Sápmi Experience Label Recognizes Excellence in Authentic and Sustainable Tourism
Sápmi Experience Quality Label
Tourism activities under the Sápmi Experience Quality Label are based on the common heritage of the Sámi. Sámi tourism must be sustainable over the long term. This means that tourism must be accepted and established, culturally and socially, in Sámi society, and the host must be able to communicate Sámi values and way of life. Sápmi Experience operators strive for social, cultural, ecological and commercial sustainability. They are companies that respect the integrity of the Sámi culture and work to prevent its objectification. Launched by Visit Sápmi, the Sápmi Experience program promotes responsible practices and unique encounters that “bring joy, pleasure and excitement.”
Sápmi Experience-approved companies include:
- Renbiten: A small Sámi-owned and operated tourism company featuring exclusive Sámi crafts, art and many fine gift ideas, and sharing the stories of Sámi, “the people of eight seasons”. Renbiten specializes in offering travelers the chance to experience the silence, calm and opportunity for the soul to find peace.”
- Njarka Sami Camp: Situated in the Lake Häggsjön region, Åre Municipality, Jämtland, Njarka Sami Camp features a peaceful and harmonious natural setting where reindeer wander freely among the traditional Sámi huts and in the sparse forest. The owners Maud and Mattias Mattsson welcome travelers to experience their land, not by showing you the traditional Sami national clothing, but rather by showing how the Sámi lifestyle looks today.”
- Ájtte – Svenskt Fjäll och Samemuseum (Ájtte Museum in Jokkmokk – the Sami centre): The museum tells the story of Sápmi, the land and the people, of life and survival in a
demanding climate and environment. It is a story set in the wetlands, forests and mountains. A modern and tasteful approach to the Sámi story, the museum offers a great opportunity for travelers to gain knowledge and to explore the culture, history and heritage of the Sámi people.
VisitSápmi is owned by the Swedish Sámi Association. Together with Gaaltije South Sámi Information Centre, Sápmi Experience seeks to promote responsible and sustainable Sámi tourism. VisitSápmi’s vision is to develop tourism that gives money back to Sámi communities, developed in a more respectful and sustainable way than what we see today, and to collaborate with partners that share the same belief that sustainability is the right path for the future for the Sámi people.
VisitSápmi: Promoting an Authentic Sámi Experience Through Sustainable Tourism
By Lennart Pittja – Sápmi (or Lapland) has long attracted visitors from all over the world, and today it is visited by millions of tourists every year. In spite of this bustling tourist activity, and even though Sámi traditions are frequently portrayed through various media, today we can see very few successful Sámi tourism companies. The Sámi community wants to change this, and wants to be more involved with decision making in the Swedish tourism industry.
Ecotourism Potentials in Sweden and Norway: An Insider’s Perspectives
By Neil Rogers – As a past advisor to Sweden’s Ecotourism Quality Label Nature’s Best, and as current advisor to VisitSápmi and the Quality Label for Sámi indigenous tourism, I’ve seen many positive changes over the years yet much remains to be done. Sweden and Norway have world-class assets for outdoor and experiential travel, and have enviable reputations for image, safety, security, health, hard and soft infrastructure. The question is how to make more of this competitive advantage so that small-scale entrepreneurs can thrive.