12th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations was in Jyväskylä 9-10 June. The two days conference was about discussing and finding practical responsible solutions for challenges within tourism business in Finland and several different destinations in the world. Over 100 participants were specialists and colleagues from Finland and abroad devoted to formulate and implement responsible tourism actions and projects to find and share solutions to the challenges of seasonality and different aspects of responsibility.
The themes of the conference were Four seasons and responsibility: seasonality and water in its´ different forms. In the theme of seasonality was a parallel session about locality and responsibility which included presentations about local food. For example there were short presentations from food projects: Short food supply chains – local food and social capital, Save the world meal by meal and Employing local food products in a destination to enhance a sustainable tourism value chain – perceived benefits by tourists, locals and food producers. The presentations and whole programme can be read JAMK.fi ICRT Finland.
The findings of Short food supply chains – local food and social capital project are applicable also to responsible tourism. Food is a dynamic tool for sharing stories, forming relationships and building communities. By combining local food to tourism it offers all parties an authentic taste of plate and contribution to sustainability. Local food is also an additional value for responsible tourism and could be utilized in marketing and show the value given for the area. Social capital is about working networks together with commonly shared norms and values. Through networks members cooperate, communicate and utilize common resources as well as coordinate and integrate operations. Communication is done face to face as well as through social media for example Facebook. In the context of social capital trust is integral element as economic and political fluency in life as well as personal well-being and responsibility.
Our four seasons. Yes, by calendar it was summer, but on Thursday it snowed in Lapland. Climate has changed… However cold weather did not bother because the atmosphere of the conference was inspiring, intense and warm. In the end our climate had to give up and it showed it’s best in the last night in the harbor – sun and the Nordic white light.
Enjoy your summer responsible by using local products, respecting others, staying afloat and not forgetting sun cream! 🙂