The international sustainable tourism organisation Green Destinations has awarded Hiiumaa the Gold-level quality label. The quality label is valid until 1 July 2025.

“Although it is primarily a quality label for tourism, the audit assessed the sustainable performance of the entire island. The result is excellent, but of course, our work continues. We now know our bottlenecks even better and will continue to develop Hiiumaa as a green island for local residents and visitors alike,” said Hergo Tasuja, Mayor of Hiiumaa Municipality.

“Hiiumaa is and has always been a green island. Perhaps we ourselves do not yet know how to see and highlight everything in this way, because it is a natural part of our life. Recognition is very important for us and teaches us to appreciate our actions from an environmental perspective. Travellers are becoming more and more aware of sustainability, and more and more decisions are being made on the basis of the extent to which a destination respects sustainability principles.” said Kristel Üksvärav, head of the Hiiumaa Tourism Cluster. She is delighted that Saaremaa has achieved the gold level. “Together we are promoting the concept of green islands as a destination and we are stronger and more sustainable together. Cooperation with a neighbouring island, Saaremaa was also highlighted as a strength in the auditor’s report.”

Based on the auditor’s assessment, Hiiumaa’s strengths as a tourist destination are sustainable management of natural and cultural heritage in the provision of tourism services and strategic tourism management. Promoting sustainability in businesses, promoting local services and supporting entrepreneurs are also strengths. “Hiiumaa’s management of waste, especially for tourists, is a good example for all destinations in Estonia,” the assessment points out. It also shows that Hiiumaa cherishes local culture and nature, using every opportunity to share it through local food, events and visitor sites. The local government has made tourism a priority and is working closely with local businesses to develop it. One of the biggest bottlenecks in the tourism sector in Hiiumaa is seasonality, diversification measures are in place but are not yet delivering the desired results for the destination.

International environmental auditors’ assessment of the destination as a whole is divided into five levels, with bronze, silver, gold, and platinum and certified green destinations.

In addition to Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, other destinations in Estonia also rose in level: Pärnumaa and Rakvere from bronze to silver, and Lahemaa from gold to platinum. Järvamaa retained silver. Tartumaa will be rated in August.

Estonia’s Green Destinations on the website of the international network of grassland destinations Green Destinations:

The Green Destinations Award and Certification Programme of the Green Destinations Network challenges municipalities, counties, regions and protected areas to promote consistent and sustainable responsible destination management and to encourage the tourism sector to adopt environmental practices. Participating destinations will operate a sustainability management system, where every 2 to 3 years performance and progress will be independently verified and recommendations for improvements will be made. With the support of regional partners and representatives, more than 120 destinations in 25 countries have received awards and certificates. More information:

The Hiiumaa Tourism Cluster brings together Hiiumaa tourism stakeholders to raise the profile of the island as a maritime destination. The Hiiumaa Tourism Cluster was established in 2021 and currently has around 50 members, including the Municipality of Hiiumaa as a supporting member. The activities of the Hiiumaa Tourism Cluster are supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the measure Strengthening the Competitiveness of Regions.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *