A Sustainable Destination
In March 2016, Geilo received the designation Sustainable Travel Destination, as one of the first destinations in Norway.
This is a quality mark for destinations in Norway. The brand is based on a standard that sets clear requirements for the destination's ability to sustainably operate and develop.
The branding scheme is an offer to Norwegian destinations that want to take responsibility for the negative impact of tourism on the environment. The designation assumes that the destination takes care of nature, culture and the environment, strengthens social values, and is economically viable.
If you choose to travel to a sustainable destination, you help to preserve our historical and cultural heritage while supporting local communities, traditions, nature and the environment. You are warmly welcomed by the local hosts, who also serve you local food that is harvested, produced and prepared in the local area.
However, the brand does not mean that a destination is 100 percent sustainable in all areas, but that they are in a long-term process. The destinations are evaluated every three years.
Clean Environment and Resource Efficiency
All the activity companies in Geilo are now in certification mode to be able to offer responsible and environmentally certified experiences to the seminar and conference market. In reality, this means that the companies that want to be part of the sales packaging to the seminar and conference market must environmentally certify their company. All the large hotels have previously been environmentally certified, which provides a green thread throughout an entire stay at the destination. In addition, groups of start-up meetings have been initiated for new certifications of all types of companies. Trade, craftsmen, office/administration, and so on. Visit Geilo is, of course, also environmentally certified. (Today, between 10 and 15 companies are working on their certifications.)
Social Sustainability / Employment / Local Control
To ensure recruitment in the tourism industry, Visit Geilo has applied for, and been approved, as an apprenticeship company. This gives young locals the opportunity to become better acquainted with the industry, and get into an educational progression that the tourism industry needs. Visit Geilo is proud to finally be able to offer young people a proper educational course on the subject of sales, based on tourism. Visit Geilo also has a strategy to attract trainee positions in the near future. At the start of the project, the trainee position was filled. To be an arena for young employees and young people starting out, is one of our clear goals and an important part of the strategy.
The initiative has been made to highlight several parts of the municipality. The FV 50 highway is a road that stretches from one corner of the municipality, to the other. A lifeline with many exciting attractions, sights, and an exciting business life. The axis Hol - Aurland is a classic scenic route, and we are now in the process of the development around Route 50. Route 50 is a local initiative to create commitment, identity and pride, and at the same time, it has an international interest, because it is crammed full of cultural and nature experiences. Most of these have been used in commercial tourism in the past.
At the start of the Sustainable Travel Destination process in Geilo, Visit Geilo had just under 100 members. Many measures were initiated around the recruitment of new members. Better communication, more involvement, greater breadth in the membership, and clear goals have contributed to Visit Geilo today having 223 member companies. That means that the income has increased, but most importantly, there are many more who own the tourism industry, and the process around a more sustainable tourism is well rooted in a broad and large membership. Diverse membership with an adapted membership fee, where goals and ambition are shared.
New Events and New Content in Classics
Geilo has had, and still has, a large portfolio of events. The Spark World Championships (kicksledding), which started in 1981, has always had a green profile, but has now received an even clearer environmental message. The Norsk Matglede food festival is another example, where the event itself is also environmentally certified. The goal of Visit Geilo is that all events that are organized must have environmental certification as a trademark. The development of new events has been going on for several years, and the new events have all the ten Sustainability Principles as a starting point for the development.
Image Use and Profile
Visit Geilo has incorporated the principles of sustainability into the development of design, language, and profile. Pictures are taken in such a way that they show nature, people and culture. We prioritize images that show our identity, our stories, and our unique advantages as a sustainable destination. The use of language is more precise, and we do not hide our position of taking care of nature and culture. In the work we involve SNO, the administration, the cultural department in the municipality, and others.
Opportunity to Contribute for Private Individuals
One of the actions taken these days is to give private individuals the opportunity to contribute. We have had 256 mugs made, each one with its own unique place name printed on it. These cups are sold for NOK 1,933 per mug per year, and give private individuals a five-year membership in Visit Geilo. The contributions that come in via mug sales will be earmarked for public improvements in the surrounding areas, such as benches, installations, signage, and other measures that benefit the community. It is local place names that adorn the cups. The reason why they cost NOK 1,933 per cup is that the highest point in the municipality (yes, in the whole county of Viken) is at 1,933 meters elevation: Folarskarnuten. Paying NOK 1 per ek\levation meter is believed to be a reasonable price.
For the past five years, Geilo has worked with hosting through various hosting courses. Over 600 people have reviewed techniques, knowledge, enhancement, and exchange of experience.
Sustainability for Destination Development in Geilo
If you want more information about the process to become a sustainable goal, contact us.