Ecocertifications and quality labels : For whom and why, in the case of Laponia.

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för kulturantropologi och etnologi

Abstract: Abstract There are a lot of ecocertifications in Sweden for a variety of different categories; for example the Swan, which is a label for both hotels and products; KRAV, a label for farms and what farms pro- duce; Nature’s Best, a label for tourist adventures; the Sápmi Experience, a newly developed label for Sámi tourism, and The Green Key, a certification offered by Håll Sverige Rent for hostels, ho- tels, mountain cabins and camping grounds. Nature’s Best and the Green Key I have chosen as the focus for this paper, because they are the most relevant for my research. I will also give some atten- tion to Sápmi Experience because it is an interesting development in indigenous tourism. In the World Heritage area of Laponia, where I conducted fieldwork, there are several actors that have in- terest in the ecotourism business. Some of the actors are Sámi, the indigenous people whose princi- pal livelihood in Laponia is reindeer herding, and some are non-Sámi, like the Swedish Tourist As- sociation (STF) or other small-scale businesses. Some of them have the Nature’s Best label on their adventures, some do not. I find the Sámi culture and way of life very interesting, and since they are a big part of the World Heritage area Laponia landscape and an indigenous people, it was natural for me include them in this thesis. In this thesis I want to address the questions of for whom and why there are ecocertifications and quality markings. Are they for tourists, for traveling agencies, for people living in popular tourist areas, or perhaps for the environment?

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