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For responsible travel

Development must be sustainable for the travel industry to respond to changing demand and continue to grow in the future. Towards this end, Visit Finland has developed the Sustainable Travel Finland programme for travel companies and regions in Finland. This programme is used to obtain the Sustainable Travel Finland label. 

Now is the time to act! Climate change is currently the most significant environmental risk facing the planet. We consume natural resources much faster than they can regenerate. The role of travel in the global economy is growing. Climate change will affect the future direction of traveler flows. Many of our travel products depend on climatic factors and are among the most vulnerable to climate change. Mitigation requires proactive planning and management of travel, including at regional levels. The time to act is now!

The idea of the Sustainable Travel Finland label is to provide companies and destinations with a concrete toolkit for sustainable travel, which facilitates the adoption of sustainable measures and choices in the everyday operations of a region or company. Starting the Sustainable Travel Finland development path or applying for the label is free for companies or regions. However, the measures may incur costs, and the work will undoubtedly require time and human resources. Companies and destinations awarded with the Sustainable Travel Finland label have access to a continuous development model, the latest information on the sustainable development of travel, marketing support, and additional visibility through Visit Finland’s channels.

The sustainable travel development path

As a marketing package, the Sustainable Travel Finland label will help communicate the availability of sustainable travel in Finland. At the same time, it will provide a 7-step sustainable travel development path for companies and travel destinations. You will advance through the development path on Sustainable Travel Finland’s online platform, where you verify your compliance with the programme criteria. We have created the e-Guide to sustainable travel to support the programme, which ensures its user’s basic knowledge of developing sustainable travel and familiarises them with the content of the Sustainable Travel Finland programme. The e-Guide is for all travel companies and travel destinations that have applied for and are approved for the Sustainable Travel Finland programme.

Step 1. Commitment

  • Adopting a formal decision on promoting sustainable travel
  • Committing to the national principles of sustainable travel
  • Designating a person to coordinate sustainable travel

Step 2. Increasing your skills

  • Introduction to the e-Guide to sustainable travel
  • Participation in Visit Finland Academy 's Sustainable Travel Finland training
  • Survey of your current status with the online self-assessment. Your self-evaluation also generates regional data about the business network’s current state and development needs for the destination.

Step 3. Development Plan

  • Drafting a sustainable travel plan and expanding it to apply to all areas of sustainability

Step 4. Sustainability Communications

  • Transparent communication to an international audience about your sustainable travel measures

Step 5. Certification & Auditing

  • Your company must have a certificate in sustainable travel or a programme equivalent to a certificate.
  • Fifty-one per cent (51%) of the travel companies in the destination’s business network (including the largest companies in terms of turnover) must have a Sustainable Travel Finland label.

Step 6. Verification & Measurability

  • You will verify meeting the programme criteria on Sustainable Travel Finland’s online platform.
  • You will commit to the national sustainable travel indicators.

Step 7. Agreement & Continuous Development

  • You will conclude an agreement on the use and validity period of the Sustainable Travel Finland label
  • You will commit to regularly updating your knowledge of sustainable travel, self-assessment, development plan, and the indicators required for the renewal of the STF label

Participation from the entire region with coaching

Visit Finland Academy has a coaching day specifically designed to support the Sustainable Travel Finland programme. Sustainable Travel Finland coaching is a great way to get the regional sustainable travel programme off the ground. Concrete and practical coaching provides good basic knowledge and a starting point for systematically promoting sustainable travel at the company level. The content of the coaching day is based on a 2018 survey of travel companies, which asked travel operators about training needs and topics, among other things.

The coaching day is designed for groups of companies, making it easy to move to the Sustainable Travel Finland online platform at the end of the day and start their journey towards the Sustainable Travel Finland label. While all the coaching follows the same conceptual outline, it’s always tailored to the region’s specific needs.

The coaching is an inspiring start to the Sustainable Travel Finland development path, and the active participation of each participant is an important part of the success of the coaching day.

Get to know Sustainable Travel Finland coaching and coaches. In addition to the basic coaching, we have also developed Sustainable Travel Finland further coaching with seven modules.

Join the sustainable travel finland programme

The programme is suitable for all travel companies and regions located in Finland (regional organisations; destinations). Even if you have not yet initiated sustainable development measures, you can and should join because the programme provides the necessary tools to promote sustainable travel. The person filling in the application must be the coordinator of sustainable travel for the company or destination. 

At the moment, STF programme is only in Finnish, but there will be translations. 

Apply & register for the programme here!

Recipients of the STF label

It became possible to apply for the Sustainable Travel Finland label on 1 June 2020, and more than 100 companies in Finland have already obtained the label. Learn more about Finland's responsible travel offering on the Visit Finland website