Sustayz #07

It is ranking time!

It is once again that time of the year when new rankings are popping up like mushrooms after a rainy day.

More or less at the same time, the Nordics get crowned for being the happiest countries in the world and the most sustainable tourism destinations. Coincidence?

The top leading countries for sustainable tourism are Sweden, Finland, and Austria. Norway is 5th, out of the top 3 (Estonia gets the fourth spot) and Iceland is 7th.

What does this mean concretely?

The Euromonitor displays Sweden as a case study, so let’s dig in. Sweden, the country that gave birth to the flygskam (fly shaming), has focused on generating higher levels of value derived from tourism which has helped its economy, environment, and society. The government has put in place a framework to get closer to the 17 SDGs, especially regarding climate action, conserving the biodiversity of the Arctic, and moving to a more carbon-free, circular economy.

More concretely, Sweden has promoted rural destinations and regional tourism in its core cities. Also, it helps to be the cradle of the Nordic eco-chic architecture and design.

The report is a goldmine of ideas and covers a lot of different parameters, including sustainable lodging, probably the most relevant topic for our readers. This part of the ranking looks at the performance in terms of CO2 emissions, water, and energy usage in the hospitality industry. Here, aside from the ever-present Nordics, Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina are notable mentions for being the most efficient in terms of resources.


Speaking of sustainability in the hospitality industry, Accor and Expedia join the UNESCO sustainability tourism pledge. This means that more than 3000 hotels around the world join forces to promote environmental sustainability and sustainable tourism worldwide.

One of the concrete initiatives of the pledge is to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastics in the partners’ hotels and promoting the local economy and cultures.

Launched for the first time in 2019, the pledge is now extended to 100 countries all over the world to respond to the growing interest and demands for sustainable travel practices, especially from a certain segment of the market (millennials and GenZ).


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