Helsinki’s appeal as a tourist destination is on a sharp increase. This year Helsinki is one of the EU’s two European Capitals of Smart Tourism. Helsinki earned the title with its merits in accessibility, digitalization, sustainability, cultural heritage and creativity.
Helsinki is strongly committed to sustainable tourism
Helsinki’s expertise in ensuring sustainable development of tourism has been noted widely, and the City seeks to share its best practices. Solutions to challenges related to tourism, including climate change mitigation and overtourism, require close cooperation and information exchange.
Helsinki does not strive to increase the absolute numbers of tourists but to strengthen tourism-related benefits in a sustainable manner. Sustainable growth in tourism helps to anticipate possible problems and ensures smooth services for visitors and citizens.
Think Sustainably helps to find sustainable services
Helsinki promotes sustainable tourism by improving services for visitors and tourism infrastructure as well as by emphasizing genuine, local experiences. Such services are developed for visitors that allow them more easily to make responsible choices.
Think Sustainably is a new service launched in summer 2019 that enables consumers – both residents and visitors – to find sustainable services in the city, including restaurants, accommodation services, activities and events.
The new service is based on responsibility criteria customized for Helsinki, developed in cooperation with local stakeholders and responsibility experts. The criteria emphasize ecological sustainability and especially climate change mitigation, and they take into account other dimensions of ecological sustainability and social responsibility.
Helsinki joins other cities in the Lisbon Declaration on Sustainable Urban Tourism, announced at a meeting of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Lisbon on 5 April 2019. UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.