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Sustainable Travel Competition 2024

The application time for the competition has ended. The competition jury will select 5 companies advancing to the finals by December 12, 2023.




Matka Travel Fair is challenging companies in the travel industry to Sustainable Travel Competition for travel products and services based on sustainability.

The pitch final of the competition will be held at Matka Travel Fair 2024 on 18th January and the winner will receive a price of €10 000 from the Finnish Fair Foundation. Matka Travel Fair will be held at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre on 19-21 January 2024 (professional day 18th of January). 


The Sustainable Travel Competition invites travel companies to enter their sustainable travel product or service into the competition. 

The Sustainable Travel competition seeks products or services that put sustainability at the heart of their business and act as good examples, leaders and pioneers for others. The competing product or service has been able to minimise the negative environmental impacts of travel and maximise the positive socio-cultural and economic impacts. 

The competition is open to all companies and organisations operating in the travel industry in Finland.  The jury will select the 5 finalists by 12 December 2023 and will especially pay attention to the impact, scalability and replicability of the nominated travel product or service. The nominated products and services must be on sale and available in 2024. 

The finalists, selected by the jury, will present their product or service on the programme stage on the Matka Travel Fair’s professional day 18th of January in a pitch competition, after which the jury will choose the winner. The winner will receive a price of € 10 000 from the Finnish Fair Foundation, which may be divided into several parts in a tough competition by jury’s choice. 

The application time for the competition has ended. The competition jury will select 5 companies advancing to the finals by December 12, 2023.

Winner could be a travel company or organisation, a product or service that meets one or more of the following criteria: 

  • is able to produce its trip by employing local people and businesses, or contribute in particular to the preservation of the cultural heritage of the destination  
  • considers the challenges and opportunities of environmental change, such as the use of clean energy or low energy needs, climate change, protection of underwater life or environmental protection  
  • demonstrably minimises its own energy consumption or compensates for its carbon footprint  
  • has taken demographic challenges and accessibility into account in a particularly fine way  
  • a product or service based on health and well-being effects 

Jury 2024 

Timo Saranpää, Jury Chairman, SMAL 

Liisa Kokkarinen, Head of Sustainable Development, Business Finland, Visit Finland 

Minna-Maari Harmaala, Senior Lecturer, Haaga-Helia 

Lumia Ankkuri, Director of Marketing and Communications, Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre. 


Saimaa Canoeing was the winner of the Matka Travel Fair’s 2023 Sustainable Travel Competition 

In the final of the Matka Travel Fair´s Sustainable Travel Competition, five tough companies competed for the title. Of these five companies, the jury chose Saimaa Canoeing as the winner, which was awarded a price of €6 000 from the Finnish Fair Foundation. 

The winner was chosen based on the multidimensionality of the whole service and the premise of engaging landowners, villagers, the municipality, the fishing cooperative and the forestry company, as well as highlighting the responsible use of everyman’s rights for travel purposes. 

“The final of the competition was extremely even. Saimaa Canoeing is an excellent example of regenerative travel, how using existing infrastructure and community spirit can leave the environment in better shape than before. In addition, the benefits of travel are more evenly distributed, and the common habitat is revitalised. Saimaa Canoeing is a clear pioneer of regenerative traveling.” Chairman of the jury Timo Saranpää. 

In her presentation at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre, Sanna Korhonen, representing Saimaa Canoeing, emphasised the proper use of everyman’s rights. 

“The more privileges, the more responsibilities. For example, we have renovated the meat shed in the old rectory for accommodation.”  Sanna Korhonen, Saimaa Canoeing 

Asked what the price money is used for, Korhonen replies that good should be put around. “We will use the it for Blue Care activities, i.e. we will organise kayaking activities for children and young families, and we will built more toilets outside and camping places”. 

In addition, Tallink Silja was awarded an honourable mention for its outstanding work in providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainian war refugees in 2022. Tallink Silja has transported around 1200 Ukrainian war refugees and more than 1000 vehicles on its ships free of charge. The Tallink Silja Isabelle is currently accommodating around 1,700 people.