Introduction of the sustainable operation of Aavameri enterprise
Aavameri is a company arranging sustainable kayaking tours and classes for sea kayakers of different levels. The tours are directed to small groups or individual travellers seeking authentic experiences. In addition, they rent kayaks and equipment, offer help in planning and in equipment transportation, provide maps and expedition support. The main operation area is the Finnish Archipelago Sea but tours are arranged also in other countries, such as Great Britain, Norway or Sweden. The company is based in Turku, Finland.
The company owner as well as its other guides and instructors are all trained professionals with vast experience in kayaking and safety. Aavameri is a partner of the Leave No Trace programme for outdoor ethics and environmental protection and has achieved the Sustainable Travel Finland label. In addition, it is a co-operation partner of the Archipelago Sea National Park.
Some tips to make your kayaking adventures sustainable
Kayaking – a sustainable way to travel
Kayaking itself is a eco-friendly and sustainable way of travelling. Kayaks have no engines nor emit any harmful gases. If your visitors want to see and enjoy outdoors without causing any environmental impact, kayaking is the answer. Naturally, not all tourism enterprises have their own kayaks to rent or are able to instruct the guests but perhaps some of your fellow entrepreneur nearby is a professional in kayaking. It is always good to bear in mind that visitors may need instructions on handling the kayak, safety in general, and perhaps even a guide. It is also essential to ensure that visitors are aware how to have responsible encounters with the nature.
Kayaking requires commitment to responsibility from the entrepreneur and visitor both
When operating in a sensitive nature area, one of the most important thing is to take a responsible approach to every activity you do, be it the nature itself or the local people. A sustainable company always has the wellbeing of the nature, local inhabitants as well as visitors in mind. Promoting outdoor activities in the archipelago requires well-trained staff able to guide visitors about responsible behaviour and the sensitive marine and coastal nature in addition to their skills in kayaking safely.
Collaborating with your community enhances sustainability and gives authentic experiences for your visitors
In recent years, social responsibility has become one of the key issues in tourism. It is a rather simple measure to take into account in your activities. In practice, it means that you can, for example, co-operate with other community members, keep them informed about your activities or together find solutions that make you and your community members happy. It is also sustainable to purchase your goods and services from nearby farmers and enterprises, which is bound to be welcomed by your visitors willing to learn more about the local culture.
Let’s go back to our kayaking example. In case you or your employees are not familiar with kayaking nor own any equipment, it may be a good idea to join forces with other entrepreneurs specialised in kayaking. This way your visitors may get more authentic experiences during their stay and perhaps will want to come again. Kayakers usually go ashore on different island, sometimes even stay there overnight. In these cases, you need to remember to agree with the landowners to enable camping on the land. Offering different kinds of activities is likely to prolong the stay, which as such is a sign of more sustainable tourism.
Related to topics
- Green practices for your initiative
- Your ecosystem
- Team management and staff
- Case Study: Sustainable Travel Finland
Links & publications
Aavameri. Sustainability and ecotourism. https://www.aavameri.fi/en/home/ecotourism
International Sea Kayaking Guide Alliance (ISKGA). https://www.iskga.com/
Leave No trace. 2021. It takes all of us. https://lnt.org/