Responsible travel

Äksyt Ämmät Oy

Responsible Travel Statement

Äksyt Ämmät Oy is an independent, fully licensed, local Finnish tour operator and activity commissioner. Our aim is to offer active holidays and holiday activities in Finland to small traveller groups, who wish to experience the most genuine activities run by the best local service providers. On our tours we will stay in small, family-run guesthouses, eat in local restaurants and use local transport and other services as much as possible. Our tours are guided and local guides are used as often as possible. The travellers are hosted as guests by us and will be able to reach their own, local contact person throughout the tour.
Our extensive knowledge and life-long experience of travelling in our home country enables us to create tours providing you a real insight into Finland. We are able to recommend you the best time to visit each destination, to offer you only services which have been audited by us and to provide full service also outside the main tourist season. In addition to the must-see-attractions you will be offered genuine experiences with the local people in the most beautiful Finnish nature.
We respect the nature and emphasize services leaving the minimum ecological footprint in the nature. We respect the local people and their culture.

General comment

Please note that our group sizes most typically vary between 1 and a maximum of 15 persons. To keep the costs down in an expensive but very safe and well-structured country, there is typically no tour leader following the group but in each destination there will be one or more local guides and experts serving you. You will have a pre-planned schedule and instructions to be followed. Accommodation, meals, guides, activities and transportation are organized for you by local operators and using local drivers.
Your dedicated local contact person is a Finn and speaks both Finnish and English, German, Swedish and also some French.

Traveller’s Code of Conduct

Finland is both socially and politically one of the most stable societies in the world. Geographically it is a big country but the population is more and more polarized in cities. There are regions which suffer from higher unemployment and migration of working-age people. Äksyt Ämmät is promoting travelling nationwide and bringing guests also to the most remote areas. All the service providers must however meet four basic criteria: authenticity, professionalism, safety and convenience.

Due to the reasonably high costs of working hours and long distances especially in the wilderness, services are not always available for individual passengers outside the main tourist seasons although tourists would be mostly welcome. By organizing tours for small groups of travellers and pre-booking the services Äksyt Ämmät makes it cost-efficient for local service providers to open up their guesthouses and activities.
Water consumption is no issue in Finland as we have enough groundwater and surface water so we are not covering this topic at all.
Nature is our most valuable asset. In Finland there is a law called Everyman’s right, which gives every local and every visitor a right to use nature for recreation and picking up berries and mushrooms. We also have 38 national parks, which are taken care by Metsähallitus. Äksyt Ämmät has signed a co-operation contract with Metsähallitus. The objective of co-operation is the ecologically sustainable tourism.

Äksyt Ämmät is a company with own guesthouse

We have a physical office at the guesthouse and also at our homes. We are not using a lot of paper, all our pictures, texts and publications are located on cloud servers. We only print business cards with our web address. All the printing is done locally in Nurmes. Website development was taken care by Äksyt Ämmät.

Event and activity organisers: our partners are local, professional event companies, which pay attention to the safety of their guests and are able to provide experienced guides communicating at the minimum in English. On request our native speaker can join the group as an interpreter and tour leader.
Accommodation: we select mainly small, family run guesthouses or cottages, or in case of larger hotel prefer non-chain locally owned establishments.
Local handicrafts: we reserve time to meet local artisans and encourage our guests to purchase locally produced products.
Food: restaurants and catering companies providing their services are using local ingredients. We include half or full pension in our tours for three reasons, to reduce pollution and littering and increase convenience of tourists as well as to promote local culinary culture. In Finland it is safe to try also game as the hunting seasons and regulations are strictly followed.
Drinking water: in Finland the tap water is drinkable so we recommend our customers to take refillable water or sport bottles with them for activities.
Transportation: we use public transport such as buses or trains whenever it is feasible. When it is more practical or cost-efficient to hire a minibus, we try to choose always the optimal size for the group and make sure we are not causing extra harm to the fauna and flora. Special attention has to be paid on birds in their nesting period.
Environmental Awareness: there is a waste management system in Finland of which our customers are informed if they cook their own food or move by their own car. Empty bottles are taken to the bottle collection points, where money refund is given. Also there is a sorting
system for metal, plastic, paper and board. The National Parks have their own regulations, which are well presented at all the entrances.
Cultural Sensitivity: each passenger is provided an article about the rules and regulations of our society. Traffic and alcohol regulations are tight and have to be followed. Also the Everyman’s law and fishing regulations are shortly covered with links to extra information sources. In Finland the standard of living is high and state welfare systems works well. Medical care is well available all over the country. Tipping is not used as service fee is always included in the price as well as VAT.
Cultural Norms: there are very few norms as the society is very open. People are friendly and well-educated and are in most cases able to speak English although they can be shy and keep distance at the beginning.
Charity: preserving nature is our number one topic. We offer our guests an opportunity to visit the nature centres in order to learn, what we do here in order to preserve our unique nature. They can learn about projects, which are being carried out at the moment of their visit and participate in their own way.

Carbon offset is included in the holiday packages via

Äksyt Ämmät is a local company that provides culturally and environmentally aware, responsible tourism in Finland. We have the expertise to choose the most authentic activities in our destination. As we are local ourselves, we are able to visit and get to know each and every partner we have and discuss their policies and way of working. This not only creates trust but also enables us to offer the best possible travel experience for our guests and to bring employment to the local people not only during high season but also during the lower but yet attractive seasons.