In September 2021, Visit Finland became a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
The main task of GSTC is to manage global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, the GSTC Criteria, and to foster increased knowledge and understanding of sustainable tourism practices through the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles.
GSTC Criteria has two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators.
The GSTC Criteria sets are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism.
The GSTC is an independent and neutral organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities.
The membership means that Visit Finland supports the work that GSTC does for sustainable tourism – we are part of the group that is developing sustainable practices, we can benchmark other members and they will benchmark us. GSTC offers members-only webinars and paid courses for the whole tourism industry.
Visit Finland has been working to update its own strategy to be published during September. Sustainability will be in the core of our mission with a fundamental role in the recovery of the travel industry after its disruption. We have an ambitious vision to make Finland the leading sustainable travel destination. For us, that means that we are not only taking care of our unique environment but also our societies and people – as well as our guests. Joining GSTC is an important step on our way towards the vision, and we are proud to be accepted as a member of this valuable global network, comments Kristiina Hietasaari, Senior Director of Visit Finland.