Press release: The First Baltic Sea Region Sustainable Tourism Award Winners: Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden among most Sustainable

The global practice of sustainable tourism awards comes to the Baltic Sea Region as part of the efforts to stimulate tourism recovery and new sustainable initiatives during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the tourism industry hard. 

Today, during the 13th Baltic Sea Tourism Forum – organised as part of the Lithuanian Presidency of the CBSS – winners in the three categories of most sustainable tourist destination, most sustainable product or service and most sustainable tourism services provider were announced. 

Most sustainable tourist destination winners: 

  1. Pärnu City, Estonia (Pärnu City Government) 
  2. Saaremaa, Estonia (Visit Saaremaa, Saaremaa municipality)
  3. Valdemarsvik, Sweden (Valdemarsvik Municipality) 

Special prize: Lithuanian Countryside, Lithuania (Lithuanian Countryside Tourism Association) 

Most sustainable product or service: 

  1. Sinatur Hotel & Konference, Denmark
  2. Aavameri Sea Kayaking, Finland
  3. Do the North, Sweden 

Most sustainable tourism services provider: 

  1. Aavameri Sea Kayaking, Finland
  2. Herrankukkaro Oy, Finland 
  3. WildSweden, Sweden 

Around 30 businesses, services and organisations have applied from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden and the winners were picked by an international panel of experts from the CBSS, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. The awards were organised by the Policy Area “Tourism” of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the Baltic Sea Tourism Center, in close cooperation with the Tourism Policy Division of the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania. 

“The principles of sustainable tourism are becoming increasingly relevant and the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled us to pay more attention to their value: we start to better understand nature, people and the region and so we create and offer tourism products more responsibly. I believe that trully the best ones were announced and awarded today, and the sustainable tourism competition initiated by Lithuania will gain momentum and be announced annually,” Minister of the Economy and Innovation Rimantas Sinkevičius said.

“Sustainability is an integral part of the Baltic Sea Region brand, the Sustainable Tourism Award furthers that brand, helps us find exciting new products and services, and most of all, and helps the tourism and hospitality industry – that suffered the most during the pandemic – to begin to recover.” Daria Akhutina, CBSS expert on the award selection committee, CBSS Senior Adviser for Sustainable & Prosperous Region. 

The Baltic Sea Tourism Forum is taking place for the 13th time. The aim of the virtual international forum this year is to revive tourism in the region by promoting it as an attractive, sustainable travel destination and to introduce innovations that could support tourism recovery, such as digitalisation. The forum will be addressed by Mr Rimantas Sinkevičius (Minister of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania), Mr Zurab Pololikashvili (Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organisation), Mr Eduardo Santander (Executive Director of the European Travel Commission), Mr Grzegorz Poznanski (Director General of the CBSS Secretariat), Mr Neris Germanas (Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania), Mr Šarūnas Vaitkus (Mayor of Palanga). A high-level meeting of ministry representatives of tourism departments of the Baltic Sea States dedicated to tourism recovery measures will also take place on the 13th of November as part of the Forum. The forum is organised by the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania, Palanga resort municipality, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Tourist Board, Policy Area “Tourism“ of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. 

Forum website: 

Contact: Paulina Ek [email protected], 070 176 40 12