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World debut at ITB Berlin NOW

© Niklas Veenhuis

Sweden tops the list of the first "Sustainable Travel Index" from Euromonitor International

Sustainability is a constant theme in tourism, but until now there has not been a systematic survey giving insights into the worldwide situation. The newly created "Sustainable Travel Index” was presented in detail at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention by Caroline Bremner from Euromonitor International featuring seven main aspects and 57 indicators. With this world first she also revealed the findings of the initial survey. A total of 99 destination countries were considered, and it was revealed that the ten with the greatest level of sustainability are all in Europe. They are Sweden, Finland, Austria, Estonia, Norway, Slovakia, Iceland, Latvia, France and Slovenia. Sweden‘s leading position is not merely a consequence of the ‘Greta effect‘, although Caroline Bremner did express her emphatic approval of the critical stance adopted by the Swedes to air travel. “Sweden has been concerned for decades with the subject of sustainability, and this is now paying off ", observed Bremner, who is the head of travel research for Euromonitor International.

According to the market researcher, in compiling the index there was also evidence of a positive approach in many of the countries that were not included among the top ten. Examples include the Smart Cities in the Netherlands as well as the high proportion of renewable energy and expanded nature conservation areas in Costa Rica. Bremner went on to say that a paradigm change is apparent in tourism, leading away from mass tourism and towards a form of tourism that is more meaningful and uplifting, with benefits for everyone involved.

Dr. Petra Stolba, general manager of the Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO), explained that selective efforts are being made in her country to establish Austria as one of the most sustainable destinations on the world tourism map. This represents a departure from strict destination marketing and is focused in particular on destination management. “The tourism sector should start acting in a more responsible way”, was Stolba’s appeal. One of the main tasks is to structure destinations in such a way that people’s lives are enhanced: “The lives of the people who live there, as well as the lives and experiences of visitors, and in this order of precedence ", said Stolba.

Media contact:

Euromonitor International


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