Sweden has long exemplified family, sustainability, rugged terrain, and hospitable tourism. Nature´s Best is the first national quality label for nature tours in Europe. In 2002 and coinciding with the United Nation’s declaration as the International Year of Ecotourism, Sweden launched the Nature’s Best quality eco-label so that customers would know about the best offerings for Swedish ecotourism.
The Nature’s Best label is administered by the Swedish Ecotourism Society in collaboration with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and Visit Sweden. It was designed as the first national quality eco-label for ecotourism in the Northern Hemisphere and was meant to differentiate Sweden’s foremost ecotour operators when it came to conservation and environmental responsibility. Whether it is dog sledding to the Ice Hotel, driving a reindeer sleigh with Sami herdsmen, salmon fishing, hiking with pack of reindeer in Lapland, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting, canoeing, timber rafting, horseriding expeditions into the mountains, boat trips into three Archipelagos, wolf tracking, or fly fishing for Grayling, Sweden has it all!
The voluntary program is open to all members of the Swedish Ecotourism Society. There are over 30 requirements that fit into the six basic principle or evaluation areas of:
- Minimizing the negative impacts on nature and culture
- Supporting the local economy
- Operating in an environmentally sustainable manner
- Contributing actively to the protection of nature and culture
- Effective interpretive skills and knowledge of the area
- Quality and security while traveling
An ecotour operator who is a member of good standing within the Swedish Ecotourism Society has access to the eco-label’s starter kits, application forms and exclusive advice for getting approved. If a member decides to enroll for Nature’s Best:
- Ecotour operator enrolls in mandatory ecotourism training
- Submits Application form and fees
- Ecotour operator informs the committee about at least one travel product that meets a further set of 30 criteria for the eco-label
- Submits to on-site evaluation and write-up
- Receives decision of an independent committee that reviews the entire application
- Agrees to be reviewed every three years
- Agrees to follow-up investigations if customers or partners file a complaint against the ecotour operator
Click here for a listing of ecotour operator companies that have been awarded the Nature’s Best eco-label.