buy it from a local fisherman. Game meat (elk) comes from a local hunting club. I like to serve elk but not small game meat (like birds) as many of those have quite small populations and I dont want to be part of cutting them down. Elk, instead, has a very rich and healthy population that must be regulated with hunting.
- On our tours we use motor engines only in emergency situations. Our dogsledding routes are mostly following public routes that are kept open for other users (ski-doo's and skiers) as well. We don't see a point making our own ones, especially as the usage of the public ones is very slow and there is plenty of room for everyone. Yet we have some private routes which are only kept open by muscle power; skiing, snowshoeing and of course by driving a dog sled.
- Our traditional log cabin has a very clever central heating system that is mainly operating with wood but also functions with electricity when nobody is at home. Obviously we heat up with firewood as much as possible as it is an environmental-friendly way. During the winter months we keep the temperature inside in about +17 c degrees. When it is minus 30 outside, it makes a huge energy-saving if the cabin is heated up to +17 instead of +23. However, if our quests feel that it is too chilly, there is a nice fireplace in their room which heats up the room very efficiently.
- We want our visitors to experience what the life really is about in our area. The best way to do this is to co-operate with local people. Our subcontractors and people working for us are living in this area all year round. They are the ones who have refused to move in big cities and rather find their living here close to the nature. These people are the best source of local culture and folklore.
- Our area is well known for large carnivores (Lynx, Wolf, Brown Bear, Wolverine) and we often see some of their tracks in the nature. Often customers are very interested about those and we tell a lot about their living and how these animals are, and must be, protected. After the tour we always try to arrange a chance to visit Forest ad Park Services nature centre, where is a very broad exhibition adout these animals and wildlife in general.
- We tell about local sources of livelihood, such as forestry, and we honestly also tell that forestry actions sometimes ruin our nature tourism trails - but both forestry and nature tourism business have room in our area. We also explain about hunting, fishing, berry and mushroom picking, which all are a very important hobby for most of us, and also a source of local, healthy food.
An expert organiser of husky safaris and nature tours in a small region of Eastern Finland, this company specialises in exploring the wilderness in a low-impact way. They might be niche, but they know their stuff!