The top 10 sustainable destinations in the world were unveiled at the ITB Berlin last year, among the 100 most sustainable destinations.The ITB trade fair is one of the largest international tourism trade fairs with more than 200,000 visitors a year.The finalists were selected by a jury of 12 major international organizations in tourism.
This year, the Covid-19 unfortunately marks a turning point in the history of this trade fair and the tourism sector, but shows us how urgent it is to rethink our modern societies.
#1 Republic of Palau
The Republic of Palau received the ITB Earth Award. Very little known, Palau is a country of Oceania located between the Philippines and Indonesia.The preservation of biodiversity has been enshrined in the Constitution of the State of Palau since its independence in 1981.The natural environment is part of this extended country’s DNA on more than 100 islands, as well as being taught at the primary school level.
#2 Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Ljubljana was elected the best city by the jury. Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a green city that combines urban and nature treks. It has the allure of the small European cities with a very charming historical centre, delimited by the river Ljubljanica.It is also a city full of bicycle paths for lovers of cycling.
#3 Gozo (Malta)
Gozo has been elected best of communities and culture. Among the wonders of nature, one can cite the stunning natural limestone arch of Gozo, the Azure window in Dwejra, recently made famous all over the world as a backdrop for a wedding in the television series Game of Thrones. There is also the majestic sand beach, Ramla Bay, which lies at the bottom of a valley overlooking the Calypso grotto (the exact place where Ulysses would have been taken prisoner) and the salt pans.
#4 The Dutch programme Delta (Netherlands)
The Dutch approach to water management is now part of global models to protect the risks associated with floods due to climate change.The Netherlands’ Delta programme has introduced new standards since 2017.More than half of the Netherlands lives below sea level, making the country extremely vulnerable to flooding.For centuries, the Dutch struggled to retain water by building dykes, dams and ramparts.In recent years, they have completely reshaping the organization that has been put in place for a more systemic approach.
#5 Torroella de Montgrí – L’Estartit (Spain)
Wandering around Torroella is like going back in time. Look for the remains of the ramparts of the old city : the Santa Caterina and the Torre de les Bruixes; the Gothic church of Sant Genís and the castle of Montgrí, small treasures of the 11th century; the Casa Pastors and the Casa del Metge from the 16th and 17th centuries in the rue Major; and finally, the colonial houses built by emigrants who return from the Americas in the late 19th and early 20th century.Art, music and heritage make Torroella de Montgrí and Estartit one of the main cultural destinations of Catalonia.
#6 French Guyana
Guyana is best elected for eco-tourism. With its unexplored natural resources, its cultural heritage and its population, Guyana relies on a new vision of sustainable development. The French government is moving towards a complete preservation of this endemic forest area.
#7 The Island of Chumbe, Tanzania
The best of Africa is in Tanzania.The small private island of Chumbe, managed by NGOs for the protection of nature and education of children, is a pioneer island in the conservation of marine ecosystems, which has received many “eco-tourism” awards.Located less than 50 km from the Tanzanian coast, the shallow waters of Chumbe are home to one of the most spectacular reefs in the world.The concept of sustainable tourism takes all its meaning in this place: no artificial lights, no plastics or other non-organic products and the quiz of the animals goes before the visitors!An appointment in the heart of nature.
#8 Bardia National Park, Nepal
The best in Asia-Pacific is in Nepal.A wild and wild jungle.Travellers include giant pythons, rhinos, wild elephants, crocodiles, gavials, otters, mangoists, deer and deer, monkeys, birds and so many other animals.Bardia National Park is one of the largest protected reserves in the world.
#9 Galapagos National Park, Ecuador
The best of the Americas is in the Galapagos. Ecuador has a huge diversity of wildlife, it is also considered a bird-watching paradise, where travellers can observe more than 1,600 species, many of which are endemic.The country is home to one of the wonders of the world: the Galápagos Islands inspired Charles Darwin in 1835, in his theory of evolution through natural selection.
The best of Europe is… Portugal. Portugal is a leading destination for eco-friendly travellers and local people. Visitors will be able to explore impressive forests, beautiful landscapes such as the Douro International National Park and the Valley of Como. The hikes in northern Portugal are fabulous. The famous wine region of the Douro is well known, as well as its emblematic cities.In 2010, National Geographic chose it as one of the world’s best destinations for Sustainable Tourism.