The village of Vuollerim on the Arctic Circle simmers with local collaboration. Many of the local inhabitants contribute to exciting outdoor packages based on everyday life, traditions and the local capital in the form of extensive cloudberry bogs, winter snow cover, the Arctic light, the northern forests, fishing and the history of the district. The village attracts both Swedish and foreign visitors, and the focus of the activities is on genuine meetings between people.
Vuollerim has been a meeting place for thousands of years. It lies at the confluence of two of the biggest rivers in Sweden – Stora and Lilla Lule Älv. Before the land uplift after the last Ice Age, the Baltic Sea reached the northern forests at this point. The situation has since served as a meeting point for various groups in the region, such as the Sami, pioneers, constructors of power plants, and other visitors. Today Lapland Vuollerim Welcomes You AB builds on the concept of meetings between people.
The village company is owned by around 50 private individuals, as well as local associations and businesses. It is a young company that faces many challenges, but its ownership structure includes people with long experience of running accommodation facilities and guiding visitors from near and far. Together, the owners offer natural experiences all year round, based on the resources of the district, such as cloudberry bogs, forest lakes, the Arctic light and the history of the district.
It is the genuine everyday experiences that are most popular with the guests. The concept of ‘house-hopping dinners,' in which visitors eat a three-course dinner, with each course in a different family home in the village, is one example. Nothing complicated, simply meeting with local people in private homes, but largely unique in the Swedish tourism industry. Surprisingly unique in fact, because it is often these types of meetings, experiencing the everyday lives of local people, that we appreciate most when we travel to distant countries.
Lapland Vuollerim Welcomes You AB also has several exciting characters involved. One is the forest Sami Eivor Auna, who brings the history of the district to life and passes on the tradition of story-telling to visitors during a Sami meal, in which reindeer meat is cooked over an open fire together with potatoes and a generous knob of butter. Another is the fishing guide, Örjan Kraft, a strong advocate of sustainable fishing. Since the 1970s, Örjan has been fly-fishing in all the lakes, streams, rivers and mountain lakes using his home-made equipment and his own bait.
These are just a few of the characters in the district and shows that this is far more than just a holiday resort – in Vuollerim visitors meet the entire village.
The labelling comittes statement
Labelling Committee´s motivation (8 May 2012)
A village enterprise that not only involves many local inhabitants but also one that, with great commitment and creativity, has successfully developed natural and cultural experiences for visitors from near and far. By offering genuine meetings with the local population, this is a pioneering enterprise that provides many visitors with experiences they were not expecting.