The annual index from the Hamburg Center for Sustainable Tourism evaluates the sustainability of 88 countries, which together comprise about 90 percent of global tourism sales. The study is based on seven criteria.
In the current Meaningful Tourism Index, the destination of Aruba ranks first, followed by Iceland and Switzerland. They are the only three countries to receive more than 50 percent of the possible points. According to the study's summary, this shows that there is still a long way to go to achieve a sustainable international tourism.
The other countries in the top ten are Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, and Singapore.
Traditional beach destinations must catch up
The classic summer vacation destinations in Europe fare somewhat worse. For example, Spain ranks 20th, Italy 22nd, Greece 35th, and Turkey 76th.
25 of the top 44 countries are in Europe, nine in Asia, five in North and Central America, and two in South America and Oceania. Iraq is the world's worst performer in sustainable tourism, followed by Nigeria, Lebanon, Myanmar, Iran, Ethiopia, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Russia, and India.
Top 10 sustainable destinations