Elements Arctic Camp: local value creation in scenic surroundings
TEXT: ANITA FOSEN | PHOTOS: ELEMENTS ARCTIC CAMP
Rebbenesøya and the surrounding islands are a tiny piece of Norway with a large, local offering. Thanks to Elements Arctic Camp and other local businesses, the scenic and tranquil area can be explored for days upon days with unique activities, outings, and local food.
Elements Arctic Camp is an eco-camp owned and operated by Lise and Per-Magnar Halvorsen. The camp is located on the small island named Rebbenesøya, just two hours outside of Tromsø, and accessible via a short ferry crossing from Mikkelvika – without road access. As Lise herself says, it’s a real “back-to-nature feeling” when you arrive.
For the Halvorsens, local value creation, eco-tourism, and collaboration are key. In fact, Elements Arctic Camp participated in the project ‘In the ocean gap – One more day’ in the summer of 2021, focusing on these exact values. The project was supported by the bank SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge and its ‘Samfunnsløftet’ strategy, as well as Karlsøy Municipality.
Elements Arctic Camp collaborated with other local establishments to offer a package deal of adventures at the archipelago. This included food from the newly established, organic café Frøken Nilsen; activities at the farm Engvik Gård; accommodation at Sandøya Brygge; and kayaking and yurt accommodation at Elements Arctic Camp. The goal was to develop more sustainable tourism through environmental initiatives, attracting the local community and promoting longer stays in order to reduce visitors’ CO2 footprint through less transport.
The official project may be over, but that doesn’t mean that the collaboration has come to an end. “The project has resulted in us getting to know each other, and we will continue to collaborate with local companies in the future,” Lise says. She wants to continue the company’s focus on local value creation and collaboration.
The couple also continues to focus on eco-tourism and quality. They currently have a goal to get certified through Norsk Økoturisme and VARDE Experience Quality in the near future. “Many visitors are now focusing more on sustainability certifications,” says Lise, explaining that companies need to be able to prove that they operate sustainably. “If you don’t have certifications in the future, you will simply fail as a business.”
The company mainly hosts tourists from abroad, who are seeking something different and unique. Now, Lise hopes to cater to more visitors from Norway and the neighbouring countries, who are ready to explore the wonders that await not too far from their own doorstep. As the Halvorsens put it, visitors can come to Elements Arctic Camp to “experience nature close to body and mind”.
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