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STF guidelines

We present here the STF guidelines in issues related to tourism, outdoor activities, the natural world and cultural heritage. The guidelines were approved by the STF National Assembly in 2012.

The first article of STF’s articles of association states that the objective of STF is to promote the interests of the members and their possibilities to participate in tourism in Sweden based on the natural world and cultural heritage.

STF shall:

  • promote and develop tourism that is based on experiences of the natural world and cultural heritage
  • nurture and inform about the natural world, cultural heritage and the environment in Sweden based on a tourism perspective
  • act to promote ecotourism and spread knowledge about the concept
  • offer members reasonably priced accommodation and enriching activities
  • represent in other ways the interests of the members within STF’s areas of operation.

The Swedish Tourist Association is independent of religion and party-based politics. This means, among other things, that STF approves of the Swedish environmental objectives that Parliament has established. Well-functioning ecosystems, biological diversity, good husbandry of natural resources and the preservation of the natural world and cultural heritage are fundamental principles of the tourism that STF represents.

1. STF works to promote sustainable tourism in Sweden that nurtures the natural and cultural values of the places visited.
This means, among other things, that STF supports the national strategy for the development of Swedish tourism, while at the same time pointing out that it is of great importance to ensure that natural and cultural values are cared for in a manner that is sustainable in the long term. STF works to promote environmentally sensitive public transport at reasonable prices. Arrangements under the auspices of STF are to aspire to satisfy the requirements of ecotourism.

2. STF defends actively the right of public access.
This means, among other things, that it is to be permitted for individuals, voluntary bodies and commercial actors to be present on the land or water of another person. It is to be permitted to pick berries, mushrooms and similar for individual use. Open and healthy dialogue with landowners is to be aspired to.

3. STF defends actively shoreland protection.
This means, among other things, that in regions of great need of open shorelands, exemption from shoreland protection is to be given in an extremely restrictive manner, if such an exemption would lead to new areas being removed from the right of public access.

4. STF actively defends the opportunity to experience the natural world free of noise.
This means, among other things, that driving a snowmobile (not solely in the mountains) should be limited to trails in situations when off-trail driving is experienced as a disturbance. Trails for snowmobiles should be separated from marked ski trails. Certain valuable contiguous areas of natural beauty in which outdoor activities take place should be held completely free of leisure driving with snowmobiles. Access for motorised boat travel and the speed at which it is permitted should be limited in areas worthy of special protection. Low-level flying and the landing of aeroplanes should be channelled or limited in areas in which snowmobile and motorboat traffic is subject to restrictions.

5. STF desires that good access to areas of outdoor activities and recreation should be preserved close to urban areas.
This means, among other things, that not only small areas in the immediate vicinity of urban areas but also large areas within a reasonable distance of them should be available. Further nature reserves and national city parks should be established to preserve the environment and stimulate people to enjoy it.

6. STF desires that regions that are valuable for the experience of the natural world and outdoor leisure activities are effectively nurtured. This means, among other things, that nature reserves and national parks are to be established as specified by approved environmental objectives. With respect to regions of national interest, the needs of people who do not live in the area are to be considered.

7. STF desires that good access to trails for trekking and other outdoor leisure activities is to be available.
This means, among other things, that the trails are to be maintained and developed, while certain regions are to be kept in a pristine state, without being prepared.

8. STF desires that valuable places of cultural heritage are protected and made available to visitors, without the quality of the location being compromised.
This means, among other things, that the Swedish World Heritage sites are managed in an efficient manner and that cultural values are given a higher degree of preservation through various forms of protection.

9. STF is to aspire in its operations to low energy consumption and environmentally sensitive sources of energy.
This means, among other things, that STF supports the use of renewable sources of energy, while at the same time holding the opinion that serious consideration is to be taken of the interests of outdoor leisure activities and tourism when new facilities for energy production are established.

10. The responsibility within STF that the guidelines given above are followed lies with the main committee and the administration with respect to questions of national interest, and in contact with government and central government agencies.
This means, among other things, that the district associations (previously known as circles) and various special-interest associations may – under the restrictions that are made clear by the preceding sentence – monitor in their own regions and on their own initiative issues relating to tourism, outdoor activities, the natural world and cultural heritage, as specified by the guidelines. It is a condition that consultation takes place with other local STF operations and with the central organisation of STF if the issue may be of national interest or controversial within STF.