On 11 November the awards of the Baltic Sea Region Sustainable Tourism Competition, organized by the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania together with the Council of the Baltic Sea States took place. More than 30 companies, municipalities and private individuals providing tourism services in the Baltic Sea Region submitted their applications for the competition.
The winners were selected in three categories: the region’s most sustainable tourism destination, the most sustainable tourism product and exclusive services and the most sustainable tourism services provider.
The most sustainable tourism destination in the Baltic Sea Region is the city of Pärnu in Estonia. Sinatur Hotel & Konference hotel in Denmark won in the category of the most sustainable tourism product and exclusive services, and Aavameri Sea Kayaking (Finland) was chosen as the most sustainable services provider. The special prize established by the Palanga City Municipality was awarded to the Lithuanian Rural Tourism Association, the author of the most original and interesting application.
‘I admit that when we launched the competition, we were offered various opinions. Some said that it may be not worth celebrating today when we do not know how we will live tomorrow. Today, however, we need coherence, concentration and ability to work and to create in times of new reality. 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 truly 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.
Such elections were held for the first time as part of the thirteenth Baltic Sea Tourism Forum. Participants from all 11 Baltic Sea Region countries, including Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Poland and Germany could take part. Their applications were evaluated by international experts and representatives of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.
The main objectives of this competition are to present the region’s achievements in the field of sustainable tourism, to show best practice examples during and following the COVID-19 pandemic, to promote cooperation and the revival of tourism among the actors in the tourism chain, and to promote the principles of sustainable tourism.
The oak tracery prizes by Lithuanian designer Linas Ambrasūnas, depicting the Baltic Sea and the outlines of surrounding countries in the Region, were created for the winners. The author of the sustainable tourism logo is young designer Lina Šipalytė-Valytė.
The winners of the competition acquire the right to be named the most sustainable in the Baltic Sea Region.