Estonian Tourist Board in partnership with the Green Desinations foundation brought together seven Estonian tourism destinations to work towards promoting the principles of sustainable tourism in Estonia. Tartu is one of the destinations who has been part of the programme since 2020. The aim of the programme has been to map the current sustainable tourism situation in the country, development of sustainable tourism products and to share the experience and learn from international good practice stories.
Green Destinations is a non-profit foundation for sustainable destination development and recognition. Members of the Green Destinations Certification Programme are subject to a thorough assessment and certification procedure. Green Destinations certification is valid for 3 years and is thereafter subject to renewal, thus encouraging destinations to manage and improve environmental, cultural and social impacts of tourism by complying with the Green Destinations sustainability criteria.
Tartu received Green Destinations Silver Award in 2021 after international assessment of the destination. In addition, Tartu has been selected among TOP 100 Sustainable Destinations two years in a row. In 2020, the good practice story about Tartu Smart Bike Share and biogas buses received second place in Green Destinations Stories Awards in Environment & Climate Category.
Tartu having the Green Destinations Award is showing that we meet the same core values:
- genuine – supporting the authentic celebration of local culture and tradition;
- responsible and Respectful – avoiding exploitation of people in tourism, and preventing disruptive mass tourism;
- economically sustainable – involving the local business community and enhancing local community employment;
- environment & climate-friendly – combatting the climate crisis, environmental degradation and pollution, whilst ensuring public health;
- nature & scenery friendly – protecting scenic views, landscapes, natural habitats and wildlife.