Responsible tourism: Northern Lights family vacation in Finland
We do appreciate that some may feel that snowmobiles should not be included in such itineraries however in areas such as Menesjärvi they are a way of life. They are the only means of keeping in contact with remote reindeer herders and communities as the road infrastructure is not extensive. All trails are well managed. The alternatives to snowmobiles would in most cases be large, gas-guzzling off road vehicles. All snowmobiles are regularly serviced and kept as fuel efficient as possible. The snowmobile service industry is also another vital source of employment in these remote areas.
We adopt a ‘no trace’ policy and always ensure that all litter is removed from any of our activity sites. We also strongly encourage group transfers to reduce traffic volumes and we make our clients aware of their obligation to the environment. We always offset our air travel emissions and would encourage you to do the same.
Tourism in Finnish Lapland has become the main source of employment and income, replacing traditional industries such as forestry. Working within this growth industry in rural and remote areas means that we must take a great deal of responsibility; socially, environmentally and economically. We fully appreciate the impact of tourist visits on local communities and their residents and strive to ensure that we are having a positive effect.
The wilderness hotel in Menesjärvi is owned and run by the Lappalainen family, whose Sámi routes have been in this area for centuries. They have a strong sense of tradition and we encourage all of our clients to respect and embrace the lives and culture of all Menesjärvi’s local inhabitants by learning a few important words: hello, goodbye, please, thank you etc. We have also included activities with a cultural base. In addition, we always encourage our clients to get involved in local events and activities which help to sustain traditional values and customs.
In all of our destinations we ensure that we use local accommodation, transport and activity providers, enabling locally owned businesses and the economies in which they work to benefit directly. The hotel in Menesjärvi also serves as much local produce as possible and stocks locally made souvenirs. Through the tourism multiplier effect, this all helps to generate incomes and employment where the drift might otherwise be towards larger employment areas such as towns and cities. In a small and remote village such as Menesjärvi the effects of such a drift could be devastating.
The use of small family run hotels and businesses means that the tourism income, generated by our presence stays where it should, in the local economy. We firmly believe in paying a fair price for all the services provided by our suppliers regardless of where they are in the world.
Our vacations rely on visiting beautiful and un-spoilt areas, and they don’t come more un-spoilt than Menesjarvi. Naturally we wish to maintain the natural settings in which we work, not just for the future of our company, but also for future generations. We will always insist that our local providers are equally conscious of this need.
Reviews of Northern Lights family vacation in Finland
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 08 Jan 2017 by Jeannette Middleton
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Seeing the most awesome display of the Aurora Borealis on New Year's Eve! How lucky were we? This was the icing on the cake, following four days of exhilarating activities.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
It's a fair walk from the lake and hotel to the larger cabins and some activities can be slightly tiring, so make sure you are comfortable in what you are wearing and have some energy! If you wear glasses, take contact lenses.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, apart from the snowmobile engines
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?