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Dalarna in Sweden – the obvious choice for a sustainable holiday

The region Dalarna in Sweden has a rich and varied range of both nature and cultural experiences with many entrepreneurs in the tourism industry. The focus on sustainability is felt on every level and is widely connected to the cultural heritage and closeness to nature that is found here.
– Sustainability work is part of our business idea, it provides a structured approach that gives customers, employees, and the company a profile that everyone understands the benefits of, says Patrick Lund, one of the owners of Mora Hotel.

In March 2021 it was announced that Sweden is the world’s most sustainable tourist destination. The global company Euromonitor International compared 99 countries and their sustainability. Sweden landed at the top of the global ranking according to the survey. Dalarna, a county in the heart of Sweden, follows the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The focus on sustainability is a key factor on a municipal and regional level as well as for the local businesses.

Sustainability is key

Sustainable tourism involves more than just the present and future environmental impact. Social and economic factors must also be considered. The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Region Dalarna and Visit Dalarna are working together to provide a more sustainable tourist destination. The overall goal is to develop the tourism business in Dalarna by increasing the competence in all aspects of sustainability. The participants in the project get concrete advice in how to improve their businesses regarding sustainability factors.

One example is Grand Hotel Elektra in Ludvika, that has been rewarded with the coveted Nordic Swan Ecolabel. To achieve this the hotel passed all the requirements to lessen their environmental impact, but that is not all. The hotel also focuses on hiring locally, using local produce, and getting involved in the local community.

– After the analysis it became clear to us that sustainability includes all parts of the business, not just the Swan Ecolabel. It concerns everything we do. Employees, HR, business concept, finance, investments, social media, sales, everything! The analysis makes you think about goals and plans from a new point of view, says Ulla Köhler, CEO of Grand Hotel Elektra.

Cultural heritage

Other examples are the World Heritage site Falun Mine and Carl Larsson-gården in Sundborn. Their mission is to preserve the cultural heritage for posterity and welcome visitors in authentic environments. They have a great local involvement in various matters, both in the local village communities and on a destination level. They are part of strong regional networks, such as the Culture Route that takes visitors on a cultural journey through Dalarna. Both also uses local guides and suppliers as much as possible.

The survey made by Euromonitor International revealed that 66 percent of the world’s consumers want to act more sustainably when it comes to travel. That makes Dalarna an excellent option and the regions blue mountains and lush woods are waiting around the corner.