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FAQ Care for the Arctic

By fostering a structured collaborative approach, where the destination’s main stakeholders work methodically together towards a common goal, we can envision a future of increased sustainability that brings numerous benefits;

  • This journey towards sustainability enhances the destination’s appeal and contributes significantly to the overall allure of the place.
  • This approach not only simplifies collaborations and optimizes the pooling of forces but also strengthens the destination’s attractiveness and opportunities to realize the location’s potential, paving the way for better business and fostering a robust innovation environment.
  • Strengthens the conditions for making a smaller environmental and climate footprint.
  • It also creates the conditions for developing and using a regenerative tourism and hospitality industry for the good of the local community and nature.
  • It takes advantage of people’s commitment to;
    – their hometown – to create value locally and globally, today and for future generations
    – one’s journey – to contribute to the place and reduce one’s footprint
    – their professional acquisition – to strengthen the conditions of the hospitality industry and contribute to a more visitor-friendly and sustainable destination.

Care for the Arctic is part of Norrbotten’s Strategic Roadmap towards 2030 for Sweden’s Arctic Destination, adopted by Region Norrbotten in 2023. Work was initiated in 2019.


The hospitality industry strategy is based on dialogue, qualitative and quantitative interviews with hospitality industry businesses, and an analysis of the present situation aiming to map the hospitality industry in Norrbotten, identify obstacles to development, and identify important sustainability issues. The notion of a clear directional agenda with a direct tie to the overarching goal – making it easy for responsible travellers to visit our Arctic destination, make conscious choices during their stay, and actively contribute to sustainable local development – emerged during the drafting of the hospitality industry strategy. This became Care of the Arctic – It’s our home.

Different destinations, regions, countries, cities, etc., work with other initiatives to drive, lead and promote sustainability processes. Care for the Arctic is our Arctic destination’s customized tool and method. We have successfully initiated and led result-oriented development processes and now aim to contribute broadly to the site’s development by promoting the sustainable development of the hospitality industry and tourism.

Working as a responsible destination can be seen as a journey. As an organisation, Sweden Lapland Visitors Board itself is part of this journey of development, and competence development is a constant priority. As an example, all our staff have completed the GSTC Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism. It is important to us to ensure everyone working for us has a chance to grow. We are convinced that organisational growth with increased awareness and responsibility is a collective effort. Swedish Lapland Visitors Board is a member of GSTC and several other networks working with sustainable development for the hospitality industry. Some of them are NecsTour, Adventure Travel Trade Association, the national network for tourism and hospitality in Sweden.


The Care for the Arctic agenda has been developed in accordance with the UN global sustainable development goals, the 2030 Agenda, EU tourism objectives, and the destination Swedish Lapland’s strategy to achieve the vision The most responsible destination in the Arctic.


The 2030 Agenda, the UN global goals for sustainable development, is incorporated into the institutions of society to collectively build a better future for generations to come. But the path there is neither obvious, nor straightforward. The initiative Inner Development Goals, developed by researchers, experts, and practitioners in leadership development and sustainability, provides tools for a better understanding of the challenges – and possibilities – of the future. They help us handle increasingly complex environments and challenges. Global challenges should also find local solutions, and a large part of the answers are found where we live, and in the nature that surrounds us. Biodiversity Plan for Life on Earth is based on the Kunming-Montreal agreement: Global Biodiversity Framework. Our home should be a safe and natural place to live in, where preservation of biodiversity is essential in all efforts. Care for the Arctic is aimed at all main stakeholders, from enablers and businesses to individuals, and promotes the safeguarding of biological diversity. By reconnecting with nature and encouraging others to do the same, people can learn more about local ecosystems, respect them, and value them.

Norrbotten’s Strategic Roadmap towards 2030 for Sweden’s Arctic Destination, of which Care for the Arctic is a part, is developed by Swedish Lapland Visitors Board on behalf of Region Norrbotten.

The board and financiers endorse Care for the Arctic. As the main financier, Region Norrbotten clearly states that the hospitality industry contributes to attractiveness as well as the goals of the 2030 Agenda. They are ready to do their part together with municipalities, organisations, businesses, local inhabitants, and visitors.

Visit Sweden, ATTA, GSTC, NecsTour, and Conscious Travel are examples of organizations and companies that we continuously collaborate with and learn from.


The issues of the future are complex, and we are learning to the fullest. Through cooperation with the foremost in the industry, networks, and collaborative partners, as well as through regular further training, the Swedish Lapland Visitors Board takes its new steps.

Care for the Arctic is aimed at the main stakeholders in the hospitality industry: the destination’s social players, hospitality industry businesses, and visitors.  Through collaborations and communication, we want to involve and engage the target groups in participating in and contributing to the destination’s vision and goals.

The Arctic region, or the Arctic, is a geographical region around the North Pole. There is no single correct definition since its southern limit varies. Sweden shares the Arctic with seven other countries: the US, Norway, Finland, Russia, Greenland, Canada, and Iceland.


Common ways of defining the Arctic are by temperature, tree lines, permafrost, and ice cover. As temperatures increase, the Arctic shrinks. Cultural and political borders also vary in the Arctic. The Arctic Circle is the most permanent border, even if it does move very slowly due to the Earth’s axial tilt variation.


When we speak of Sweden’s Arctic region and destination, we operate from a nationally and regionally defined platform. In Sweden’s strategy for the Arctic region, Sweden defines itself as an Arctic country, and Norrbotten is indicated as Sweden’s Arctic region. Drawing from Sweden’s combined expertise and resources, the government wants to strengthen Sweden’s Arctic profile. The strategy highlights that the inhabitants of the Arctic should benefit from favourable living conditions and sustainable economic and social development, respecting the rights of indigenous people. Norrbotten’s political platform for the Arctic reflects how Norrbotten can become an innovative Arctic centre in Europe. Four focus areas – Global competitiveness, New trade routes, Sustainable spatial planning, and Research and development – are defined by the objective that Norrbotten should be a sustainable region where decisions take into account economic, social and environmental aspects.

The list of our unique resources is long. Our rich Arctic cultural heritage, our traditions and knowledge passed from one generation to the next that we share with the travellers of the world, Sweden’s most alpine environments, the large national rivers, the first and largest national parks, natural wonders, natural resources, and nature itself are all part of our appeal. Here you will find university cities, company towns and village communities. From the mountains and along the river valleys all the way to coast, we live an Arctic everyday life where the seasons are constantly changing. Our rural and urban life, between midnight sun and northern lights. Our home.


There is something exciting about an Arctic cultural landscape that has changed so little, during thousands of years, that others can feel like they are the first to experience something. It speaks to a sustainable way of life, of taking responsibility for this place as a resource for future generations, their quality of life and possibilities.

As much as we view travelling and seeing the world as something positive, we are aware of the impact. Sweden’s Arctic destination is a long journey for many of our visitors. From some parts of the planet, taking a flight is the only way to get here. Perhaps it is not always an option. We encourage our visitors to remember there are trains throughout Europe that can take you to the far north, and that the journey to get here might be part of the experience.


As travel by air is an important mode of transport when journeying here, we collaborate with the industry, other sectors of the economy, and the public sector to enable travellers to fly as direct as possible. Swedavia owns the two busiest airports in our region, and both meet the criteria for attaining the highest level in a European program measuring airport climate work: Airport Carbon Accreditation. To achieve the highest level the airport must be climate-neutral in terms of emissions from its own operations.

The question of sustainability when it comes to travel is intricate, encompassing environmental impact, social implications, and economic sustainability. Travel can be sustainable if done with awareness, and with an intention to minimise negative effects on environment, society, and culture. This entails making informed choices regarding transport, accommodation, and activities, as well as respecting and supporting the local inhabitants and their environment.


The hospitality industry is an export industry where the revenue stays at the location, creating values for the local community. The longer travellers stay at the destination, the more they contribute to the social and economic development of the community.

Tourism can be a powerful tool for promoting economic, social, and environmental sustainability. By encouraging respectful and sustainable tourism we can support local economies, improve cultural understanding and at the same time minimise our impact on the environment.

The core values guiding Swedish Lapland Visitors Board in the right direction – towards the targets set – are: lead, attract and unite. We facilitate Sweden’s Arctic destination, which is made up of some 600 actors. Together with other business clusters in Norrbotten we collaborate in regional development, according to Norrbotten’s regional development strategy and the EU tourism objectives. We contribute by providing resources, activities, and development programs across the region.

Traditional knowledge is knowledge embedded in traditions and customs found in local communities, shared knowledge people hold, an acquired understanding of nature, ecosystems, ways of life and local knowledge.


Knowledge, innovation, and customs in indigenous and local communities with a traditional way of life in our Arctic cultural landscape.

Traditional knowledge is essential as it underpins a sustainable way of life. It is rooted in centuries’ worth of experience and can offer valuable insight into how today’s global challenges should be handled. By integrating traditional knowledge, we can create enduring, sustainable solutions.

The term represents a sustainable way of travelling and discovering new places. Its main objective is for visitors to contribute positively to the destination – meaning leaving it in better shape than it was when they arrived. It is not a new idea, but it has been revisited with the growth of the hospitality industry.


It means to actively vitalise and improve – to regenerate – the place. This is expected to have a positive effect on local communities.


In line with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, the UN has developed a set of regenerative tourism principles based on traditional knowledge, namely the following:

Holistic understanding and living-systems approach: The understanding that everything is interconnected and that the interactions between every stakeholder in the tourism value chain impact the entire ecosystem.

Collaborative: Encourage and promote collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders from government to private sector, the voluntary sector, and local communities. This is different from the competitive view governing the present economic system.

Diverse by nature: Diversity in sources of income helps reduce dependence on a one-sided income within the tourism ecosystem and in the community. Diversifying between various segments – national and international visitors, leisure and business travel – also helps mitigate economic and geopolitical risk and improves resilience.

Inclusive and equitable: Local communities being involved and cooperating with hospitality industry businesses can provide resources and support to economically vulnerable people, asylum seekers, and refugees.

Transformational and inspirational: Personal and genuine experiences that highlight what is unique about each place, and involve local cultural heritage, traditions, gastronomy, landmarks – are life changing.

Environmentally responsible: Preservation of natural resources, safeguarding biodiversity, protection of fragile landscapes and wildlife.

Cultural stewardship: Protection of local cultural heritage and traditions and safeguarding local people as specialists looking after the local biodiversity, thanks to knowledge passed from generation to generation.

When we speak of assuming responsibility we refer to our efforts finding solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges. At Swedish Lapland Visitors Board we assume responsibility through structured and focused efforts within our intervention areas Plan, Innovate, Attract, Balance, and Respect.

People, whether they visit or live and work in Sweden’s Arctic region, can contribute by being aware of their impact and take sustainable action. The guiding prompts we provide in Care for the Arctic are intended to help initiate conscious decision-making.

Swedish Lapland is a destination with a shared place brand, created to attract international visitors and managed by Swedish Lapland Visitors Board. The place brand provides a joint collaborative platform for local destinations and tourism businesses in Norrbotten county together with Skellefteå and Sorsele municipalities. The municipalities speak of, and operate under, the shared brand Swedish Lapland.

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