Green Key Finland actively participated in the Helsinki Travel Fair 2019, the largest annual travel fair in the Nordics, where the theme of the Fair in 2019 was sustainability in travel
The first two days of the four-day event was focused on travel professionals, and the last two days on consumers. During the first two days, travel industry actively discussed sustainability and presented best practices. Environmental sustainability was somewhat a focal issue, but also social, cultural and economic sustainability was included in many discussions.
Green Key Finland participated in a panel discussion by ICRT Finland, which is the official local partner for Professor Harold Goodwin’s International Centre for Responsible Tourism. The topic for the panel was Actions for Sustainability, and was thus a natural theme and of course the core for Green Key.
Marketta Viljasaari, Programme Director for Green Key Finland, highlighted the important every-day actions by Green Key awarded establishments in Finland. These examples included reduction in use of plastics, increasing use of LED-lights or taking out minibars from individual rooms and replacing them with fridges or lockable cold storage at reception as energy saving actions. The use of water-saving taps and showers, waste reduction and recycling and activities involving customers were also highlighted. Marketta Viljasaari stressed the importance of communicating environmental actions and raising awareness among staff and guests, and showed examples of these.
During the Helsinki Travel Fair, Green Key Finland also gave a presentation under the topic ‘Positive Power to Protect the Planet’ targeted for the consumer audience. Here, Marketta Viljasaari gave easy tips for all travellers how to make sustainable choices when planning a trip and selecting the destination and accommodation. Green Key awarded establishments were presented as examples of vast the variety of choices available for travellers, e.g. local transportation using bicycles, local food or visiting local nature sites.