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Sustainable Travel Finland labels to Sokos Hotels in North Karelia
Break Sokos Hotel Koli and Bomba and Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna and Kimmel in Joensuu have gained Sustainable Travel Finland labels in December 2020. The label is accredited if the tourism company fulfills the criteria for sustainable tourism set by Visit Finland. The criteria involves ecological, financial, social and cultural sustainability factors. For North Karelian Cooperative (PKO) who operates these hotels the well-being of people, nature and our regiong is the key to all operations and work is continuously being done to develop it.
The significance of sustainable and responsible operations has increased in nature and culture destinations like Koli and Bomba. The significanve grows as the number of tourists visiting these destinations grows. "Koli and Bomba are located in beautiful areas surrounded by Finnish nature and scenic views. They are unique destinations which continue to grow the interest in the eyes of tourists. The gorgeous views on the North Karelian nature and strong cultural heritage are a part of modern-day Karelian luxury which is something tourists value. In these destinations sustainable tourism and operations are key in order to preserve the unique nature and surroundings for future generations, says the Sales & Tourism Director Tiina Kanninen from North Karelian Cooperative (PKO).
"For example in 2018 Break Sokos Hotel Koli switched from oil heating to geothermal heating. This decreased the consumption of oil from 200,000 liters to around 10,000 liters. Last year the Koli Ski Resort pruchased a low-emission ski slope machine and the hotel got an ecological, water-based cleaning mechanism. The work continues", says the Hotel and Restaurant Manager Lauri Koukkunen from Break Sokos Hotel Koli.
Common acts to preserve nature
All Sokos Hotels in North Karelia offers ecological supplementary services and programmes suchs as sleigh rides and winter fishing together with local operators. Wild Nordic operating in Bomba has a long experience on producing responsible, local culture promoting products. At Koli you can go to the forest or slopes right from the hotel's yard. Joensuu also promotes the true professionals in karelian pie baking or the champions of Biathlon in creating experiences. Guest are encouraged to low-emission transportation.
Big investments are being done with responsibility in mind
Original Sokos Hotel Kimmel in Joensuu is totally renovated in 2021 into a modern destiantion and into a number one event venue hotel in Eastern Finland. The renovation is being done as environmentally friendly as possible. For example old furniture is being recycled and room numbering plates are being re-used. "We always use local work force when it's possible. Kimmel's renovations are an important employer in the Joensuu region", says the Hotel Manager Sari Otalahti from Original Sokos Hotel KImmel. Also the skills of the staff are being developed. "We are still forming the processing of our sustainable operations and educating future responsible persons."
North Karelian Cooperative (PKO) is a ahead of its time in responsibility matters in many ways. "We are investing in renewable energy, recycle efficiently and promoting the sales of local producers. PKO is also the biggest employer in this area. Now all our hotels have quickly gained the international sustainability labels and this reinforces being ahead of time", Sales & Tourism Director Kanninen says.
"Sustainable Travel Finland offers good tools to continuous development to promote our hotels. New ideas are created all the time."
The Sustainable Travel Finland label accredited by Visit Finland and the programme supporting the development of sustainability aim to enhance and promote sustainable tourism in Finland, communicate and market Finland as a sustainable travel destination and to ease the decision process of tourists.
North Karelian Cooperative develops its tourism products and services to promote the tourism and travel in the whole region. Original Sokos Hotel Kimmel was fully renovated in 2020-2021.
Sokos Hotels have been selected as the Finland's most trustworthy, responsible and valued hotel chain for many years. Read more about the environmental work and responsibility from here: Responsibility at Sokos Hotels - sokoshotels.fi