Illustration of good appreciation of Sámi culture in the future. By Sunna Kitti

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Do you know the customs and must-nots of Sámi culture like the back of your hand? Test your knowledge with the new Sámi tourism quiz and watch the animation on holistic sustainability. Sámi Parliament in Finland has published Responsible Sámi Tourism Visitor Guidance with its accompanying materials that can be found here.

The visitor guidance is primarily aimed at national and international visitors, non-local travel industry entrepreneurs and employees arriving in Sámi Homeland. Tourism study teachers and students may also utilise the materials if interested in Sámi tourism. At the moment, the site is available in Finnish and English.

- General knowledge regarding Sámi people, their history and modern Sámi society is still superficial, and often coloured by preconceptions and misrepresentations. Hence, increasing and distributing truthful information and knowledge about the Sámi also through tourism is crucial, says Tuomas Aslak Juuso, the President of the Sámi Parliament in Finland.

- I hope the visitor guidance for Sámi tourism will be widely used and it benefits as many stakeholders as possible. We want to encourage tourists to make responsible and ethically sustainable choices while visiting Sámi Homeland in Finland, continues Leo Aikio, the II Vice President of Sámi Parliament in Finland.

Visitor guidance for Sámi tourism and tourism in Sámi Homeland introduces the visitors to special characteristics of the region and Sámi culture. This digital material package is designed to meet the current challenges in tourism and to guide visitors on how to respect and take into consideration Sámi communities and their culture. In addition to the actual visitor guidance, the new site includes animation on holistic sustainability, vision of optional futures, large vocabulary on Sámi tourism and Sámi Homeland, as well as quiz to test one’s newly acquired knowledge.

- In addition to the vocabulary, the whole site still needs small adjustments. However, that is the benefit of digital material package. As it is updatable, it is easy to react to new touristic trends and challenges depending on how they affect daily lives and festivities of local communities, says Kirsi Suomi, the co-ordinator of the project.

Responsible Tourist Is Aware of Being a Guest at Local People’s Home

Sámiland has been home to Sámi people since time immemorial. When visiting Sámiland, a tourist is a guest in a special and precious cultural landscape that has been formed and sustained by everyday life and festivities of the Sámi, the only indigenous people within the area of the European Union. This living cultural landscape still enables the vitality and wellbeing of Sámi culture and transmission of it all to future generations.

In all the places, where our deeds and footprints reach and affect, we all share responsibility of our future together. Together we can make today more responsible and ethically sustainable. Tomorrow’s generations also need all this beauty and richness to live and experience.

This responsible visitors’ guidance website is based on the ethical guidelines for Sámi tourism adopted by the Sámi Parliament in Finland in 2018. Sunna Kitti’s illustrations clarify and exemplify ethical guidelines’ message of how to behave and act in order to secure more responsible and ethically sustainable future in Sámi Homeland and support the continuation of Sámi culture.

Sámi Parliament’s Responsible Sámi Tourism Visitor Guidance with its accompanying materials has been financed by Ministry of Education and Culture.

Source: Sámi Parliament in Finland

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