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Most Sustainable Destinations in the World, According to Global Destination Sustainability Index

by Holly Riddle

Nov 10, 2023

© Louis Henault | Dreamstime.com


This year’s Global Destination Sustainability Index released last month, ranking the world’s tourist destinations by sustainability efforts. In this year’s report, the Global Destination Sustainability Movement noted the addition of more than 40 new cities and 11 countries to the index, for a more diverse snapshot of the world’s sustainable tourism efforts. 


Overall, this year’s index showed a marked improvement in sustainability. Nearly 90 percent of destinations listed improved their scores. However, as is often the case, Nordic destinations took top spots in the rankings. Eight of this year’s top 10 most sustainable destinations are located in Nordic countries. Gothenburg, Sweden, came out on top, followed by Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Helsinki, Finland; Bergen, Norway; Aarhus, Denmark; Aalborg, Denmark; Glasgow, Scotland; Bordeaux, France; and Stockholm, Sweden. The United States did not have a destination rank within the top 40; in fact, only one North American city, Montreal, cracked the top 40.


Overall, the index noted, looking at the 100 destinations included, nearly 90 percent committed to international movements to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, as well as have a climate mitigation and adaptation strategy. More than a third of the cities plan to reduce  carbon emissions by more than 70 percent by 2030. 



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