During the last weeks, the local Newspaper Lapin Kansa has published several articles related to the work done by the Tekes-project “Animals and Responsible Tourism”. These articles were triggered by the planning of one-day event dealing with responsible tourism consumption and animal welfare. The one-day event, which consisted of a seminar and workshops, was organized in cooperation with the projects “Animal welfare in tourism services” and “Growing high-level intellectual capital in Lapland”. The event took place in Korundi House of Culture on June 12, 2017.
Animals in tourism
Just before the event, Lapin Kansa published the article “Animals in tourism – seminar discusses responsible services”. The article not only informed about the event, but also drew attention to the relevance of the topic for local tourism companies. Indeed, today’s travelers are becoming more concern about the welfare of animal used in tourism. The article introduced some of the experts invited to participate in the one-day event. Among them were Vicki Brown from Responsible Travel in the UK and Satu Raussi and Tiina Kauppinen from The Finnish Center for Animal Welfare.
Large tourism masses doesn’t lead to profit maximization
After the seminar, Tiina Haapakangas from Lapin kansa interviewed Vicki Brown from Responsible Travel. The article was published on June 18 under the title “Responsible tourism expert in Lapland: Not always is necessary to target mass tourism”. Although Vicki has written a lot about Lapland, this was her first visit. Vicki was impressed by Rovaniemi and its closeness to nature. She enjoyed hiking in Ounasvaara (local recreational area) and visiting places such as Arktikum, a reindeer farm and husky farm. According to Vicki, everything she saw was connected to the notion of responsible tourism.
Nevertheless, during her visit, she realized that local companies felt some pressure to expand their operations. This was specially the case of husky farms which has experienced a growing demand for their services. In the interview, Vicki suggested that Lapland tourism actors should carefully reflect on which direction they would like to develop tourism. They should think about what kind of place they would like to have in five or ten years. As Vicki stressed, Mass tourism doesn’t necessary lead to profit maximization. The link above offers access to the entire interview (in Finnish).
What is good animal treatment?
Vicki Brown’s interview was accompanied by a short article about the two projects working on animal-based tourism in Lapland. For this purpose, our Researcher Mikko Äijälä was interviewed. Mikko drew attention to the communication challenge. As he stressed, animal welfare may be understood differently among different nationalities and so expectations about animal welfare related information may differ among visitors. He also pointed to the lack of attention given to animal welfare in existing tourism quality and environmental certifications. The article was also published on June 18 under the titled “What is good animal treatment? Lappish project discloses that the understanding of travelers differs widely”.
Soon we will publish a post offering an overview of the seminar presentations of the one-day event. So stay tuned!
Text: José-Carlos García-Rosell