In order for the tourism industry to be able to respond to changing demand and secure its future, development must be sustainable. For this purpose, Visit Finland has developed the Sustainable Travel Finland programme for tourism companies and destinations. The destinations and companies that undergo the entire programme and meet the criteria, are awarded with Sustainable Travel Finland label.
Sustainable Travel Finland (STF) programme provides companies and destinations with a concrete toolkit for developing sustainable tourism, which makes it easier to systematically adopt sustainable measures and choices into the everyday life of a region or company. The programme is free of charge and designed for all tourism stakeholders in Finland.
Companies and destinations awarded with STF label have access to a continuous development model, the latest information on the sustainable travel development, marketing support, and additional visibility through Visit Finland’s channels.
The Sustainable Travel Finland (STF) programme offers companies and tourism destinations a 7-step sustainable tourism development path that educates the user. Each step is accompanied by criteria that comply with international standards. The programme is traversed and the fulfilment of the criteria verified in the STF Hub; a digital platform purpose-built for the STF programme. When the company/destination has completed the step-specific tasks and verified the fulfilment of the criteria set by the STF programme with the required documents, the application for the STF label will be sent via Visit Finland to a third party for review.
Naturally, sustainable tourism measures will not be fixed all at once. For this reason, STF is a development path. The STF label is renewed regularly so that we can be sure of continuous development. The STF programme and its criteria are also updated at regular intervals to ensure that the operations of tourism operators comply with the tightening responsibility obligations.
In addition to STF Hub, STF programme is supported by Sustainable Tourism Guide, which provides its user with an extensive information on developing tourism in sustainable manner; all information in one location.
The company or destination that has received the STF label has taken at least the following actions and thus meets the minimum criteria of the STF program:
Step 1. Commitment (to continuous development)
Step 2. Competence building
Step 3. Certification
Step 4. Sustainability communication
Step 5. Sustainable Tourism Indicator system
Step 6. Development plan
Step 7. Application: verification & agreement
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 coaching day is making it easy to move to the Sustainable Travel Finland online platform (STF Hub) at the end of the day and start the 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.
In addition to basic STF training, Visit Finland Academy provides several advanced modules on sustainability. Further training deepens the competence of sustainable tourism. The modules can be tailored to suit the needs of region's business network, which will systematically increase the expertise of the entire region.