[Above: Vista of the #Khoadi-//Hoas Conservancy, Namibia, a Top 100 winner. Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot]
Europe Dominates the Competition
Albert Salman’s Netherlands-based Green Destinations group has released this year’s list of places the won a spot in the annual Sustainable Top 100 Destinations competition. Destinations must submit an application or nomination that meets 30 core criteria and which is then reviewed by sustainability experts. Destinations from 36 countries made the grade this year. As before, Europe looms large among the winners, with numerous Dutch, Slovenian, and Portuguese places dominating the selections. Estonia and Spain are also well represented. Beyond Europe, Brazil and Japan can each claim half a dozen or more destinations on the list as well. Most other countries had three or fewer winners, and of course many countries had no winners at all.
It’s important to note that the Top 100 is a vetted competition, not a rating of all the world’s destinations. The geographical imbalance may reflect a higher degree of effort in making nominations, as well as the presence of systemic multi-destination sustainability programs in countries such as Slovenia. After all, many European places do take better care of themselves than some other parts of the world. (The rest of the world should consider that a challenge. The rest of Europe, too.) The press release also adds, “The Top 100 committee stresses that selection for the Top 100 list does not mean the destination is sustainable. It means it is making good efforts and promising progress. Completely sustainable destinations do not exist.”
Well, not yet anyway.