Published on Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Global sustainable tourism review compares 1000 destinations

Islands better in escaping mass tourism, but 95% of destinations do not have a sustainable tourism policy.

Compared to coastal destinations, islands have generally better managed to escape from the impacts of mass tourism. At the occasion of World Tourism Day, QualityCoast published a comparison of 1000 island and coastal destinations on sustainability issues.

 "95% of tourism destinations do not have a proper sustainable tourism policy", says Albert Salman, leader of the research. This is the broadest sustainability review of tourism destinations worldwide ever published, including social, environmental and economic aspects (People-Planet-Profit).

The Review can assist tourists in holiday destination selection. And it shows all destinations the weak points that should be improved, especially the lack of a sustainable tourism policy.

The review shows some other remarkable results:

  • The Portuguese archipelago of the Azores comes out as the most sustainable holiday destination in the world.
  • For the Caribbean, the island of Bonaire is the most sustainable holiday destination.
  • In Brazil, the island Fernando de Noronha is number one.
  • For Africa, several Cabo Verde islands come out as the best destinations.
  • For Asia, the review highlights Can Gio (Mekong Delta, Vietnam) and Praslin (Seychelles).
  • In Spain, Fuerteventura (Canary Isles) and Baiona (Galicia) are the best destinations.
  • In Greece, many small islands score very high, especially Alonissos and Samothraki.
  • For Turkey, Dalyan has been given the highest score.
  • In Germany, the island of Norderney scores highest, as a QualityCoast Silver Award winner.
  • The Netherlands has the largest number of international award winning destinations, including QualityCoast Gold for Noordwijk, Goedereede, Oostvoorne-Rockanje, Schouwen-Duiveland, and Ameland.
  •  80% of global tourism is concentrated in coastal areas and small islands. These destinations receive 800 million visitors per year, leaving many places under great pressure.

A comparison of holiday destinations with a focus on sustainability issues has been undertaken before by National Geographic Traveler, for islands.

The present review adds recent information and statistical data on human rights, nature, cultural heritage, environment, and hotel efforts for sustainability. Tourists increasingly select their holiday destination with caution and the access to relevant statistics is therefore very important. With the support of the European Commission, the QualityCoast Team at the Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC) has created the largest sustainable tourism database ever. Through the creation of a worldwide network of coastal communities and experts, the organisation continuously monitors the situation.

More information::

Valere Tjolle


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