Tourism is becoming one of the main engines of economy, making a big impact in all societies and countries. Because of that, the United Nations 70th Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Using tourism as a main promoting key, they want to create a guideline to raise awareness about the impact of tourism on nature and on communities. UN‘s aim this year is to promote tourism as a tool to increase inclusive and sustainable economic growth for countries. It is also critical for social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction, especially for developing countries. But not only. We can fight climate change as travelers being conscious about the footprint we leave behind. Going from one country to another, traveling makes you realize about cultural diversity and cultural heritage and values that we all share. It helps us learn mutual understanding, peace and security.
As a non-profit organization, Hostelling International has been practicing sustainable tourism for almost 100 years. In 1932, the organization already defined its strategy for promoting green thinking among its guests. “Since I started to work for HI Hostels I realized that we have already defined very well our sustainable police many years ago. 2017 will give us a perfect opportunity to contribute and support what Hostelling means”, says Brianda López, Sustainability Manager at HI Hostels main office in London.
HI Norway has already been working on many green and environmental projects. “We are looking forward to the 2017 UN International Year for Sustainable Tourism”, says Ragna Skøien, Sustainability Coordinator at Hostelling International Norway. We have created a top 10 list of hostels in Norway which are working on sustainable projects.
Voss: Eco Breakfast
Located in the city of Voss in Western Norway, Voss HI Hostel offers a variety of activities as well as a large ecological breakfast buffet.
Haraldsheim: Urban garden
Just a few minutes from Oslo city center, Haraldsheim HI Hostel offers to its guests a peaceful place to stay. But not only. Guests can pick their own vegetables from the Urban garden that volunteers of the hostel maintain during spring and summer.
Mandal: a renovated prison with second hand bought furniture
You will never forget the experience of spending one night in one of the old cells of a prison from the 19th century. Mandal HI Hostel also promotes the reuse of materials, using second hand bought furniture and decorations for the common areas.
Lillehammer: promoting local products
Lillehammer HI Hostel is the perfect example of responsibility and commitment with local producers and artists. Most of the food that they offer to their guests is based on local products (bakery, bread, vegetables…). But not only. Local craftsmen and artists have contributed to the decoration of the interior.
Mjølfjell: produce their own electricity
Situated high in mountains, Mjølfjell HI Hostel was in the past the main power station for the people living in the area. Nowadays, this hostel keeps on producing its own electricity and they even offer its own outdoor (heated) pool!
Lista: supporting local farms
Lista HI Hostel is located in the stunning south of Norway. The hostel is known for its great outdoor activities and also for the food they offer to guests and locals, buying food from nearby farms.
Gjøvik: an activity center for locals
Opened in 1955, Gjøvik HI Hostel has become an important meeting place for locals in this city situated in the center of Norway. They organize one of the most famous festival for kids in Norway during the winter season: the Barnas Vinterfestival.
Flåm: sheep and goats for grazing!
What a better way to get your grass cut that using the animals. That’s what Flåm HI Hostel has been doing for many years and it helps then to keep the surfaces maintained and keep the guests entertained by the animals.
Rauland: folk tradition courses
During the whole year, Rauland HI Hostel conducts workshops for those who are interested in Norwegian traditions, such as knitting, wood carving and jewelry making. If you want to learn about Norwegian traditions, this is the place to be!
Bergen: bee hive keeping
Located in the main city in West Norway, Bergen Montana HI Hostel has come up with the idea of creating their own bee hives. So far, they are keeping 3 of them, but the goal is expand the project to be able to offer their own honey to the guests.
Article written by Gordana Bulic and Marcos Doespiritusanto