Tourism and travelling is a growing field of business. It creates jobs and is an important source of income to local people at various destinations. At the same time due to climate change the extreme weather phenomenon become more universal and will affect the direction of tourist flows. That is why also tourism industry should be based on sustainable as well as responsible choices. Sustainable travelling is the way how travel business can react to climate change. Climate change impacts especially here in the North. That is why we need Sustainable Travel Finland.
Sustainable travel is more than just a carbon footprint. Sustainable travel has three different dimensions, which are ecological, sociocultural and economical. Ecological layer means for example how travel business recycles, how company monitors the carbon footprint of the business and what actions the company takes to reduce it. Sosiocultural dimension means for example how the business takes into consideration the local community and culture, the accessibility of the services and the equal treatment of the customers and personnel. Furthermore the consumption of local labor force and sustainable investments are examples of the economical dimensions of travel business.
Sustainable work in Finland
Visit Finland has developed Sustainable Travel Finland (STF) programme to help the travel companies and destinations to improve their procedure to more sustainable direction. You can read more about Sustainable Travel Finland here. Practically STF is a path where company considers and estimates its way of acting, working habits, investments and plans for the future from sustainable and responsible aspects. The company must be honest as well as critical when it estimates its working methods and does necessary operations to more sustainable direction. After these actions the company has the opportunity to obtain the STF label. Label tells that sustainability and responsibility are important values for the company. This STF symbol must be revises every second year whereupon company estimates how it has managed to advance its actions to sustainable and responsible direction.
At the end of the year 2022 we started our Sustainable Travel Finland programme and are still on the path. But how does the sustainability and responsibility appear in our everyday life? To our strategy we have defined four main values which are safety, quality, caring and responsibility. Responsibility means to us that we work for to improve responsibility in travel industry and to maintain sustainable competitiveness. Safety means that we can offer safe and healthy work ambience. We seek to offer high quality services and experiences and that is why we monitor our customers´ feedback very carefully. We truly believe that the community´s well-being depends on the individual´s welfare. That is why we look after ourselves and each other.
The way of actions
Customers and our staff have always been important to us. We employ local people, we produce public transportation that countryside could stay vital and to make possible for people to live in the countryside. We did a renovation to our bus garage and to our office where we for example changed our heating system to more environmentally friendly option. We made it in cooperation with many local renovation companies.
Everyone can take part into sustainable and responsibility actions. These actions do not have to be necessarily big ones. You can build a bug hotel or birdhouse next spring for instance. Those actions are every day choises in every day life, small actions and desire to proceed. That is a path which never ends but gives new perspectives to life and connects you to other wanderers on this path.
Please stay tuned! There will be more news about sustainable travel and responsibility in the near future!