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Sustainable tourism – Take only pictures, leave only footprints

The United Nations has designated 2017 as the International year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The goal is to raise awareness of sustainable tourism for travellers as well as decision makers, and to mobilise all stakeholders to work together in order for tourism to be a tool for positive change.

Norway is a scenic country, with dramatic waterfalls, crystal clear fjords, majestic mountains and spectacular glaciers. Preserving this landscape, its communities and their way of life is important for locals and visitors alike.

Even though large parts of mainland Norway consists of national parks and other protected areas, Norway's right of access makes sure you can enjoy nature more or less as you wish, even in these sensitive and vulnerable regions. Norwegian philosophy is very much that conservation is everyone's responsibility. Enjoying nature and the outdoors is considered a national pastime, and this is reflected in the attitude towards the preservation and use of the wilderness.

Today, knowledge of ecology and nature is much greater than it once was, but so is the wear and tear on both the landscape and the people. Sustainability is about protecting nature, society, landscape, while ensuring that local communities can make a living. The perspective is long-term: the nature we have today should also be enjoyed by future generations and it is our job to make sure it is still as beautiful, spectacular and viable when their turn comes. 

Story originally sourced from Visit Norway. To read more, visit:

Lyngør, Southern Norway. Photo: Niels Jørgensen/