Estonia looks to ‘nature, food and culture’ as pillars of tourism

Estonians see sustainability as a tradition rather than just a trend, according to a tourism boss from the country.

Külli Kraner, head of tourism at the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Communications for Estonia, said: “Sustainability is not a trend for Estonians, it is a tradition.

“Nature, food and culture are our pillars to develop tourism in Estonia.”

She made her comments during a session on sustainable tourism and the climate crisis as part of the recent ‘A World for Travel’ conference in Seville.

The two-day event saw up to 400 industry stakeholders come together to address the climate, environmental, technology, social and economic challenges facing travel and tourism.

The small Baltic nation of Estonia ranks fourth on Euromonitor’s Sustainable Travel Index for 2023 and has “many businesses” with green labels and certificates, she added.

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“To achieve climate change objectives, the only way forward is to do it at every possible level,” she said.

“There is now a new ministry with a minister of climate with the very important task of drafting the climate law.

“When it comes to tourists…we need to take a huge step out of our comfort zone.”

She also highlighted the importance of digital services and how Estonia has the most start-ups per capita in Europe, thanks to a government start-up programme.

Another speaker at the ‘A World for Travel’ conference also highlighted the “crucial” importance of technology in shifting the climate attitudes of travellers.

Nicolas Brumelot, chief executive and co-founder of Digitrips, said: “When it comes to climate-conscious travel, passengers are still on a learning curve.

“Technology plays a key role in shifting their attitudes.

“It is our responsibility as technology providers to enlighten passengers about why and how they should factor in sustainability when travelling.

“This must start with fully informing them about the ecological effects of flying. Only by doing so can we nurture climate consciousness and ensure climate protection initiatives continue to flourish.”

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