The Destination Stewardship Center is pleased to partner with Green Destinations, TravelMole and Quality Coast in the launch of the 2016 competition to identify the world’s 100 best-stewarded destinations, continent by continent. The competiton was announced at ths year’s ITB travel show in Berlin. A key factor in our enthusiastic decision to participate is the determination that “sustainable” means more than environment, important as that is, but that it must also encompass all the other special attributes of a place: culture, aesthetics, history, society—everything that makes a destination distinctive. We believe this ais a logical successor to the Destination Stewardship surveys published in National Geographic Traveler 2004-2010.
This scope is reflected in the sample criteria that the coordinator for the project, Albert Salman of Green Destinations, put out in this detailed press release on the project:
Competition starts for Sustainable Destinations Top 100: “Destinations of Future Generations”
BERLIN – The 2016 Sustainable Destinations Top 100 was launched at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade market. The competition is a unique opportunity for ambitious destinations to strengthen their profile in the field of responsible and green tourism. It is the follow-up to National Geographic Traveler’s Destination Stewardship surveys (2004-2010) and the 2014 Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100. The overall theme of the Top 100 is “Destinations of Future Generations”.
The results of the competition will be announced during Global Green Destinations Day, 27-28 September 2016 in Ljubljana (Slovenia), a city that kept its historic core attractive and well preserved, and was elected by the European Union as European Green Capital 2016.
One of the aims of the Top 100 is to bring destinations together in a Destinations Community. In this way, destinations can inspire and help each other by exchanging ideas and good practices. During the public launch at ITB, representatives of previous Top 100 destinations presented a range of good practices: Ameland (the Netherlands), Baiona (Spain), Alonnisos (Greece), Noordwijk (the Netherlands) and Bliesgau (Saarland, Germany).
All destinations with a clear focus on sustainable tourism can apply. Nominated destinations will be selected in a formal procedure by international experts in tourism sustainability and a Selection Panel. Experts will evaluate nominated destinations on 15 criteria. These are the core criteria of the GSTC- Recognises Green Destinations Standard.
A brief overview of the selection criteria (summary titles).
- A sustainability coordinator is in place
- A sustainable tourism strategy is in place
- Nature is adequately protected
- The use of animals in tourism is controlled
- Landscape and scenery is protected
- Waste water treatment is organised
- Solid waste is monitored, aimed at reduction
- Dependency on fossil fuels is reduced
- Cultural sites and built heritage are protected
- Intangible heritage is protected and respected
- People are protected against exploitation
- The local community is involved in tourism
- Local and sustainable products are promoted
- Health and safety are adequately addressed
- Attention for accessibility of tourism sites
The 2016 Sustainable Destinations Top 100 is an initiative of Green Destinations, TravelMole.com, Vision on Sustainable Tourism, and the Destination Stewardship Center. They are global players in the promotion of tourism sustainability.
More info: www.greendestinations.info/2016-top100
For further questions, contact the Top 100 project coordinator Zainab Turay: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Esmee Slabbers at the Green Destinations secretariat: +3171 5122900.
If you are a well-traveled professional in the fields of sustainable tourism and destination stewardship, and you are interested in becoming a Top 100 reviewer, please contact us at the DSC.