Nordic Unique Travels

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Nordic Unique Travels is a modern travel company specialized on tours on the Arctic circle. We provide a once-in-a lifetime experience for our customers. Each of our tours has been carefully designed to experience a unique and individual experience of the real Lapland. Besides the standard package tours, we also specially customize holiday packages for our customers. Join us to explore Lappish culture and nature, breathtaking Northern Lights or to meet Santa Claus.
Member since: 06 Oct 2019

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

In the past, Lapland had faced high unemployment and consequently depopulation. Recently, with the growth of tourism, the situation has been getting better. However, majority of jobs is season. This is also the situation in our company, although unlike other companies we have a substantial number of all-year-around employees. We do not discriminate workers on any basis, and anybody can be hired to any open position. Our employees are both local and international, but we always make sure that they are familiar with the local culture and provided activities. We prefer that our employees stay with us longer than one season. It is up to the customers, whether they prefer local guides or guides speaking their language.

Our subcontractors, such as husky and reindeer farms, are local and thus we contribute to support the local economy. Our company is family-owned and it, and its permanent employees, contribute fully to the local economies.

The CEO of the company, Jin Zhaoyu, is actively fighting for the protection of human rights and against illegal human organs harvesting in China. With regard to this, she makes a donation to the Amnesty International annually.

Nordic Unique Travels participates and supports charity projects of our partners. For example, in March 2019 we cooperated with Make-A-Wish Foundation and provided free holidays for Elvira and her family (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bu0mSllFRAL/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link).

We closely cooperate with local providers of activities, accommodation, equipment and souvenirs. Our portfolio includes tours to rural areas of Lapland, where tourists can experience the untouched Lappish nature in small locally owned hotels.

Our company is family-owned and it, and its permanent employees, contribute fully to the local economies.

Environmental responsibility

Since the creation of the company, we have been using recyclable materials (cups) and on many tours we have been using reusable equipment. It’s is an ecological outdoor dishware made in Finland, for example resembling locally used cups - kuksa. Kupilka products combine the best of two worlds: wood and man-made materials. They are dishwasher safe, light weight, ecological and made of Kareline natural fiber composite using ecologically produced energy. All our employees follow a strict leave no trace policy and they always make sure that nothing is left also after our guests. For food, we offer local food, such as reindeer sausage or salmon soup. Fortunately, water in Finland is very clean, so we use tap water in refillable bottles in our tours.

In Finland, protection of wildlife and preservation of natural parks is very important and strict. We follow all the rules without exception. For example, municipalities in Finland create and maintain snowmobiles tracks. We run our snowmobiles safaris only on those official tracks. This is both, for safety reasons – e.g. municipalities make sure that ice is thick enough for snowmobile driving, and environmental reasons – to ensure animals have space to live without being disturbed. Our guides also inform clients about the reasons why we use official tracks. The same applies for our cross-country skiing and other activities in the nature.
Another example are campfires. We never lid campfires outside of designated places. We always use those build by the state administration.

Our guides are trained to brief the customers how to behave in the nature.

Our snowmobiles and ATVs are very new (bought last year, respectively this year), well maintained and therefore produce little pollution in compliance with all the current standards.

This summer, we have purchased new electronic fat bikes, so that customer may choose eco-friendly alternative of transportation and activities.

We are a modern company, open to any suggestions how to protect the environment, so that our nature stays clean and beautiful for the future generations.

In the office we are only printing when necessary and if there is any error on 1 page or we no longer need paper with 1 side printed we still reuse it – either we print on the other clean page or use it for internal purposes (notes etc.). We separate paper – the shopping centre where we rent our business premises has separate trash bin for paper.
In order to reduce printed brochures, last season we introduced iPad stands, where customers can see and book our tours. In general , online sales are the most important tool of our sales.

In Rovaniemi, biking is very common. Many of our employees cycle or use public transportation to work, also because parking in the city centre is very expensive. I would even say that using a car to come work is very exceptional among our employees. Also, we rent them apartments, that are close to work, so they even walk.

With regard to our tours, we encourage our customers to use trains instead of plane. Especially between Helsinki and Rovaniemi. As a result, we sell much more train tickets than flights. When we book a flight, it is usually with Finnair that has a Co2 reduction scheme.

Social responsibility

The Sámi people are the only indigenous people of Europe and they live in Lapland. We provide many tours during which our customers can learn a lot about the Sámi culture and history, for example Sámi art workshop or Sámi reindeer farm.

In addition, in our small souvenir store, we sell souvenirs made in Finland and Lapland. All our postcards are made by a local company in Rovaniemi.

We closely cooperate with Visit Rovaniemi, Business Finland and Business Rovaniemi in order to promote responsible and sustainable further development of tourism in Lapland.

We provide basic information about Sámi people on our tours. More detailed information are provided on request. Until now, we haven’t provide such information before trips. However, if this is your requirement, we can do so. Sámi people are the indigenous people of Lapland. In the past, their rights were oppressed, nowadays they have a parliament which acts as their representative body. However, they still face issues endangering their natural way of living. Their main lively hood is reindeer herding and for that they need their vast lands.

As far as I am concerned the local cultures, including Sámi people welcome tourism. Of course, the tourist must behave according to the rules and not to damage the nature. We instruct them accordingly.

As I mentioned above, the Sámi people need their lands. Mining and transportation project such as new cargo railways are great dangers to their lands. They would cut them and spoil them. As a result, Sámi people couldn’t herd their reindeer across fields of Lapland as they use to. Reindeer herding is an essential part of Sámi culture and without it they would not only use their livelihood but also culture. Therefore, Sámi people welcome tourism as it is also one more argument why to preserve Lappish nature.

However, it is also important to say that Sámi people have protested incorrect portraying of their culture. Therefore, we do not advertise our tours as ‘Sámi’, unless they really are. Also, our guides are trained to inform to behave respectfully towards Sámi people, for example not to photograph them outside of tourist sites.

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