Green Tourism of Finland GTF®
Environmental quality programme is required from all providers of hospitality services. The programme must determine on-site practice including measures for energy saving, use of raw materials, water conservation, recycling and acquisitions.
The environmental quality programme will be applied according to the criteria supplied by Green Tourism of Finland. Application of other relevant and existing tourism environmental quality programmes is negotiable. The implementation of the programme will start with self-evaluation in the company, followed by designing the programme. The programme will the audited. The criteria will be updated according to current standards on regular intervals
Safety plan is required from providers of hospitality services and activity services. Activity serviceprovider must demonstrate current and valid safety plan for his operations and the operational environment (e.g. national park or recreational area) and the service provider must demonstrate knowledge of the content of the plan. Activity service provider must have a valid certificate for provision of first-aid (Finnish standard) and carry a first aid kit. Also the accommodation provider must be able to provide first aid.
3. Utilization of local resources
The service provider must prioritise use of local products, services and aim to employ local people when applicable.
4. Professional and sustainable communication
Communication with customers must be open and practice must be transparent. Misleading marketing will not be tolerated and marketing should not contradict environmental and nature protection requirements. Communication must to present erroneous or misleading picture of the natural environment or e.g. snowmobiling.
5. Networking and planning as a basis of business
Customer satisfaction is measured regularly. Customers are given the opportunity to give feedback in an easy and anonymous way. Additionally, customer satisfaction is measured on a regular basis by collecting feedback in written form. There is a recognition about the importance of customer feedback especially in the provision of activities. Subcontractors not having the right to use the trademark are not used.
6. Support and use of public transportation
It is recognized that the biggest environmental impact is caused by travel to the destination. There is an effort to reduce these impacts by supporting the customer in using public transportation (e.g.
Green Tourism of Finland 2010 1/2 train, bus, car pooling). Customers arriving by public transportation to destination are supported by the provision of transfer to accommodation and back. In marketing materials, the alternative of using public transport is communicated to the customer.
7. Non motorized local transport in activities
The aim of experiences in nature is to promote the physical and mental well-being of the customer.
The activity should be based on moving by means of non-motorized transport (walking, cycling, canoeing, rowing, cross-country skiing, snow shoes, horse). Transfer to activities can be organized by bicycles or co-transport. To ensure equal access, people moving with wheelchair are allowed to use motorized transport.
8. Minimization of environmental impact and respect of nature
The negative environmental impacts of nature tourism products are minimized. In the provision of service, litter free conduct is followed. Group size is small (12-15 persons). Use of firewood is kept to minimum. Groups should not be brought to ecologically fragile areas (wetlands, dry forests prone to erosion) or the group will stay on marked trails in these areas. The habitat of endangered species is avoided and information concerning these areas is kept confidential. Damage to living plants should be minimized. Material from nature for e.g. environmental education, is taken with respect and minimal damage. Use of dead matter (dead branches, cones, stones) is preferred over living material. The guide should convey respectful attitude toward nature. In wellness services, only environmentally friendly cosmetics and materials are used. Treatments are based on muscular strength and simple equipment. Electrical equipment are not used. Towels, sheets and utensils are not disposable. After washing or cleaning they are used again. For wellness treatments provided in nature principles of outdoor product apply.
9. Principle of experiential environmental education
Products should use methods of environmental education when applicable. Methods of environmental education will make products experiential and increase customers interest in and love of nature. The guide will convey respectful attitude toward nature. The goal should be that customer’s awareness and knowledge of nature will increase. Even more important is to increase enthusiasm and attachment toward nature. In wellness products nature should be present as central element. Treatments and exercises are located in nature when applicable. The therapist/custodian should convey respectful toward nature and aim at increasing customer’s knowledge and interest in nature.
10. Local culture
Local knowledge, elements of local culture and stories are integral parts of the product which is aiming at increasing awareness of the customer of local culture. In wellness product Finnish oils, herbs and other necessary materials are used. When possible, ingredients of the treatment are retrieved directly from local nature and area. Wellness treatments may utilize elements of local culture when applicable.
© 2016 Green Tourism of Finland GTF® ·