The purpose is to develop common guidelines that consider animal welfare, service, safety and good experiences for the customers and the companies’ profits. The project, ‘Winter Experiences Northern Norway’ is a cluster consisting of 70 tourism businesses based in northern Norway. Due to an increasing demand for activities related to whale watching experiences, it was decided by the project group to take the initiative to develop common guidelines for operators and others that arrange boat trips with whale watching as the main activity.
The guidelines are based on the principle of a responsible development of tourism that both safeguards nature, environment, local conditions as well as the employees in the tourism industry and the customers. Through these guidelines, we will ensure that the whales’ welfare is considered, especially by ensuring that the whale is not exposed to stress and fear. The quality of the guest’s experience often depends on them being well prepared and feeling safe so close to our magnificent nature and wild animals. Last but not least, the guidelines are developed to give every operator the opportunity to offer whale watching experiences as a profitable product in the long run.
The guidelines are to be understood as a minimum requirement for operators that offer whale watching. Local destination companies can demand guidelines stricter than what is demanded in the national guidelines.
The operators that are involved in whale watching activities are subject to Norwegian laws, here we refer especially to: