Based on validated benchmarking data and user reviews, Europe leads environmental and socially-responsible cities, taking 8 of the top 10 spots. 

Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDS-Movement) and Tripadvisor have forged a strategic partnership to recognise and promote sustainable travel destinations to consumers through Tripadvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice ‘Best of the Best’ Destinations” awards.

The GDS-Movement and Tripadvisor have partnered to launch a new subcategory for 2024, Best Sustainable Destinations, combining review data and audited excellence in social, economic, and environmental performance. The “Travelers’ Choice ‘Best of the Best’ Destination” awards showcase Tripadvisor users’ favourite sustainable destinations based on rankings and reviews, integrating verified and validated GDS-Index data.

The GDS-Index is a destination-level programme from GDS-Movement that measures, benchmarks, and guides the social, economic, and environmental sustainability strategy and performance of tourism and events in participating cities and regions across the world.  The index is the global standard for tracking and better managing the regenerative contributions of a destination’s visitor economy. In 2023, it measured sustainability efforts in 100 destinations across four important performance areas: city environment performance, city social sustainability performance, tourism supply chain and destination management organisation, using 69 qualitative and quantitative sustainability indicators aligned with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The included GDS-Index cities stand out for their commitments to sustainability as measured by Tripadvisor’s ratings, including destinations for which Tripadvisor users were most likely to discuss sustainability in positive English-language reviews over a 12-month period.

Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Sustainable Destinations 2024 list highlights the top 10 global destinations of choice among discerning travellers seeking more responsible destinations.

Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best Sustainable Destinations 2024:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. Stockholm, Sweden
  3. Bordeaux, France
  4. Helsinki, Finland
  5. Singapore, Singapore
  6. Melbourne, Australia
  7. Oslo, Norway
  8. Brussels, Belgium
  9. Galway, Ireland
  10. Belfast, United Kingdom

Europe leads with 8 out of the top 10 environmentally and socially responsible cities. Copenhagen, Denmark claims the top position, while the Asia-Pacific region is notably well-represented, with Singapore and Melbourne earning praise for their sustainability efforts.

Guy Bigwood, CEO and Chief Changemaker at GSD-Movement said: “We’re pleased to collaborate with Tripadvisor in recognising cities committed to environmental and social responsibility through the Travelers’ Choice “Best of the Best” Sustainable Destinations 2024. These cities serve as role models in sustainable tourism, showcasing a shared dedication to a more sustainable and resilient future in travel.”

Kristen Dalton, President of Tripadvisor, said: “Tripadvisor’s community of global travellers is passionate about sustainability as a consideration for when they’re planning trips and we’re proud to highlight such an important category. This category helps guide people looking to travel more sustainably while recognising the efforts of global destinations committed to environmental change.”

END

Methodology

Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), assessed 100 destinations in 2023 according to detailed methodologies and metrics focused on measuring sustainability. Tripadvisor then overlaid its traveller data by identifying traveller reviews containing terms referencing sustainability, such as “environmentally friendly”, ”eco-tourism”, “waste reduction”, etc. and searched through 300,000 English-language Tripadvisor reviews, with a four-bubble rating or higher, over 12 months (1st October 2022 to 30th September 2023). This allowed the identification of destinations in order of rank, starting with the destination with the highest percentage (%) of reviews discussing sustainability (and had a bubble rating of 4 or above) amongst all reviews of that destination. Please see the full methodology here.

NOTES TO EDITORS 

ABOUT THE GLOBAL DESTINATION SUSTAINABILITY MOVEMENT (GDS-Movement) 

GDS-Movement envisions thriving places and communities activated by regenerative tourism and events. Its mission is to empower people with the mindsets, skill sets, and toolsets to create regenerative destinations to visit, meet, and live in. www.gds.earth 

ABOUT THE GLOBAL DESTINATION SUSTAINABILITY INDEX (GDS-Index) 

The GDS-Index is a destination-level programme that measures, benchmarks, and improves the sustainability strategy and performance of tourism and events destinations. Co-founded in 2016 by ICCA Scandinavia, ICCA HQ, City Destinations Alliance (CityDNA), IMEX, and MCI, GDS-Index offers an unparalleled resource for visitors and event planners looking for destinations that offer the best in city, supplier, and destination management performance. It is the world’s most-trusted benchmarking process to assess the progress of a destination’s sustainability journey. www.gds.earth/index 

For further information, get in touch with Anja Spice, anja@gds.earth