How Sweden makes tourists responsible – interview with Ruth Dolla from Visit Sweden

How Sweden makes tourists responsible - interview with Ruth Dolla from Visit Sweden

Did you know, ‘plogging’, the eco-friendly trend of jogging and picking waste comes from the Swedish words ‘plocka’ – to pick and ‘joggning‘ – jogging? In a conversation with ETTravelWorld, Ruth Dolla, Official Spokesperson, Visit Sweden, talks about how as travel enters the world of new and improved normal, a destination like Sweden can serve as a safe bet for travellers. Excerpts from a chat:

ETTravelWorld: How do you work together with various outfits to promote sustainable practices?

Ruth Dolla: Visit Sweden has chosen to base its sustainability work on the Brundtland Commission’s and UNWTO’s definitions of sustainability – the simultaneous development of economic, social and environmental aspects. We have also led work to drive sustainability in the hospitality industry across the country with the aim of being one of the most sustainable destinations in the world by 2040.

ETTravelWorld: How do you work to make travellers conscious about sustainability?

Ruth Dolla: Visit Sweden’s marketing activities highlight the sustainable experiences available to a traveller. The hospitality industry, public transport, food companies, etc all highlight their sustainability certifications or sustainable aspect helping the traveller to make responsible choices. In order for tourists to get more inspiration about local and responsible food and drink, Visit Sweden in 2019 developed a digital education that helps food companies to communicate how they work with sustainability, which in turn will help tourists make informed and responsible choices about the food and food experiences they consume.

Trains and buses in Stockholm have been operating on 100 per cent renewable energy since 2017. As far as social sustainability is concerned, LGBTQ communities are welcome and public transport is accessible for people with physical limitations, even national parks have accessible ramps for wheelchairs. The central station in Stockholm has a lot of passengers moving around, this movement and their body heat is harnessed to heat an office building in the same complex. By supporting tourism companies that offer sustainable experiences, a tourist is able to contribute to the circular economy and be a responsible tourist. The experiences that they take back with them also help them to continue to stay inspired to live sustainably in their home country.

Stockholm sustainability stats:

  • 100% of the energy used by the City of Stockholm´s own operations comes from renewable sources. 99% of Stockholm´s solid waste is recycled
  • 96% of the hotels in Stockholm has an environmental certification
  • Stockholm has one of the cleanest (and tastiest) tap waters in the world making it not necessary to buy bottled water.
  • Stockholm has 1/3 green area, 1/3 water, 1/3 built area
  • Stockholm Arlanda Airporthas a ISO14001 certification

This is an edited excerpt from an article by Peden Doma Bhutia, originally published on ETTravel World.

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