10 Eco-friendly Destinations and How to Become One of Them

Making a destination more sustainable is something DMOs should do right now in order to be competitive when tourism rebounds.

Valencia, for example, has been investing in sustainability and the result has called eco-conscious travelers’ attention.

Why to become an eco-friendly destination?

Eco-friendly destinations have a lot of advantages, attracting eco-conscious travelers is just one of them.

Taking care of the environment means preserving tourist places, improving the quality of life for the local community and having your destination highlighted on the news. 

After all, sustainability has become a standard in tourism.

What should I do to make my destination more sustainable?

The first step is creating a strategic plan with goals and actions to turn your destination sustainable.

This year, Valencia has launched the Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2030. With it, the city aims to become the first world wide to verify and certify its carbon footprint from tourist activity

For that purpose, Visit Valencia carried out a study in collaboration with Global Omnium that measured the sources of carbon emissions produced by tourism activity in ten different areas. The conclusion was that tourists’ transport produced the most of the city’s carbon emissions.

Another example comes from the city of Gozo, in Malta. The Eco-Gozo by 2020 is a strategy that aims to turn Gozo into an eco-island supported by a keen and committed sustainable community with goals of further improving the island’s quality of life.

To reach an eco-island status, the plan involves eco-education for students, local meals with 100% organic ingredients, and measures to protect Gozo’s heritage sites and culture. 

Using public-private partnerships, especially with the hospitality industry, is also a good way to share responsibility and engage civil society with the plan.

Other measures that destinations can take in order to become sustainable are:

  • Increasing the green and preserved areas 
  • Build bicycle paths, especially near the touristic sites
  • Creating traffic-free zones (check Ljubljana example)
  • Developing sustainable-energy projects
  • Promoting events and experiences throughout the year in order to avoid overtourism (when it returns)
  • Creating visiting fee in order to raise money to finance the sustainable practices of your plan

Check out the top 10 sustainable destinations of 2020

At the beginning of the year, SkyScanner has listed the most sustainable destinations of 2020

Although the list was released in January, it’s still relevant for DMOs that are looking for benchmark destinations that have successfully implemented a sustainable strategy.

Check out below the top 10 sustainable destinations of 2020:

  1. Republic of Palau
  2. Ljubljana, Slovenia
  3. Galapagos National Park, Ecuador
  4. Chumbe Island, Tanzania
  5. Águeda, Portugal
  6. Goeree-Overflakke, Netherlands
  7. Lake Tahoe, USA
  8. Åsnen, Sweden
  9. Bardia National Park, Nepal
  10. Gozo, Malta

If you liked this list, you should also check the 15 Coronavirus-Safest Christmas Markets in Europe article in our blog.

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