Europe leads the way to sustainable travel

bohus lodging, vandrarhem
Accommodation for travelers in Bohus, Sweden’s southwest coast.

A crisis like a worldwide pandemic inevitably causes many long-term changes. Governments, businesses, families and individuals re-think the policies and customs they have. Euromonitor, a market research consultancy, has conducted an extensive study on global tourism, and concluded that sustainable travel is the key to success after borders open. Which countries lead the race?

Sustainable tourism is defined broadly as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”. UN has specified goals for striving for a sustainable world.

Top 21 countries for sustainable tourism in 2020 were all in Europe according to the Euromonitor report. Bolivia was 22. Here is the ranking up to 21st position, the entire listing can be found in the report:

  1. Sweden
  2. Finland
  3. Austria
  4. Estonia
  5. Norway
  6. Slovakia
  7. Iceland
  8. Latvia
  9. France
  10. Slovenia
  11. Switzerland
  12. Lithuania
  13. Croatia
  14. Czech Republic
  15. Ireland
  16. Germany
  17. Belgium
  18. Denmark
  19. Netherlands
  20. Portugal
  21. Poland

Nordic neighbor countries Sweden and Finland lead the ranking. Public transportation in key cities, like Gothenburg and Helsinki has always been well organized, and cities have plenty of green space. The value of the vast wilderness Lapland in the far north was also recognized long time ago.

Altogether, Euromonitor studied 99 countries, looking for factors that impact tourism: environmental issues, social and economic sustainability, country risk, sustainable tourism demand, transport and lodging. In total, 57 data indicators affected the final ranking of countries.

Top 10 countries for sustainable transport:

euromonitor: sustainable travel, transport ranking by country

Top 10 countries for sustainable accommodations:

euromonitor; sustainable tourism report, lodging index

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