Scandinavian countries top sustainable travel index

There seems to be very little Scandinavian countries don’t do well. Best pension systems, happiest citizens, trendsetting graphic design and, of course, world famous furniture.

And, according to the Sustainable Travel Index, they’re also the world’s most sustainable tourism destinations.

Sweden topped the Euromonitor International Sustainable Travel Index, which ranks the world’s 99 most sustainable tourism destinations.

“A pioneer in lifecycle assessment research” and hailed for its efforts to preserve the Arctic permafrost, Sweden certainly turned the head of Euromonitor International’s head of travel, Caroline Bremner, who was also impressed by the nation’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more: Happiest countries in the world revealed

Finland, Austria, Estonia and Norway came in behind Sweden, and the top 10 consisted entirely of European countries.

Our cross-ditch neighbours New Zealand was the highest-ranked Australasian nation for sustainable tourism in 23rd position. Australia came in at 29th.

The world’s lowest-ranked destinations for sustainable tourism were Asian and African nations Morocco (95), Vietnam (96), Mauritius (97), India (98), and Pakistan (99).

Euromonitor rated nations on seven key factors of sustainable tourism: environmental sustainability, social sustainability, economic sustainability, risk, sustainable tourism demand, sustainable transport, and sustainable lodging.

Read more: Why tourism returning to the ‘old normal’ would be a disaster

The Sustainable Travel Index aims to provide guidance for travel businesses to transition “to a more sustainable and purpose-driven model”.

“As destinations around the world slowly begin to reopen, while protecting local communities and preserve livelihoods, there is a growing awareness among consumers, businesses and governments for the need to prioritise not only profit but people and the planet,” stated Euromonitor.

The top 20 most sustainable countries for tourism are:

Sweden

Finland

Austria

Estonia

Norway

Slovakia

Iceland

Latvia

France

Slovenia

Switzerland

Lithuania

Croatia

Czech Republic

Ireland

Germany

Belgium

Denmark

Netherlands

Portugal

Have you visited any of these countries? Are you surprised at any one of the top 20 nations?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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