Visit Finland has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
Visit Finland works to develop and market Finland’s travel image as well as help Finnish travel companies to internationalize, develop, sell and market high-quality travel products. Visit Finland also helps to facilitate investments to the Finnish travel sector as well as promotes Finland as an international business events destination (Finland Convention Bureau). Visit Finland employs 60 people and is a part of Business Finland.
Sustainable Travel Finland
To help the tourism industry in Finland to adopt sustainable practices, Visit Finland launched the Sustainable Travel Finland (STF) programme in 2019. After a one-year piloting phase, the program was opened to the entire travel industry in Finland in 2020.
The STF programme provides companies and destinations with a sustainable development path; a concrete toolkit for sustainable tourism that makes it easier to adopt sustainable practices and choices in everyday business. STF relies on existing sustainability standards already in use rather than creating another standard. Companies and destinations that undergo the entire programme are recognised with the STF 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 program is open to all travel companies and destinations in Finland including restaurants, accommodation, travel agencies, activity providers, attractions, transportation companies, events and resorts.
The participating companies and destinations are then being promoted on a designated page on VisitFinland.com as well as through other channels.
Finland’s Sustainable Tourism Strategy
‘Achieving more together – sustainable growth and renewal in Finnish tourism’ is the name of Finland’s national tourism strategy for 2019–2028. The strategy defines targets for the development of tourism until 2028 and measures to be taken between 2019 and 2023. Finland is aiming to become the most sustainably growing tourist destination in the Nordic countries. Tourism is being developed as a responsible and growing service business that generates welfare and creates jobs across the country.
Finland’s updated tourism strategy identifies four priorities that will facilitate the sustainable growth and renewal of the tourism sector:
- supporting sustainable development
- responding to the digital transformation
- improving accessibility, taking into account the needs of the tourism sector
- ensuring an operating environment that supports competitiveness.
“Visit Finland has been working to update its own strategy to be published during September. Sustainability will be at the core of our mission with a fundamental role in the recovery of the travel industry after it’s destruction. We have an ambitious vision to make Finland the leading sustainable travel destination. For us that means that we are not only taking care of our unique environment, but also our societies and people – as well as our guests,” says Kristiina Hietasaari, Visit Finland CEO. “Joining GSTC is an important step on our way towards the vision and we are proud to be accepted as a member of this valuable global network.”
GSTC Welcomes Finland
“Visit Finland and the entire Finnish tourism sector have taken many good steps toward more sustainable forms of tourism, and we at GSTC are pleased and proud to provide any assistance we can to help them continue on their journey to more and more sustainable approaches” says Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC.
GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in development and management of tourism, to join as GSTC members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria (which eventually can lead to achieving certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body) and support local business to apply the GSTC Industry Criteria.