The 12th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations took place in Jyväskylä (Finland) on 9-10 June 2016. The objective of the conference was to give the participants a possibility to develop their global perspective through sharing experiences of international tourism operators, trade, specialists and academics on different topics linked to the main theme.
The main themes for the conference this year were four seasons and responsibility. The venue was held at the campus of Jyväskylä University for Applied Sciences, in the beautiful lake district in Middle Finland.
Harold Goodwin, Professor of Reponsible Tourism at Manchester University and founder of the International Conference on Responsible Tourism (ICRT) network, welcomed the audience and gave an insight to where we stand today. Other keynote speakers included Professor C. Michael Hall, travel organisation Visit Finland, several industry operators from cruise line Viking Line to TUI Travel and local tourism operators and entrepreneurs.
The hotel and restaurant industry examples came from two local entrepreneurs namely Hotel Yöpuu and Restaurant Arts & Crafts. Hotel Yöpuu sees responsibility as an integral part of their daily operations and is a proud provider of many local goods. They also emphasized the long-term commitment: local products are not always the cheapest option, but they see it as an investment for the long-lasting relationships with local vendors and their possibility to continue their operations. Local food was one of the most discussed topics, as well as, especially as being in the lake area of Jyväskylä, using the resources of local nature like white fish from the thousands of lakes in Finland.
Green Key was represented by Green Key Finland as an example of a practical tool for hospitality. The town of Jyväskylä got their first Green Key awarded hotel in April 2016 and the proud holder of the award is Solo Sokos Hotel Paviljonki. Their environmental work was presented as an excellent example of practical efforts, high energy and water efficiency as well as high involvement of staff, guests and partners.