Visit Dalarna joins GSTC

Visit Dalarna has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

Located in central Sweden, Dalarna stands as a significant region steeped in cultural history. Its historical traces, evident in landmarks like the Unesco-listed Falun Copper Mine and the old villages, hark back to earlier Swedish eras, embedding a profound historical essence into the area. Intersected by the river Dalälven, Dalarna has a natural waterway that meanders through its landscapes – from the mighty mountains in the north, through the deep forests, woodland lakes and to the southern farmlands. Dalarna is often referred to as a Sweden in miniature. 

Two of Sweden’s most iconic symbols hail from Dalarna: the elaborately decorated ‘dalahäst’ (Dala Horse) and unmistakably Swedish shade of ‘Falu Rödfärg’ (Falun Red) that adorns cottages across the country.

Up to date event: “Big impression, small emission” 

Today, Thursday 26 October, Dalarna’s tourism industry will meet at Klockargården in Tällberg, for this years “Up to date” all day event. With relevant speakers, discussions, trend scouting and networking around this year’s theme “High impression, low emission”. In the event they will present “Visit Dalarna’s Sustainability Policy”. See the full agenda here.

Sustainability in Dalarna

Dalarna is Sweden’s fourth largest visitor region in terms of commercial guest nights. There are over 700 companies connected to the hospitality industry, which is one of the region’s most important base industries. Visit Dalarna works to ensure that Dalarna’s hospitality industry and the local authorities jointly contribute towards sustainable societal development and make Dalarna a better place to live, work and reside in. 

Visit Dalarna developed a new strategy for 2030, which has sustainability as one of three focus areas, together with digitalization and internationalization. Based on the GSTC Framework, trained staff conduct sustainability analysis of destinations (municipalities) and of tourism businesses to provide them with concrete recommendations on how to improve their sustainability credentials.

Visit Dalarna also has a plan to reduce its own environmental impact by focusing on sustainable transport and environmentally friendly local products. They also offer small, local entrepreneurs the right conditions for developing and selling sustainable products and services that are based on the area’s nature, history and culture.

Visit Dalarna works actively to support/drive the local authorities in Dalarna in their sustainability work, and offer analyses in order to identify the local authorities’ current situations regarding their work on sustainability issues.

Read more about sustainability in Dalarna in the “2023 Report: Rethinking Regional Attractiveness in the Dalarna County of Sweden” and in their Sustainability Policy here.

“Being members of GSTC is an essential part of Visit Dalarna’s sustainability program. As a regional tourism management organisation, we have a responsibility to strengthen sustainable growth in tourism, hence making a tangible difference. As a visitor in Dalarna, we want sustainability to be the obvious choice. Tourism is one of Dalarna’s core industries. We strive towards reducing seasonality, strengthening economic, social and environmental sustainability all year around. By joining GSTC, we look forward to continuing our work with developing a sustainable destination by the year 2030. Here, the tourism industry can lead the way,” says Chatarina Eriksson, CEO Visit Dalarna.

GSTC Welcomes Visit Dalarna

“We extend a warm welcome to Visit Dalarna as a new member of GSTC and value their commitment in supporting our mission. Dalarna’s dedication to sustainability mirrors its profound appreciation for its heritage and nature, signifying a pathway to its blossoming future,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in tourism development and management to join as GSTC members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria, which eventually can help achieve certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body

About Visit Dalarna

Visit Dalarna is the regional destination management organisation of Dalarna in Sweden’s heartland. Visit Dalarna works to strengthen sustainable growth with Dalarna’s tourism businesses. Visit Dalarna also promotes Dalarna as a destination known for its heritage crafts and traditions, genuine and welcoming activities in cultural and nature tourism.

Dalarna offers authentic cultural attractions, such as the World Heritage Site of Falun, the legacy of world famous artists and the birthplace of the well-known Dalahorse. Alongside spectacular nature where visitors can enjoy biking, hiking or skiing and nature-based events like cross-country ski race Vasaloppet, Dalarna is Sweden’s fourth largest tourist destination offering welcoming experiences throughout the year.

Visit Dalarna has been working with GSTC since 2019 striving towards developing a more sustainable destination. Visit Dalarna’s “Roadmap for Dalarna as a Sustainable Destination 2023-2030” engages all stakeholders in the region. Together with businesses, local and regional authorities and civil society, we work towards becoming ”Northern Europe’s leading and most attractive tourist destination”.

More information here: 

About the GSTC 

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC’s assurance role for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services, but provides accreditation to those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGOs, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

Information for media and the press:

Statements expressed in this announcement are presented for informational purposes only and should not be taken as an endorsement or recommendation by GSTC, unless clearly stated.

[Photo Credit: Anna Holm/Visit Dalarna]