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

Skellefteå is located in Västerbotten County, Sweden. It is one of the highlights of Swedish Lapland and the subarctic region, offering 40 miles of coastline, 1,500 lakes and rivers, the vast pine and spruce forests, as well as a lively city center, quality food from local farms, and breathtaking tours of the countryside.

Visit Skellefteå is jointly owned by the business community (51%) and the municipality of Skellefteå (49%) and is the collaboration platform that works with the development, coordination and marketing of Skellefteå. Visit Skellefteå is also part of the Swedish Lapland organization, which represents the tourism industry in the northernmost part of Sweden and manages the Swedish Lapland brand.

Sustainable Development in Skellefteå

Skellefteå is a town with several green credentials and opportunities for visitors to take part in a sustainable lifestyle. Skellefteå airport is one of the world’s first fossil-free airports. The town is powered by an energy system that provides 100 percent renewable energy from hydropower and wind. Moreover, 65 of the town’s 120 buses run on HVO and 40 on biogas from the town’s local biogas plant. The 75-metre-tall Sara Cultural Centre has become a symbol of Skellefteå’s dedication to sustainable and renewable development, while Skellefteå’s new industrial neighbourhood, Site East, was nominated for the Sweden Green Building Award in November 2021. In July 2022 Skellefteå was on TIME Magazine’s list of the World’s 50 Greatest Places, having in common as thriving, growing, changing and investing in sustainability.

For Skellefteå to meet the challenges of the future, the Municipality has a population target of 90,000 inhabitants in 2030, along with the vision of “a sustainable place for a better everyday life”. Skellefteå 2030 is the joint development work where they have developed a strategy for how to reach those goals while becoming an attractive place to live and work. The work has been carried out in dialogue together with the residents of Skellefteå.

Visit Skellefteå’s sustainability strategy is connected to the development strategy Skellefteå 2030 and the long-term overall goals for the destination. The strategy describes how the tourism industry and the DMO should proceed towards 2030 to contribute to the overall goals for the destination. The development focuses on Skellefteå as a sustainable destination, what is best for the inhabitants, and takes responsibility for future generations.

Visit Skellefteå conducts a sustainability audit of their members according to the GSTC Criteria in order to strengthen the destination, while supporting members in their sustainability work. Members can receive the Västerbotten Experience label – the seal for sustainable natural and cultural experiences in Västerbotten. Visit Skellefteå, as a DMO, has also undergone a sustainability review according to the GSTC Criteria and entered into an agreement with Region Västerbotten Tourism to contribute to building a more sustainable society that works for both local products and destinations.

“We have been working with the GSTC Criteria since 2016 and the GSTC membership is a natural next step to levelling up,” said Maria Broman, Visit Skellefteå CEO. “We want to be an active part of the global movement of sustainable tourism and inspire the rest of the world to take part in our green transition. Together with our regional partners and GSTC members, Region Västerbotten Tourism and Swedish Lapland Visitors Board, we make subarctic Sweden the natural choice for responsible travellers.”

GSTC Welcomes Visit Skellefteå

“We are pleased to welcome Skellefteå to the GSTC network. Applying the GSTC Criteria is to take a holistic and systematic approach to sustainable management, for which we applaud their efforts in developing a sustainable destination for inhabitants and visitors alike,” said Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in tourism to join as GSTC members. Apply the GSTC Destination Criteria and support local businesses to apply the GSTC Industry Criteria. Destinations can eventually aim for achieving certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body as a sustainable tourist destination.

About Visit Skellefteå

Visit Skellefteå is the DMO for Skellefteå, a municipality in Västerbotten County, in Subarctic Sweden. Visit Skellefteå is jointly owned by the municipality and the business community in Skellefteå. Their mission is to market, and actively strive to make Skellefteå, through experiences, meetings, and events, an attractive visitor destination and a prominent place to live. In collaboration with the municipality, member companies as well as residents and visitors, Visit Skellefteå makes more people choose a sustainable Skellefteå.