Sunday, March 3, 2024

Europe Nabs 11 Out of 15 Spots On Tripadvisor’s First List of Most Sustainable Travel Destinations


A recent study conducted by Tripadvisor and the Global Destination Sustainability Movement has brought to light the world’s top 15 destinations for sustainable travel.

Where are the most sustainable travel destinations? You’ll have to head outside of the U.S. if you want to visit one, according to new data from Tripadvisor and Global Destination Sustainability Movement. Their research looked at 100 destinations that earned a minimum of a “four-bubble” rating based on traveler feedback, particularly emphasizing comments related to sustainability practices such as being environmentally friendly, eco-tourism, and waste reduction.

To compile the Travelers’ Choice Sustainable Destinations 2024 list, the methodology incorporated inputs from the Global Destination Sustainability Movement, evaluating the destinations against a comprehensive framework. This framework was informed by more than 69 quantitative sustainability indicators that align with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The assessment covered a wide array of criteria, including environmental commitments, renewable energy use, societal inclusiveness, corruption levels, personal safety, and the sustainability practices of local infrastructure like airports, hotels, and restaurants. Additionally, the methodology scrutinized the sustainability management strategies, leadership, and external communications of the destinations’ Management Organizations.

The findings underscore a global shift towards sustainable travel; this trend not only highlights the importance of environmental preservation in the tourism sector but also reflects a growing preference among travelers for destinations that prioritize ecological balance.

Stockholm, Sweden | Photo courtesy Oscar Nord

Copenhagen emerged as the most sustainable travel destination for 2024. The Danish capital, celebrated for its historical charm and cleanliness, is on a steadfast journey toward achieving carbon neutrality by next year. Notably, Copenhagen’s commitment to environmental preservation is evident through its initiatives like the eco-certification of over two-thirds of its hotels and the introduction of innovative vending machines that offer financial incentives for recycling cans and plastic cups. The allure of Copenhagen extends beyond its green credentials to include more than 200 miles of bike paths and multiple train lines, facilitating sustainable transport options for both locals and visitors.

Stockholm was named the second most sustainable destination. The Swedish capital is on a mission to eliminate fossil fuels and achieve a climate-positive status by 2040, showcasing a robust commitment to sustainability. With around 60 percent of the nation’s energy derived from renewable sources, Sweden’s environmental efforts have not gone unnoticed, securing it a place among the top performers in the Environmental Performance Index. Stockholm also prides itself on being home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Royal Palace Drottningholm, the Skogskyrkogården (Woodland Cemetery), and Birka, a historical Viking site, further emphasizing the city’s blend of cultural heritage and environmental stewardship.

Following Copenhagen and Stockholm were Bordeaux, France; Helsinki, Finland; Singapore; Melbourne, Australia; Oslo, Norway; Brussels, Belgium; Galway, Ireland; Belfast, United Kingdom; Bangkok, Thailand; Barcelona, Spain; Montreal, Canada; Milan, Italy; and Zurich, Switzerland.

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