Visit Finland has issued Sustainable Travel Finland (STF) labels to around 30 Finnish travel service companies. This new accreditation program signifies that these companies satisfy Visit Finland’s sustainable travel criteria, which cover economic, ecological, social and cultural sustainability. With the lifting of international travel restrictions, responsible and sustainable business models become more important than ever.
The Sustainable Travel Finland program and label are designed to promote responsible tourism in Finland and allow international travel trade to easily identify sustainable tourism providers. STF also encourages collaboration between the government, regional tourism bodies and companies, enabling all parties are working together to ensure a responsible and sustainable future for tourism in Finland.
The Sustainable Travel Finland program is open to all tourism companies and all regions in Finland, regardless of whether they already have a sustainability policy in place, and there is no admission fee. The program provides the participants with a roadmap and a comprehensive toolkit including tailor made training courses, online manuals and a digital working environment to help them to qualify for the STF label.
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 is the country’s pure and pristine outdoors. The program gives companies and travel destinations a set of tangible sustainable tourism tools to help them to build sustainable approaches and choices into their routines.
The objectives of sustainable travel support Finland’s key priorities, such as combating climate change and promoting regional economies. Finland’s pursuit of sustainable tourism is based on systematic cooperation between a wide range of tourism operators.
As the first Finnish travel destination, Posio has received the Sustainable Travel Finland label. More than half of the travel companies based in Posio offering services to international visitors have been granted the STF label, which is one of the criteria set for a travel destination. There are altogether seven requirements that a region must meet: for example, it must commit to the national principles of sustainable travel, support the development of expertise in sustainability within local companies, provide multi-channel communications on sustainable operations, prepare a development plan that is updated regularly and perform an current state analysis of sustainability within the region’s travel industry operations. Located between Kuusamo and Rovaniemi in Lapland, Posio, with a population of more than 3,000 residents, is best-known for Riisitunturi National Park. Their commitment is also attested to by Posio’s inclusion on the global 2020 Sustainable Destinations Top 100 list. Travel destinations that are taking determined steps towards sustainability competed for a place on the list.