Voss – Sustainable travel
Photo: Visit Voss and Voss herad is awarded the diploma and certificate for sustainable destination during the opening ceremony at Ekstremsportveko 2021.
Innovation Norway has certified Voss as a sustainable destination.
- Both politicians and local businesses wish that we work together to become more sustainable. Tourists have an increasing focus on sustainability and the certificate can increase the appeal for them to come to Voss. Voss is a natural gem that attracts people from near and far. We live off of nature which means we have responsibility to take care of it, says Benedicte Watvedt Skaug, project manager at Visit Voss.
Visit Voss had the executive responsibility in the work to become certified. The work started in 2018.
Minister of Culture, Abid Raja, presented the diploma to Visit Voss during the opening ceremony at Ekstremsportveko 2021.
A committee of key stakeholders from the local tourism industry, other industries and the municipality have also contributed with insight and input. The municipality have been working closely with the certification process through the project and with funding. Local banks have also contributed with funding. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be fundamental in all new plans and tourism strategies in Voss municipality.
Photo: Hiking in Myrkdalen
- Tourism is the biggest industry in Voss. If Voss is to be sustainable, tourism in Voss must become sustainable. It has been very important to us to prioritize the work towards getting certified. Our ambition is to become a “green destination”. This would be great for Voss and an inspiration to others. It is impressive to see what we have achieved together and how well everyone has cooperated. The key to future success is to work together for a sustainable destination, says Hans-Erik Ringkjøb, Mayor in Voss.
The labelling scheme Sustainable Destination has been developed by Innovation Norway in broad collaboration with the tourism industry and is a development tool for travel destinations with a focus on sustainability.
To achieve the certificate, the first time, destinations must show that they work systematically to become more sustainable when it comes to the environment, local communities, cultural heritage, and the economy. They also must limit the negative effects that tourism can have. Data and indicators that are collected from the tourism industry are included in reporting on the UN's sustainable development goals.
The labelling scheme is based on international standards for how a destination can secure a better grasp of its own direction and development in an interaction between tourism, the municipality, and the local community. The certificate is still only one milestone. The certificate is valid for three years from approval, and in order to maintain it, the destination must update its reports and deliver a clear improvement on 104 indicators.
This text is from Innovation Norway’s press release from the ceremony in Voss. It is available in Norwegian here: Press Release – Voss.
You can read more about the labelling scheme here: Our national labelling scheme.
Sustainability in marketing
When marketing Voss sustainability should be in focus. The objective is to make people arrive in Voss by train and thus decreasing their carbon footprint, visit Voss in the off seasons, stay longer etc.
Vossabike is shared electric bikes that people can rent through an app, made available with Voss Parkering and the municipality.
Group certification for “Miljøfyrtårn”
Visit Voss, the municipality and others coordinate group certification of local businesses in the certificate “Miljøfyrtårn”
Voss is developing our own host program – Vossavert. The goal is to create such a strong brand and sense of ownership to that brand within the tourism industry that everyone working in the industry becomes a great ambassador for Voss and for each other. This should come through in all parts of the customer journey, in advertising, the local stores and restaurants, at activities and at the hotels etc.
In Voss we wish to focus on local produce, therefore we have created a page to promote the places where you can find at least 25% locally sourced food and drinks on the menu.
Courses and classes
Visit Voss and Næringshagen hosts courses and classes within different subjects, e.g. local produce, sustainable businesses operations.
Voss – a destination for all
All destinations should be for everyone. We have created a page to promote al the activities that can be adapted to people with different disabilities to make it easier for everyone to plan their stay in Voss.
Vossavet (Voss code of conduct)
We have created our own guidelines (Commandments) for people who want to explore Voss and our nature.