As last summer’s tourist season in Helsinki turned to autumn, the mood was cautiously hopeful; the nights spent in hotels was on the rise, the event scene was rich and diverse, and the number of tourist information customers was high, which indicated that tourists were once again on the move and curious to gain new experiences. Occasionally, there were even challenges in availability.
Funded by the City of Helsinki, the Sustainable Growth for Tourism: Southern Finland service provides travel businesses with support and training in meeting their customers’ needs. One of the project’s key goals is to boost the competitiveness of these companies and help them develop new tourism products for the global market.
Sustainable tourism products and data strategy to be developed in autumn
New productisation workshops for sustainable tourism services, organised by the sustainable growth project, will still be launched in autumn 2022 and participation will be possible either face-to-face or remotely. The workshops begin with the planning of ideas and end in marketing and selling concrete products, for example at the Matka Nordic Travel Fair in January 2023. The sustainable growth project also supports product piloting and marketing through de minimis aid.
In autumn 2022, companies will also be offered training in knowledge-based management. Through the training, travel companies can learn to utilise data better in their business operations. The training teaches them about various travel industry data services and how to use the Power BI tool, and allows them to build their own data strategies with the help of experts.
In accordance with its strategy, Helsinki aims to be a global forerunner and solution finder when it comes to the sustainability of the tourism and event organisation sectors. The examples above are part of the City’s practical measures with which it invites entrepreneurs to take part in solving the challenges in the travel industry and creating suitable conditions for sustainable tourism.
Helsinki helps companies achieve the Sustainable Travel Finland label
In early summer 2022, the Sustainable Growth for Tourism project organised training for businesses so that they could receive the Sustainable Travel Finland (STF) label. The STF label helps travel businesses communicate to the increasingly conscientious tourists the ways in which they are committed to developing their operations in accordance with sustainable principles. Currently, around 80 companies are working towards this label, 30 of which began the process as a result of the project. A similar number of businesses are also striving towards an environmental certificate of their choice with the help of de minimis aid granted by the Sustainable Growth for Tourism project.
‘Sustainable Growth for Tourism has received exceptionally positive feedback for going the extra mile in helping enterprises complete their STF journeys. We understand that many businesspeople have limited time and energy, and if you are working alone, non-essential things tend to be put on the back burner – regardless of their importance,’ states Project Manager Jonna Pitkänen.
‘Therefore, I would like to remind familiar travel companies of our operations and invite new entrepreneurs to join in. Our project has the necessary resources for you as well,’ Pitkänen continues.
New STF training will become available for travel businesses in early 2023. The best way to stay informed about this and other types of training offered by the project is to subscribe to the project’s newsletter and keep an eye on its event calendar (links in Finnish).
Image: Tentsile hammock accommodation is a
tangible example of a sustainable tourism product. © Jussi Hellsten/Helsinki