Sustainable Tourism in Sweden

Sustainable Tourism in Sweden

The urge to travel more responsibility has become an irresistible force, and there are few destinations where sustainable tourism choices are so readily available, and so rewarding, as in Sweden. Sustainable tourism in Sweden takes many forms, but in line with our concept of Kintsugi Travel (where we aim to build back travel with more positive impact than before the pandemic), here are several ways to travel sustainably in Sweden that benefit both the visitor and the destination.

  1. Undertourism in Sweden
  2. Philantourism in Sweden
  3. Flight-free travel in Sweden
  4. Community-based tourism in Sweden
  5. Indigenous Tourism in Sweden


Undertourism in Sweden

The curse of overtourism is one of the traits that lead to travel getting a bad name before the pandemic. That’s why we created our portfolio of undertourism destinations, with Sweden a flagship exemplar of the concept. For people in the UK, Sweden is certainly on the radar more and more, yet the number of British visitors remains tiny compared to the number who visit, say, France or Italy. As a snapshot, 800,000 or so Brits visited Sweden compared to more like 12 million to France in 2017. In short, if you want to travel somewhere in Europe and not hear British accents, a large destination with relatively few visitors like Sweden is the spot for you.


Philantourism in Sweden

Our concept of Philantourism – namely encouraging people to travel to down-on-their-luck destinations that are reliant on tourism – doesn’t apply to Sweden, because this is a destination that prides itself on being somewhere blessed with stable government, stable weather and generally a place with a very high standard of living. Conversely, that stability is one of the many, many reasons to visit such a special place.

Midsummer in Dalarna, Central Sweden

Image by Per Bifrost/imagebank.sweden.se

Flight-free travel in Sweden

Sweden is a frontrunner in the world’s efforts to reduce our collective carbon emissions, and their rail network – powered entirely by energy from hydro and wind – is testament to that, making it oh so easy to practice sustainable tourism in Sweden. In fact, it’s perfectly possible to visit the wilds of Swedish Lapland, deep inside the Arctic Circle, by train, using the overnight sleeper service from Stockholm to the north. We would absolutely encourage visiting Sweden by train (from the UK to Stockholm via Hamburg, even if it’s then an ‘air-train’ combo where you take the train one way and fly back, thus reducing your carbon footprint almost by half), but once in Sweden, this is also a destination where non-mechanised or low carbon forms of transportation abound. Take to your bike, like the locals; kayak in West Sweden; mush a team of huskies through snowclad Lapland rather than take a car transfer... hell, you can even explore Stockholm in winter by ice-skating with the locals along the frozen channels in this archipelago city.


Community-based tourism in Sweden

A key pillar of our Kintsugi Travel concept, community-based tourism refers to our ambition to encourage our clients to use accommodation, activities and restaurants that are owned and/or run by locals, so that more of your money stays in the community. Forego staying in a swanky (but often entirely generic) five-star hotel where the profits end up in an offshore private equity fund, and instead stay in a family owned and run hotel where you can pretty much guarantee the welcome will be warmer, and the experience significantly more memorable. Other examples include arranging for you to enjoy a boat trip with local fishermen off the wonderful West Coast, in Bohuslan, where you can help harvest succulent seafood such as crayfish or mussels, before enjoying the freshest imaginable meal of the resulting haul. We will, where possible, always aim to offer you the options to make these informed decisions.

Midsummer Flowers, Sweden

Image by Tina Stafrén/imagebank.sweden.se 

Indigenous Tourism in Sweden

Sweden is home to many of the Sami people, the oldest surviving indigenous people in Europe, so this is a perfect destination in which to practice indigenous tourism, where we can arrange authentic and sensitively planned interactions with the guardians of many of our most beautiful habitats. Meet Sami reindeer herders in Swedish Lapland, and learn about their way of life and beliefs, and the difficulties they often face in modern Sweden. It is a fascinating insight into the life of a once nomadic people often facing increasing constraints.

Want a taste of sustainable tourism in Sweden? Speak to one of our Sweden specialists to start planning a trip to this fantastic Nordic nation.

Header image by Jonas Forsberg/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se