Over the last 5 years, we have visited over 75 countries and hundreds of destinations around the world.
We have been on a mission to promote responsible travel practice and to inspire our followers to make a positive impact on the destinations they visit. Through our travels, we have learned a lot about sustainable travel and realized that there are some destinations that promote sustainable travel better than others. So we decided to create our own list highlighting destinations that do it best!
Hours of desk research and on the ground experience have gone into putting together this list of Top 50 Most Sustainable Destinations in the World. To create the list, we identified what sustainability means to us and came up with 3 essential sustainability pillars and the accompanying questions to help us rank destinations
- Environmental Impact:
- What’s being done to reduce the environmental impact of tourism on the destination?
- How is the destination encouraging respectful interactions with wildlife and their natural habitats?
- Are hotels/tour operators in the destination encouraged to provide visitors with ways to reduce their impact on the environment?
- What practices are in place to help protect nature?
- Is the destination affected by over tourism?
- Economic Impact:
- What support is being provided to the local communities impacted by tourism?
- Do tourism operators in the destination hire local staff and work on furthering their skills and education?
- Does the price of products and services offered to tourists respect the livelihoods of local vendors and artisans?
- Cultural Impact
- What is being done to protect rich cultural heritage of the destination?
Check out the full list of the destinations that made our list of Top 50 Most Sustainable Destinations in the World below!
Botswana has a long standing commitment to the preservation of its environmental and cultural heritage. 38% of the country land is protected and the destination is focused on offering experiences through grassroots organizations that support sustainable practices and actively encourage tourists to get involved in conservation schemes.
The Botswana Ecotourism Certification System is an important structure designed to encourage operators to provide a quality eco-friendly product to consumers and one that positions Botswana as a leading sustainable ecotourism destination.
From our Visit to Botswana:
To say that Namibians take conservation and ecotourism seriously is to understate the matter. Nearly an eighth of the population is involved in conservation in some capacity, and 37% of the land is dedicated to national parks, sanctuaries, and conservancies. Protecting the environment is built into Namibia’s constitution, and in 2013 the Namibian Conservation Guards were granted the Sustainable Tourism Award.
On top of having the highest populations of cheetahs and black rhinos because of conservation efforts, Namibia has also gained a reputation as a leader in responsible tourism. In 2015, they hosted the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism to further encourage a balance between sustainability and tourism.
From our Visit to Namibia:
- The Ultimate Namibia Itinerary: Top Things To Do In Namibia
- Guide To Visiting Skeleton Coast, Namibia: Shipwrecks, Seals And Sand
- 13 Awesome Things To Do In Swakopmund, Namibia
- Essential Things You Need To Know About Renting A Car In Namibia
- Guide To Visiting Deadvlei & Sossusvlei, Namibia: Things To Do And Important Tips For Your Visit
Why Volcanoes National Park?
While Rwanda is known for its gorillas and opportunities to see them up close, the government put a cap on the number of visitors that can see one gorilla group in a day. In order to keep the gorillas from getting stressed out and to help keep the activity sustainable in the future, there will only be a maximum of 8 permits per gorilla group in a single day.
On top of that, every time someone pays for a permit to see the gorillas, a portion of the revenue from the tourists goes towards the local communities that surround the national park.
More on Sustainability in Volcanoes National Park:
Why the Serengeti?
While Tanzania is not a wealthy country, it is one that’s very expensive to travel to; it’s a country that is very aware of the positive impact tourist dollars can have on the local economy. The Serengeti operates on the high-value low volume tourism model. But steep park entry fees and tour costs allow tourism to have an enormous impact on the conservation efforts and the prosperity of the communities in this region. Tourist dollars allow the government of Tanzania to give protection to national parks and game reserves that represent over 80% of the Serengeti. It helps protect diverse habitats and the unique wildlife that inhabits this area.
A number of sustainable safari operators in the Serengeti also invest heavily in the protection and conservation of globally threatened or endangered animals, like rhinos, elephants, and cheetahs. It’s up to us, as travelers, to choose to travel with these sustainable tour operators and stay in eco-friendly lodges while visiting the Serengeti.
The Serengeti: One of Africa’s Most Sustainable Destinations
More on Sustainability in the Serengeti:
Why Chumbe Island?
In recent years, Chumbe Island Coral Park (CHICOP) has received a plethora of awards that all relate to its sustainability programs. Among these awards is the World Responsible Tourism award, from 2013. In an ideal world, ecotourism will support research, conservation efforts, and environmental education, and CHICOP is doing all it can to make that happen.
Included in their efforts, they’ve fully protected the Coral Reef Sanctuary and a Forest Reserve that rare wildlife lives in. It’s one of the last undisturbed tropical dry forests in Zanzibar, and it’s an Education Center for the local population.
Our Visit to Chumbe Island:
Why Cape Town?
Cape Town has set a new standard when it comes to responsible water consumption, and in recent years they managed to reduce water consumption by over 50%. Though initially fueled by a drought, the government and the citizenry have taken off running with the idea of marketing Cape Town as a sustainable destination.
The hotel- and tourism-industries have been at the forefront of many water saving initiatives. Swimming pools were closed, boreholes were installed, seawater was used for air conditioning, and other changes took place. Even more importantly, educating guests on the importance of water conservation became a priority. In some cases, guests even get rewarded for reducing their water consumption.
From our Visit to Cape Town
Why Kingdom of Bhutan?
The Kingdom of Bhutan has a reputation as being an exclusive travel destination, where they aim to promote themselves based on Gross National Happiness Values. As such, Bhutan’s tourism industry is founded on principles of sustainability.
That is why all visitors must pre-pay their travel costs, and it is mandatory to use a guide, minimum three star hotel, and comfortable transport. In addition, they must pay US$ 65 per person per night; it is used for social development to sustain the destination.
Our Visit to Bhutan:
As of March, 2019, Taiping is the third most sustainable city in the world. It has a number of controlled areas that not only use money gained through tourism to give back to the local communities, but also serve as heritage sites. Local construction and land-clearing sites are all rigorously checked to be sure that they line up with the standards of sustainable tourism, and by now Taiping is known for its greenery and waterscapes.
The precipitation in the area is high enough that Taiping gets called Rain Town, and lush greenery, waterfalls, mountains, and wildlife are as plentiful as that name implies. These natural attractions are all very carefully preserved.
Our Visit to Taiping:
Palau is a country consisting of hundreds of islands in the Western Pacific, and both it’s natural and cultural heritage scenes are rich. Palau has adopted a sustainable tourism model and together with the community develops various projects.
Among these projects, protecting the environment has taken the forefront. Palau’s reputation for having pristine natural environments has fueled and continues to fuel much of their tourism, and their eager to keep it that way. As a result, in 2015 80% of Palau was announced as a “no-take” marine reserve; a reserve that doesn’t allow fishing or mining. Supplementing that big push, there are also recycling programs through which, for example, recycled glass is turned into souvenirs.
Our Visit to Palau
Why Bardia National Park?
Bardia National Park is the largest national park in Nepal, and was selected as a finalist for the World Top 100 Sustainable Destinations. As of March, 2019, it was declared the best sustainable destination in Asia-Pacific region.
It’s been well-received by a number of non-profits geared towards improving ecotourism, and Nepal is regarded as a leading nation in sustainable tourism practices. Since its establishment in 1988, Bardia National Park has also managed to double the number of endangered Bengal tigers there are in the wild.
Our Visit to Nepal:
Why Raja Ampat?
In the not so distant past Raja Ampat was nothing more than a nickel mining area, but over the last 20 years, this region has become one of the most important marine conservation areas in the world. To ensure the long term health of the marine ecosystem in Raja Ampat, in 2007, the government of Indonesia established Marine Protected Areas that now cover around 35,000 square kilometres and 45% of Raja Ampat’s coral reefs and mangroves.
Between Marine Protected Areas and “sasi” law making sure no one area can be hunted or fished to barrenness, Raja Ampat takes marine conservation very seriously. As travelers, we too can do our part to support sustainable tourism practices in the region by choosing to visit Raja Ampat with sustainable operators, stay in eco-friendly lodges or in one of the 100 home-stays in the region. There is no better way to learn about the area and the impact tourism is having on its residents than to experience the region with local guides and responsible operators.
Raja Ampat: The Most Sustainable Destination in Asia
More on Sustainability in Raja Ampat:
Singapore sees more tourists in a year than there are people living there, and they work very hard to preserve that status. The heavily forested areas are protected, leading to nature and wildlife being a large draw for tourists, and there are efforts to create urban parks for both tourists and residents.
There are various programs to preserve animals that are skirting the line of extinction, breeding them and releasing the offsprings back into their natural habitats. On the whole, the Singapore government takes maintaining sustainable tourism very seriously.
Our visit to Singapore:
Planned for October 2019
Australia & New Zealand
Why Tropical North Queensland?
The region of Tropical North Queensland, and specifically, the area around Port Douglas, is taking big strides to become Australia’s first eco-certified region. In Tropical North Queensland, the Corporate Sustainability Strategy is geared towards the preservation and restoration of the environment, plus monitoring and reducing the Council’s environmental footprint and strengthening resilience to climate change.
In light of recent coral bleaching, extensive focus has been put on ensuring the health and biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef. Travelers can experience the reef with ecotourism operators and help collect valuable reef health data through programs like the CoralWatch. World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, is another destination with remarkable biodiversity and conservation programs.
The Daintree region has set an ambition goal, to offset the carbon footprint of its operations through projects within the Daintree Rainforest and along the Great Barrier Reef. The government hopes that by creating a carbon neutral operations model in Tropical North Queensland, other tourism organizations across Australia might want to follow suit.
Tropical North Queensland: Australia’s Most Sustainable Destination
More from our visit to Tropical North Queensland:
Why the Red Centre?
The Red Centre is a beautiful region of the outback known for Aboriginal culture and playing host to fascinating flora and fauna, as well as being home to the iconic Karlu Karlu, otherwise known as the Devil’s Marbles. Considering that, the community takes protecting and revitalizing the land very seriously. Working together as a region, the Red Centre can become even more effective at achieving long lasting recovery and protection of the unique, diverse nature, to ultimately create a more resilient ecosystem.
Our Visit to the Red Centre:
While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, in recent years Tasmania can be considered a responsible tourism success story, due in large part to the national parks movement and local food producers. In 2013 the most contested portion of Tasmania’s forests was granted World Heritage protection, and in fact that easiest and most enjoyable way that anyone–citizen or traveler–can contribute to sustainability is to eat locally sourced food.
When it comes to some of the most popular tourism activities, sustainability is considered just as important. Hiking or biking in the bush and kayaking are both popular and surfing is steadily growing in popularity. For any of them, accredited guides are easy to find, to offer the best course of action to keep both you and the environment safe.
More from our Visit to Tasmania:
Why Ningaloo Reef?
Clean and pristine, there is nowhere better to dive if you want to swim with whale sharks, and in large part is because the most highly rated tour operators are dedicated to preserving it. From educating the public to community outreach, or from using solar energy and recycled emissions to minimizing plastic-use, methods large and small are used to keep travelers safe, to keep the reef clean, and to keep the wildlife healthy and comfortable.
More from our visit to the Ningaloo Reef:
Why New Zealand?
Determined to become the world leader in sustainable tourism, the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment aims to make it so every business in the New Zealand tourism industry is committed to sustainability by 2025. All of this is with the goal of supporting the community and restoring, protecting, and enhancing the environment, while still remaining a high quality destination.
Qualmark, New Zealand in particular is the national industry regulator, helping to preserve the 100% pure tourism industry, and to deliver 100% pure assurance to visitors and New Zealanders alike.
Our Visit to New Zealand
When it comes to making a change, Uruguay doesn’t waste any time. Over less than a decade, 95% of the nation’s electricity was sourced from renewable energy–primarily wind and hydro–and it didn’t require any government funding. It has nearly universal access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation, and roughly 70% of the wastewater collected by the national utility is treated.
In 2015, Uruguay passed a tourism law, establishing clear frameworks for the development of a tourism industry guided by the principles of sustainable tourism. Both the infrastructure of tourism and the social and economic benefits of properly managed tourism have been a priority, and are widely distributed.
Our Visit to Uruguay:
With the number of tourists in Guyana on the rise, a change had to be made or else the impact on the environment would soon be detrimental, and Guyana leapt at the call. Several governmental agencies and private sector partners began planning and implementing sustainable destination and development best practices, designed to meet the demands of a growing market and maximize the economic, social, and conservation benefits.
In recent years, Guyana was named the worlds Best in Ecotourism destination, and it was in the top 10 of sustainable destinations, as ranked by the Green Destination Foundation. Many of its commitments are being met through working with indigenous communities, and Guyana is well on its way to becoming a leader in sustainable tourism.
Our Visit to Guayana:
One of the simplest ways that any layman can help contribute to sustainability is by taking public transit, and Curitiba has one of the best yet simplest bus systems in the world. Consisting of long buses made of three connected cars, they circulate around the city and stop at tube-shaped stations to let people off or pick up passengers.
As for Curitiba’s green spaces, they’re kept looking neat and well-groomed by herds of sheep that roam around the city, eating grass for free and without any need for gas.
Our Visit to Curitiba:
The Galápagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador, are renowned for being one of the most biodiverse destinations in the world. But this unique corner of the world is not immune to the negative impact of a booming population, over tourism, overfishing and other environmental challenges. Today, a lot of work goes into ensuring the long-term survival of the ecosystems on the Galapagos Islands.
Tourism entrepreneurs are leading the charge, educating the public and attracting the necessary financial support to protect the environment, though they are not the only ones making the effort. During our visit, we learned that the thriving wildlife habitat in the Galapagos would not be possible without the support and advocacy of the local population and the Ecuadorian government.
Visitors to the Galapagos Islands continue to grow each year but so do the standards for boat efficiency and rules on pollution. Where and how many people are on each island is monitored to make sure the wildlife is as safe as it can be and the entrance fee and the mandatory licensed guide requirement, provide essential funds and ensure that strict conservation rules are adhered by all visitors to the Galapagos.
The Galapagos Islands: The Most Sustainable Destination in South America
More from our Visit to the Galapagos Islands
Why Fernando de Noronha?
With a diverse but fragile ecosystem, Fernando de Noronha has been declared a World Heritage Site, and tourism is promoted and regulated very carefully to keep the island’s environment as pristine as possible. The national park and the Environment Protected Area are the two protected areas in the region, and the main island is seen as one of the best ecotourism destinations in the world.
The number of tourists allowed to visit at any one time is limited, as a smaller group is easier to control and keep track of, and an environmental tax that contributes to the island’s maintenance is charged to tourists. Though people are obviously allowed to observe the wildlife, there is always intense monitoring to make sure that none of the island’s flora or fauna are threatened. Recycling projects are heavily promoted, both by the government and by local business owners, and there is a heavy emphasis on educating those that visit Fernando de Noronha.
More from our visit to Fernando de Noronha:
Why Puerto Natales?
Like many other places, Puerto Natales has limited the use of plastic bags, but that’s far from the only efforts being made towards sustainability. With a focus on the integral development of the community, Puerto Natales is a destination with sustainable tourism management that involves the local communities, highlighting the value of the indigenous people and their traditions, and adding value to the conservation of nature, the environment, and cultural vibrance.
More on Sustainability in Puerto Natales and Patagonia from our visit in 2016:
Vancouver is recognized as a leader in sustainable planning and green building, rated second in North America in the Green City Index and with the smallest carbon footprint in any major city in North America. Vancouver has also set up a plan to be the greenest city in the world by 2020.
Tourism Vancouver has partnered with BC Hydro to promote energy efficiency and energy conservation, planning on reducing energy consumption within the tourism industry and becoming a leading sustainable tourism destination. They’ve also partnered with ETHOS BC to make a commitment to making energy conservation the new normal and to reach towards becoming carbon neutral.
Our Visit to Vancouver:
Why Great Bear Rainforest?
While you would expect a rainforest to be dedicated to the protection of the wildlife and plant life native to it, in Great Bear Rainforest that idea is taken above and beyond; 85% of it is protected. However, animals and plants are not the only things living in Great Bear Rainforest, as it also plays host to roughly 27 First Nations. Great efforts are made to help preserve their ancient culture.
Our Visit to the Great Bear Rainforest:
Why Thompson Okanagan?
Thompson Okanagan’s long-term sustainability strategy has, so far, led to a 3% increase in revenue, while still positively impacting the inhabitants, fauna, and flora. It was the first destination in Canada to begin a regional tourism strategy with a commitment to responsible, sustainable tourism.
In 2017 the region was officially certified as the first location in the Americas to have achieved the Biosphere Certified Destination accreditation from the Responsible Tourism Institute.
Our Visit to Thompson Okanagan:
Why Jackson Hole & Yellowstone?
After becoming one of the first destinations to adopt sustainability standards at the management level, it’s successfully held that line. In response to the 2012 findings of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Sustainable Destination Criteria Early Adopters Program, in 2014 The Riverwind Foundation’s Jackson Hole and Yellowstone Sustainable Destination Program was established.
57 stakeholders, steered by a committee of 12 sustainability experts, have been established by the foundation, and 280 businesses have received sustainability training. Since then, 200 local businesses have qualified as sustainable businesses, 49 green collar jobs have been created, and the efforts have gone beyond just businesses. 250 students have participated in sustainability projects and 7,400 have been given the Jackson Hole Sustainability Report Card. Efforts have even extended to travelers, as over 100,000 have been granted the Jackson Hole Sustainability Code of Conduct.
Our Visit to Yellowstone:
Portland is committed to becoming the greenest, most sustainable city in America, which has led to planning and supporting green programs. Urban bicycling, using renewable energy, and advertising local food production and consumption are just some of these programs. Portland also has the highest rates of recycling and bicycle commuting in the country, and city planners are active in preventing sprawl and in enhancing the working farms and natural wonders that surround the metropolitan area.
Our Visit to Portland:
The state of California is the leader in solar energy use in the US, and it takes recycling equally as seriously. San Francisco was the first city in the entire country to ban plastic shopping bags, and throughout the state, local artists are known for incorporating recycled items into their art to inspire others to do the same. There’s also a push to establish the partnerships needed to meet the goals set for the future, and to empower women and girls in the area.
Our Visit to California:
Caribbean & Central America
Bonaire is the first blue destination in the world, meaning it’s committed to the use of ocean resources in sustainability. There is a vision for Bonaire, where the focus will be on the people, and some of the key goals in pursuing that vision are the alleviation of poverty, new economic opportunities, increased social-economic benefits, and more job opportunities, all through long-term economic development. As a community, they have the task of protecting, unifying, and magnifying the island.
Our Visit to Bonaire:
Saba is teeming with fauna that can be safely seen through a network of guided hiking trails, and that’s just on the ground. Under the water line, there’s an amazing intact ecosystem, which provides countless opportunities for high quality scuba diving and snorkeling.
Diving trips are conducted by the Saba Marine Park, which is a model park recognized for its success in protecting and preserving the marine environment. Guests can appreciate the diversity while knowing that they and the wildlife are safe.
Our Visit to Saba:
In the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017, 95% of Dominica was left without electricity, 90% of the structures were damaged or destroyed, and a regrettable number of flora and fauna were left endangered or extinct. In the aftermath of such devastation, Dominica decided to take a stand, determined to rebuild as the first fully climate resilient nation. Acting as a light for other countries to follow, Dominica is rebuilding, including offering voluntourism packages as they rebuild their tourism industry, encouraging tourists to help restore iconic landmarks, nature trails, and other sustainable travel offerings.
Our Visit to Dominica:
Why Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve?
Not only has this reserve been one of the top 100 sustainable destinations for two years running, but it also puts great effort into remaining a clean destination. Towards that end, visitors are actively educated and encouraged to help, to make sure they can truly appreciate it while still leaving it no worse than they found it.
The reserve is also dedicated to supporting rural sustainable tourism and micro-entrepreneurs, in turn helping to protect and preserve the distinctive cultures of the Sierra Gorda communities.
Our Visit to Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve:
Why San Blas Islands?
These islands are largely uninhabited, save for the Kuna’s, the indigenous population. They’re an autonomous territory, and the Panamanian government has no sway over how the Kuna’s choose to govern the islands.
Consequently, it’s an ideal place to visit. Everything you might buy is direct-trade, and all of your interactions will be with the native population. Every dollar you spend goes directly back into their economy. Granted, you do need to get permission in advance if you plan on staying on one of the islands, in accommodations made by the Kuna’s from natural, jungle-sourced materials.
Our Visit to San Blas Islands:
Why Costa Rica?
The tiny country of Costa Rica occupies less than 1% of the world’s surface but is home to more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity. Over 25% of land in Costa Rica is protected through national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and private reserves to protect the incredible diversity of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species that live there.
Ecotourism is Costa Rica emerged back in the 90s, well before the term,” ecotourism” became a buzzword in the industry. And today the country is seen as a leader in sustainable development. Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world that is well on the way to achieving the ambitious goal of being the first carbon-neutral destination. Today, it generates over 90% its electricity through renewable resources.
Ecotourism practices in Costa Rica have helped minimize adverse effects of mass tourism on the natural resources and provided financial benefits to the local communities across the country. However, true ecotourism is found away from popular tourist destinations, in places where one needs to give up some luxuries and appreciate the wildlife and raw beauty of Costa Rica in Pura Vida style.
Costa Rica: The Most Sustainable Destination in Central America
More about Sustainability in Costa Rica from our visit:
– The Best Eco Hotels in Manual Antonio
– How To Plan A Responsible Visit To Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica in the Osa Peninsula
– The Ultimate Guide to Best Beaches in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
– The Best Eco Hotels in Santa Teresa
– 10 Lesser-known places in Costa Rica that are Worth a Visit
Azores has rich, protected geodiversity and marine life, with natural areas that have well-regulated hiking trails and even an Eco school. Renewable energy is widely used across the island, and rational use of water is supported by the Regional Plan for the Water.
The tourism industry plays its own part, with businesses ensuring long-term social and economic benefits. The government, too, actively supports human rights activities such as, as an example, campaigns against domestic violence.
Our Visit to Azores:
Bristol takes the idea of ‘waste not’ very seriously, having reached zero-waste-to-landfill status. On top of that, it uses less energy than any other city in the UK. With buses powered by human waste and innovative cafes that use leftover food, Bristol is dedicated to making sure that nothing is wasted in their efforts towards clean sustainability.
Our Visit to Bristol:
Planned for Summer 2020
The German capital is the city of green trends. Urban farming, green fashion and vegan gastronomy are turning the former industrial city of Berlin into an ever-increasing green metropolis. More than 1/3 of the city is dedicated to green space and for many locals, the bicycle has replaced the car as a status symbol.
Zero waste living, plastic-free shops or rescued food is plentiful in Berlin and trend conscious Berliners live up to the lifestyle of health and sustainability.
Our visit to Berlin:
Planned for Summer 2020
Denmark can teach the world a thing or two about sustainable tourism. The country follows many green practices including sustainable energy, waste management and excellent public transport that help reduce travelers impact on the environment. Copenhagen is on track to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025 and the rest of the country is committed to become independent from fossil fuel by 2050. Denmark’s cities boast many examples of sustainable architecture complete with solar panels and green roofs. Locals have stopped the use of single use plastics and have been working hard to stop food waste.
Why Faroe Islands?
As a small destination of just 50,000 residents Faroe Islands have a big responsibility to preserve the islands nature and distinct culture. That’s why the government has recently launched “Preservolution”, a sustainable tourism development strategy
for the Faroe Islands towards 2025 that works to develop tourism in order to preserve the islands and to continue to live up to the promise of being unspoiled, unexplored and unbelievable.
A decade ago, the idea of ecotourism was still in its infancy, but even then, Estonia created the Estonian Ecotourism Quality Label to award to tourism products that adequately practice Estonia’s ecotourism principles. Among those principles, promoting cultural and natural conservation and local economic development through tourism are the pillars.
Hands-on learning is fundamental to Estonian’s ecotourism, both for visitors and for the citizens. While citizens get to experience unique opportunities only available in Estonia, citizens are trained in skills that they then get to perpetuate.
More on Sustainability in Estonia from our Visit in 2018:
Finland’s untouched and pristine nature is at the core of Finnish life and its sanctity is paramount. Living sustainably and in harmony with the environment is deep-rooted here and is an essential element of responsible travel. This includes not only a respect for nature and wildlife, but also people and their age-old customs.
Our Visit to Finland:
Planned for Summer 2020
Gozo has several initiatives geared towards sustainability. Among these, there are efforts for sustaining cultural initiatives within both local communities and volunteer groups, promoting these cultural initiatives nationally and abroad, sustaining tourism niches that are small in scale but can provide a high value for the local economy, promoting Gozo as a place where life and its diversity can be enjoyed instead of as a sun and sea destination, and restoring and protecting Gozo’s cultural heritage.
Our Visit to Malta:
After a CSR workshop in 2018 where it was decided that the tourism industry was integral to driving sustainability, Greenland began to make strides in sustainable tourism. This includes developing and promoting adventure tourism, which puts the emphasis on respecting the culture, nature, and economic growth; spreading knowledge of responsible tourism at Campus Kujalleq, which is a national tourism education program; connecting international and local operators; and promoting settlement tourism, among other achievements.
Our Visit to Greenland:
When it comes to renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction, Iceland is considered a world leader. 81% of the country’s electrical, heat, and transportation energy needs are met through geothermal and hydro energy.
These environmental concerns extend to Iceland’s tourism industry, and they’re looked at as a good case study for other nations looking to adopt sustainable models. They showcase the best practices for preserving cultural heritage without shutting out tourism, protecting natural resources while still sharing them, and going carbon neutral.
Our Visit to Iceland:
Lanzarote sits at the heart of efforts in combining progress and development with environmental conservation. It’s been called a world reference to follow, to try to match its economic and social developments, which bear a great deal of respect for the environment.
Lanzarote’s tourism industry manages to not only coexist with environmental efforts, but both actively support each to generate new employment opportunities, and to build progress and wealth. The Lanzarote Memorandum will be used as a guideline for worldwide sustainable tourism.
Our Visit to Lanzarote:
Why the Netherlands?
The Netherlands has built a reputation on being laid-back and sociable, on people being able to walk or bicycle everywhere, and on having scenery beautiful enough to paint. It hasn’t done this by ignoring sustainability. Eco-tourism, responsible travel, and green politics are at the heart of many aspects of Dutch culture, to such an extent that people seem to be natural conscientious about their impact on the world. A tenth of the population owns boats and there’s an extensive rail system, so even without cycling, travel still isn’t harmful.
When it comes to accommodations, the Netherlands are packed with different options. Between the countryside retreats known as farm cottages, well-supplied campsites, and homestay options for people staying in more urban areas, staying in the Netherlands without a guilty conscience is simple, as sustainable accommodations are not only prevalent but also reasonably cheap because of it.
Our Visit to Netherlands:
Planned for Summer 2020
The people of Norway believe that conservation is a responsibility best shared by the entire community, and the tourism industry is not excluded from that belief. In 2007, the Norwegian government introduced Sustainable Norway 2015, geared towards increasing awareness of sustainable tourism, protecting the environments, local communities, and social matters.
Our Visit to Norway:
Planned for Summer 2020
According to the European Union, Ljubljana is Europe’s Greenest Capital. The Green Scheme for Slovenian Tourism encompasses 14 places to stay, 3 parks, and 2 agencies with green labels. Sustainable and responsible development is the foundation of the Slovenian tourism industry. However, exploring Slovenia with local guides allowed us to quickly understand that in Slovenia, “sustainable living” isn’t just a marketing slogan, it’s a way of life!
We discovered an abundance of parks, reserves, mountains and rivers. It is in the great outdoors that the locals spend their free time, hiking, kayaking, and biking. Fork to farm food is a way of life and getting around Slovenia in an eco-friendly way is easy thanks to the country’s well developed electric vehicle infrastructure.
Slovenia: Europe’s Most Sustainable Destination
More on Sustainability in Slovenia from our Visit in 2018:
At least 40% of Stockholm consists of parks and gardens, and the percentage may very well be higher. Driving is heavily discouraged within the city, and in recent years carbon dioxide emissions have dropped by more than 25% per resident. It comes as no surprise that Stockholm has been designated an ‘EU lighthouse city,’ acting as a role model for other cities, as its cutting edge initiatives in sustainability will be implemented in other cities if they prove successful in Stockholm.
Our Visit to Stockholm
In 2016, Zurich was listed as the most sustainable city in the world, for a number of reasons. It has a number of sustainable achievements, including hefty investments in efficient and renewable energy, a sustainable public transit system, and increased efforts to educate the public and increase public awareness of environmental issues. Zurich also has a number of gardens and green spaces given up for citizens, including Zurichhorn and Platzspitz.
Our Visit to Zurich:
Planned for Summer 2020
How to Get Involved
Our Mission is Ambitious and We Can’t do it Alone!
Our goal is to visit and experience the Top 50 Most Sustainable Destinations first hand. But in order for us to understand the complex issues of sustainable tourism in each destination, we’ll need to partner with local organizations, DMCs, lodges, tour operators, and other likeminded organization with extensive knowledge of sustainability practices on the ground.
Do you operate a travel business in any of these destinations?
Do you represent a DMC charged with an objective to promote Sustainable Tourism in a particular destination?
Then let’s chat! Please contact us to learn more about our travel plans and to find out how we can work together in a mutually beneficial way!