The new Sustainable Travel Finland initiative will provide companies and destinations with a sustainable development process through ecological, social, economic and cultural dimensions. It also equips them with a comprehensive toolkit for eco-friendly tourism which makes it easier to adopt responsible, ethical practices and greener choices in their everyday business.
The initiative is designed to nurture, conserve and preserve what is most important; Finland’s unspoilt natural environment, as well as the Finnish culture and lifestyle which is rooted in the country’s pure and pristine outdoors. This relationship with nature has led to the adoption of integrity, safety, social progression and freedom as the cornerstones of Finnish society.
For the second year in a row, Finland was named the happiest country in the world, according to the World 2019 Happiness Report. Finns mainly attribute their happiness to their close connection with nature. The country’s many lakes, rivers and extensive forests provide them with food and a place for relaxation, which contributes to their general wellbeing.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) introduced in 2015 by the UN member states work towards eradicating poverty from the world and securing better livelihoods for all in an environmentally sustainable way. Visit Finland is using the SDGs to inspire companies to evaluate their projects both from a business and sustainability impact point of view.
Lisa Kokkarinen, Manager Regional Partnerships, Business Finland, said: “We want to encourage all tourism providers to reduce their impact on the environment through their social, economic and cultural footprint in order to preserve and protect the pristine Finnish countryside for future generations.
“With this new Sustainable Travel Finland programme, we will be able to reward companies and destinations that act in a conscious fashion as well as easily allow travel trade to recognise companies that are serious about protecting the environment, both constructed and natural.”
Companies and destinations which participate in the new progressive programme will be recognised with the Sustainable Travel Finland label and have access to a continuous development model, the latest information on sustainable tourism development, marketing support and visibility on Visit Finland channels.
The new label will provide international travel trade with an easy way to identify a sustainable tourism provider or destination. Finnish tourism businesses can use the following seven step ‘sustainable tourism path’, supported on an e-guide programme online:
Step 1. Commitment
Step 2. Increasing know-how
Step 3. Development plan
Step 4. Responsible communication
Step 5. Certification
Step 6. Verification and measurability
Step 7. Agreement on Sustainable Travel Finland
Visit Finland is also inviting visitors to be like a Finn by making a pledge of sustainability to nurture, to help conserve and preserve Finland’s pristine natural environment and protect the country’s unique lifestyle, which is rooted in the natural world and supported by a culture which celebrates equality.