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  • Sustainable Tourism at World Heritage Sites

    Definition of Sustainable Tourism

    According to UNESCO, sustainable tourism is “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities” – United Nations World Tourism Organization UNWTO.

    UNESCO World Heritage Centre Sustainable Tourism Programme

    Sustainable tourism is an important theme for the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The Sustainable Tourism Programme supports the protection and development of sites with the means of sustainable tourism while considering the needs and requirements of both regional organisations and associations and the local community into account. Read more about the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Programme.

    The UNESCO Sustainable Tourism “How-To” guides offer concrete site-level guidance to the development of sustainable tourism.

    Principles of Sustainable Tourism Shared by World Heritage Sites and Metsähallitus

    Finland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the nature services of Metsähallitus (“The Finnish Forest Administration”) have shared principles of sustainable tourism that are taken into account in all independent operations and in cooperation with tourist businesses. Committing to these principles guarantees the environmental, sociocultural and economic sustainability of tourism. The principles were drawn up in 2016.

    Sustainable Tourism Indicators of Finland’s World Heritage Sites

    The Association of World Heritage Sites in Finland is developing site-specific sustainable tourism indicators and a model for monitoring the sites’ activity during 2019. This development is a part of a cultural tourism project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In the first phase of the project, the association focused on developing their website and cultural tourism products that meet international standards. Defining sustainable tourism indicators for World Heritage Sites continues the work performed on the shared principles of sustainable tourism in cooperation with the nature services of Metsähallitus. Development of the indicators is made possible by the continued funding from the cultural tourism project.