Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism and responsible travel are at the forefront of the 50 Degrees North philosophy. We aim to create and maintain sustainable business practices that not only provide economic benefits for the local populations in our destinations, but also respect and protect nature, cultural heritage, and local values, with the aim of preserving all of these for future generations.

Our key principles for Sustainable Tourism & Responsible Travel
  • Spreading wealth by promoting less visited destinations and local places, as well as promoting travel in low season (i.e. as an antidote to overtourism)

  • Supporting local people and their businesses to ensure socio-economic benefit and sustainability for local communities (i.e. rather than multinational corporations)

  • Preferring partnerships with operators who adhere to strict environmental, quality and safety standards set by recognised national certification schemes (where available). For example, choosing Nordic Choice hotels which are certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 environmental standards.

  • Promoting low emission transport options, e.g. the use of trains and other public transport, electric vehicles, and ships with a strong emission reduction strategy

  • Respecting the limitations of the destinations by minimising our impact on local nature, wildlife and culture

  • Actively contributing to the preservation of local nature, wildlife, cultures and landscapes

Arctic Council

We recognise the work done by the Arctic Council, which eight members states are Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, USA, Sweden and Finland. “The Arctic Council was formally established by way of the Ottawa Declaration of 1996 as a high level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. Read more

Local Employment

50 Degrees North promotes partnerships with local businesses in the destinations we travel rather using international chain hotels or companies. This also means that the people you meet on the ground are locals who know their area better than anyone and can take you deep under the skin of their home country or region. A good example of this is our Beautiful Norway tour, which is motivated by our desire to distribute wealth and employment opportunities more evenly by introducing travellers to areas, hotels, and service providers outside of the traditional and extremely busy routes. And the good news is that the experience is all the more wonderful and authentic for it.

Recommendations regarding overseas travel & long flights

As Mark Twain famously wrote, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." We agree that meaningful, authentic travel is a fundamentally eye-opening experience that advances understanding and tolerance of other cultures.

However, when flying long distances to what will hopefully be a once-in-lifetime kind of extraordinary holiday (our specialty), we recommend researching and considering which airlines are the most fuel efficient prior to booking your flights. See for example the Atmosfair Airline Index 2017 for more details.

We also recommend compensating for travel related carbon emissions by making environmental donations (“carbon offsets”) to reputable, usually not-for-profit organisations. Below are some suggestions:

Furthermore, we also recommend public transport or independent drives over flying while in the destination. You get a much deeper understanding of the landscape of a country through the window of a train / ferry / car than you do by flying over it.

In our offices locally

We also aim to source local products and services as part of our daily office procedures. We use local printers and buy locally. We have a ban on single use coffee cups in our Melbourne office with a 50DN Keep Cup fund.