Tourism in Ruka-Kuusamo is founded upon the region’s magnificent natural attractions. Hence, the promotion of responsible tourism is especially important for local tourism businesses. Through the Sustainable Travel Finland program by Visit Finland, companies can incorporate sustainable practices and responsible choices into their daily operations.
Ruka Safaris – On the Path Toward a More Responsible Way of Life
The goal of Ruka Safaris is to internalize a sustainable lifestyle, thereby transforming actions into a part of daily routines.
Ruka Safaris is one of the largest activity service companies in the Ruka-Kuusamo area. Its operations are centered around the shores of Rukajärvi, in the surroundings of the Iisakki Village heritage site. Culturally valuable log houses have been relocated from various parts of old Kuusamo, even from across the border in Paanajärvi, and renovated for guest use. The entire business operation is based on respect for traditions and nature.
The most important aspect of responsibility is raising awareness among both tourists and staff. The workforce can number in the dozens during high season, so the initiative for responsible thinking must start within the organization. This makes it easier to implement and integrate it into everyday activities.
– Through the STF program, our own sustainability efforts become more tangible, and areas for development become more concrete. Even small things like optimizing the flow rates of water taps result in direct economic savings for the company, in addition to reducing water consumption, says Mira Autto. – Our aim is to internalize a sustainable lifestyle and thereby transform our actions into a part of our daily routines.
Thanks to the STF program, Ruka Safaris also gained access to a carbon footprint calculator, which simplifies the process of minimizing their footprint. One of their largest sustainability goals for the future is to transition oil-heated buildings to more environmentally friendly forms of heating, like geothermal energy. They also aim to increase activities that require human power, even though snowmobiling remains their most popular service.
– Sledding is absolutely fantastic in good weather, Mira says. – The speed and snow-covered forest offer a magnificent experience, especially for foreign guests. Our fleet of snowmobiles is constantly updated, and the four-stroke models are quiet and low-emission. However, we also recommend that customers explore by snowshoeing, cycling, or skiing.
Ruka Safaris operates year-round and offers an ideal setting for connecting with nature and well-being. You can paddleboard, fish, canoe, or even unwind with sauna yoga. Everyone is welcome to the tranquil idyll of Iisakki Village.
– Economic and socio-cultural sustainability are equally significant alongside ecological sustainability, Mira states firmly. – Our strong effort is in promoting inclusivity, meaning diversity and individual rights, both within the work community and in services aimed at customers. Tourists have begun to value responsibility and already recognize products marked with the STF label. The company’s responsibility is gradually becoming as strong a criterion for choice as, say, price and accessibility.
Text: Salla Karhumaa
Kuvat: Harri Tarvainen, Ruka Safaris