Tartu embraces sustainable tourism

Tartu embraces sustainable tourism

The Green Destinations organization works for enhancing destination sustainability, market visibility, and tourism quality

Tartu, Estonia’s second-largest city, has announced its enrollment in the international Green Destinations programme for the assessment and promotion of sustainable tourism. The programme gives a destination the opportunity to analyze and improve its living environment and acquire a green destination quality label.

Tartu's participation in the program is coordinated by the Tartu County Tourism Foundation and supported by the Tourism Development Center of Enterprise Estonia foundation. According to the marketing manager of the city of Tartu Helen Kalberg, more and more tourists take environmental factors into account when choosing a holiday destination. 

"The Green Destination quality label is definitely an important feature that helps a region stand out," said Kalberg, quoted by the municipal website. "The programme allows us to learn from the best practices of other partners, involve external experts and strategically analyze how to make the best use of available resources to help the local tourism sector rise to a new level after the coronavirus crisis," added the marketing manager.

The destination applying for the quality label must provide a detailed overview of the functioning of the various areas of sustainable development in the region. These include, for example, environmental protection measures like waste management, energy use, water management, and climate change mitigation. 

Equally important factors for a destination to successfully complete the quality label application process are nature conservation, preservation of local culture and traditions, business and hospitality level and the social well-being of the region's inhabitants.  

In addition to Tartu, other Estonian destinations, including the islands of Hiiumaa, Saaremaa and Muhu, Pärnu County, Järva County, the town of Rakvere and Lahemaa National Park will also take part in the pilot programme of Green Destinations.

World’s Top 7 Sustainable Destination Awards postponed

Green Destinations is a non-profit organisation of experts and destination ambassadors working in 80 countries. Cooperating with local authorities and stakeholders, they aim to enhance the destination’s sustainability, market visibility, and tourism quality.

To this end, Green Destinations has developed an easy-to-use Assessment & Certification programme, operated through an online Assessment & Reporting platform which helps destinations to improve sustainability management and performance. The platform is based on the GSTC-Recognised Green Destinations Standard (set of criteria) and a Database with data from 2000 destinations.

The organization is also behind the World’s Top 7 Sustainable Destination Awards. This year’s winners were unveiled on March 4, but the award ceremony, scheduled to take place at ITB Berlin, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and postponed to the Green Destinations annual conference in Bodrum, Turkey on 6-8 October.



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