T&L：What are Finland's practices and achievements in sustainable travel so far? What is the next promotion strategy?
Liisa：We launched our national sustainable development programme “Sustainable Travel Finland (STF)” back in June 2020. The sustainable development programme provides all tourism businesses and destinations in Finland a systematic approach to adapt sustainable practices into daily operations. The programme aligns with international sustainable tourism standards as well as national tourism strategy, as it’s adopted to Finnish context. So far, around 1100 tourism stakeholders have enrolled for the programme, and 5 destination, 367 companies that provide more than 1000 experiences, and have met all criteria and been awarded STF label. This allows us to systematically promote sustainable offering and bring competitive advantage to those seriously committed to sustainability. Our marketing strategy is to steer demand towards sustainable offering. This means, that sustainability is not necessary our main message. It’s the criteria behind the message. We’re on our way to making sustainability the default option, not an alternative.
早在2020年6月，我们就启动了国家可持续发展计划“芬兰可持续旅游（Sustainable Travel Finland，简称STF）”。该可持续发展计划为芬兰的所有旅游企业和旅游目的地提供了一个系统化的方法，可以实现可持续发展的同时将可持续融入到日常活动中。这项计划充分考虑到了芬兰的国情，符合国际可持续旅游标准以及国家旅游战略。迄今为止，约有1100名旅游业从业人员参与了该项计划，还有5个旅游目的地及 367家公司提供了1000多项旅游体验，这些旅游体验均符合该项计划的所有标准并被授予了STF认证。这不仅使我们能够系统地推广可持续发展型旅游产品，并为那些认真致力于可持续发展的企业带来竞争优势。我们的营销策略是将旅行需求导向可持续发展型的旅游产品。可持续发展不一定是我们传达的主要信息，但信息背后必须是以可持续发展作为衡量标准的。我们正在努力使可持续发展成为默认选项，而不是可选项。
T&L：What challenges do you think sustainable travel faces today? What strategies should be taken to address these challenges?您认为当前可持续旅行面临哪些挑战？针对这些挑战目的地应采取怎样的应对策略？
Liisa：The major challenge we face today in tourism development is the fact that the industry relies so heavily in aviation, which if the most polluting form of travel. Tourism as an industry is expected to grow rapidly, but this should happen in decarbonizing world. We need strategies and financing mechanism that allow low-carbon transport options. This requires not only cross-border but also cross-sectoral collaboration and common vision.
T&L：What are the positive effects of sustainable travel on the realization of global carbon reduction goals? How to further develop the potential of sustainable travel in this regard?
Liisa：At its very best, sustainable travel does not only minimize negative impact, but it simply eliminates any negative impact and leave places better than found. This is about moving toward regenerative model. The positive effect is, that this provides economic opportunities for tourism industry at the same time, as many travellers are interested in volunteer works and having positive impact in the destinations they visit. If managed in a proper manner, this is quite an opportunity for tourism industry to showcase we’re part of the solution. We already have magnificent examples in Finland on this, as tourism companies with high carbon reduction goals are creating carbon sinks by restoring natural habitats and recreating functional ecosystems. By making biodiversity protection part of their product offering, these companies are making climate action an economic opportunity, while letting travellers to live according to their values during holidays, too, and at the same time creating awareness. I want to see this developed further, nature restoration becoming a mainstream activity within tourism industry in Finland. For this very reason, we’re working on industry-wide biodiversity roadmap to explore the potential.
T&L：How can sustainable travel friendly interact with the economic development and community development of destinations? What experiences and achievements can Finland share?
Liisa：Finland has a long-standing relationship with sustainability. This means, that sustainable development has been embedded to national strategies in one way or other already decades. Having a solid foundation on sustainability has surely helped many to realise that economy and sustainability do not collide, but in fact sustainable development opens enormous potential and economic opportunities. Sustainable tourism companies, who engage with the local community, play along social norms and eliminate any negative impact to the environment, are wanted holiday destinations, employers and business partners, appreciated corporate citizens and also have wider social acceptance in local communities.
T&L：What is the responsibility of sustainable travel for biodiversity conservation? What practical experience can Finland share?
选择带有芬兰可持续旅游（STF）认证的旅游项目！STF认证是旅游公司或旅游目的地致力于可持续运作和发展的保证。选择带有 STF 认证的旅游项目，旅行者将直接支持当地的可持续旅游工作，并确保旅程对当地文化和经济产生深远的积极影响。
T&L：What are Finland's new measures for sustainable travel in recent years? How about the effect?
Liisa：Perhaps one of the key successes in Finland, what it comes to the sustainable travel development, is tight collaboration between private and public sector. Sustainable tourism is a priority is national tourism strategy, including national Sustainable Travel Finland programme that brings all tourism stakeholder together. As the industry have shared sustainability ambition, principles and goals, the journey is smooth as we all go to same direction. Especially the strategy plays a crucial role here, as having sustainability cross-cutting the national tourism strategy, it means there’s funding opportunities for regional sustainable tourism development. This means, tourism businesses get support for their sustainability effort. And since we have a national sustainable tourism development programme, STF programme, all tourism stakeholders have access to systematic approach to adapt sustainability into daily operations.
T&L：Science and technology play a very important role in supporting and innovating sustainable travel. Is there any case in Finland that can be shared? What are the following strategies for strengthening the application of technology in sustainable travel?
Liisa：Technology has allowed us to built many tools available in our national Sustainable Tourism Finalnd programme, including CO2 calculator that is designed for Finish tourism businesses as well as Sustainable Tourism Indicator system, which allows us a multi-dimensional view to the current state of sustainable tourism in Finland. This is crucially important, as now we have data to pinpoint the development areas as well as our strengths. We can use this date to provide systematic support to the tourism industry in Finland where its needed, but also to find those success stories that can motivate others. After all, sustainability is about the snowball effect; a minor significance builds upon and eventually benefits wider communities.
T&L：What do you think should be done to improve the awareness and attention of global travelers on sustainable travel? What specific actions can destinations take?
Liisa：Obviously, a communication is a key. So, it’s crucial to train tour operators and those in customer facing positions to have the competence and self-confidence to talk about topics that matter in a specific destination. For instance, to recommend those activities and experiences that benefit wider community and are sustainable at core. Many of us as travellers are simply not aware of social norms in the destination either, or have know knowledge of the dangers in the local environment. It should be encouraged to react proactively and share this information with traveller as they are about to embark on their journey, or at the lates when they arrive. However, one of the most effective ways I have seen in Finland is simply eliminating harmful offering from your tourism marketing. In this way you kindly guide the travellers to choose options that benefit everyone in the destination.