Time Has Come to Take the Indigenous Peoples Message to the Travel Trade

22 October 2012

Sweden and the Sámi of Sweden congratulate the indigenous peoples of the world for forming the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance: follow process on VisitSápmi Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/visitsapmi.

We welcome travelers to Sweden seeking indigenous experiences because of your efforts. Travelers that come in peace, with respect and an open mind. We encourage countries and indigenous peoples to negotiate agreements on how indigenous culture and life should be supported, developed and marketed in tourism. VisitSápmi and VisitSweden have negotiated an agreement that guarantees that the Sámi traditions are promoted responsibly and for the sake of sustainability.

VisitSápmi and VisitSweden agreement is probably the world’s first contract between an indigenous people and a national tourism agency declaring on which principles the national tourism agency should market indigenous tourism. The process started with a stake holder process among Sámi and people in the travel trade. This identified core values the Sámi want to communicate. It is the basis for the Sámi quality label Sápmi Experience and basis for the agreement with VisitSweden.  It is responsible and sustainable tourism.

Sápmi Experience approved service providers are the core partners that VisitSweden and VisitSápmi work with when promoting Sámi tourism.

  • Sámi are one of few indigenous people in the world. By preserving their genuine culture and making it accessible for international visitors we can foster the attraction for Sámi culture for the future, says Ulrika Hallesius, Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at VisitSweden. Unique and high quality Sámi experiences, such as winter reindeer sledding or fly fishing in clear waters, are enhancing and strengthening the Sweden brand.
  • Sámi tourism must be operated by Sámi to be responsible. Sámi tourism entrepreneurs have unique knowledge that guarantees sustainable development of tourism.  VisitSápmi give us more strength to develop responsible tourism. It is good that we can reach to others and share our traditions and culture. I think the respect VisitSweden show us Sámi is unique and I hope this agreement can influence other countries with indigenous peoples, says Jörgen Jonsson, Chairman of the Swedish Sámi Association, reindeer herder and part time tourism entrepreneur.