The Sustainable Destinations Top 100 was unveiled 27 September 2017 on World Tourism Day and Green Destinations Day. The awards celebrate the efforts of tourism destinations‘ responsible and sustainable tourism initiatives.

The list is the result of open calls in newswires, social and business media. Destinations could be nominated by any interested party through a form that was available online.

Nominators had to provide extensive information on the destination and on its efforts to make itself and its stakeholders more sustainable for the benefit of visitors, its local communities and the world. Information had to be provided about the extent the destination complies with the 15 core criteria of the Green Destinations Standard. Over 150 nominations were received. All nominations were evaluated by experts of the Green Destinations Top 100 Team and by members of the special Top 100 Selection Panel, that included 60 tourism sustainability experts.

Sustainable Destinations Top 100 - full list and download

Download the complete list here

Tigre Ameland
AUSTRIA Noordwijk
Werfenweng Katwijk – Wassenaar
BHUTAN Westvoorne – Hoek v Holland
Kingdom of Bhutan Goeree-Overflakkee
BOLIVIA Schouwen-Duiveland
Madidi National Park Veere
BOTSWANA Zuid-Limburg
Chobe, Makgadikgadi & Okavango Delta NETHERLANDS – CARIBBEAN
Selinda Reserve Bonaire
BRAZIL Saba – St. Eustatius
Ponta de Nossa Senhora MALTA
Fernando de Noronha Gozo – Comino
Niagara River, Falls and Parkway Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve
Great Bear Rainforest NIGERIA
Dehcho-Akaitcho regions, Mackenzie Valley Cross River State
Okanagan Valley, BC NORWAY
Mackenzie Delta – Beaufort Sea, NWT/YT Svalbard
Costa Rica, special: Osa Peninsula Sognefjord
Isla Grande de Chiloe Republic of Palau
Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve Lake Holon
Huilo Huilo Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
CHINA Bojo, Aloguinsan, Cebu
Yi Xian (Yi County), Anhui Province PORTUGAL
Mt. Huangshan Oeste (West region)
Jiuzhaigoiu Scenic Area Azores
Sanqingshan World Heritage Site Peneda-Gerês National Park
Otun Quimbaya Fauna and Flora Sanctuary Cascais
Delnice RWANDA
Town of Drniš Volcanoes National Park
Town of Mali Lošinj SLOVENIA
Gorski kotar Ljubljana
Island Krk Slovenia Green Destinations
CYPRUS Cape Town
Paphos district Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Bretagne (Britanny) Atlantic Islands of Galicia NP
GERMANY Terres de l’Ebre
Norderney & Juist Baiona, Galicia
Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve Noja
Uckermark SWEDEN
GREECE Sigtuna
Alonnisos, Northern Sporades Åre
Khangchendzonga National Park Pamir Mountains
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve TAIWAN
INDONESIA Northeast and Yilan Coast
Misool, Raja Ampat Cihalaay Cultural Landscape Area
Plataran L’Harmonie, West Bali Barat NP TANZANIA
IRELAND Chumbe Island (Zanzibar)
Clonakilty THAILAND
ITALY Tung Dap Village
Best of Romagna TIMOR LESTE
Montepisano in Toscana Atauro Island
Cogne (Valle d’Aosta) UNITED KINGDOM
JORDAN The Broads National Park, England
Sharhabil Bin Hassneh Comrie, Scotland
KENYA County Down, Northern Ireland
Loisaba Conservancy Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland
Mara Naboisho Conservancy UNITED STATES
KOREA Jackson Hole & Yellowstone
Dongbaekdongsan Desert View Grand Canyon NP
Suncheon Bay Wetland URUGUAY
LATVIA  Punta del Este

Please note
The Top 100 initiative aims to recognise tourism destinations that have worked hard to make a difference and take sustainability seriously. Nevertheless, no destination is sustainable for the full 100%. Also in the selected destinations important issues remain to be solved.

Due to a lack of data, carbon emission of travellers is not currently taken into account in this competition. However, Green Destinations recommends travellers to avoid long haul travels and to compensate their carbon emissions.


A global selection panel agreed on the final Top100 selection after a review process. The selection panel leaders are:

Nomination of destinations

Since March 2017 open calls for nominations were made through international networks and in various social networks.
Nomination forms were sent to , providing the information to support the nomination:

• a sustainability pitch
• 5 pictures illustrating the sustainability pitch
• clarification how the destination complies with the 15 Core criteria of the Green Destinations Standard

15 Core Criteria from the Green Destinations Standard

Sustainability coordinator
Sustainable tourism policy
Nature protection
Respect for animals
Protection of landscape & scenery
Waste water treatment
Solid waste reduction
Reduction of fossil fuel dependency
Cultural heritage conservation
Protection of intangible heritage
Protection of people
Inhabitants involved in tourism
Promoting local products
Health & safety prevention
Accessibility for disabled

Find below the Eligibility criteria for admission to the nomination process.

Eligibility criteria

Countries, states, regions, cities, towns, or protected areas were eligible if the following conditions were met:
1. An administrative organisation, governance structure, or a destination management organisation (DMO or DMC) is responsible for tourism destination management and sustainability;
2. A destination would usually not be smaller than 50-100 sq km, and not larger than 40,000 sq km.
3. Accommodations, single buildings, attractions and theme parks are considered not eligible: eco-lodges may be eligible if they have a recognised and strong stewardship for a large area that is otherwise not managed.

Selection of destinations

The 2017 edition of the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 is the result of a colaborative effort of over 30 evaluators, lead by the Selection panel.

Selection took place on the basis of information provided by nominating experts and destinations, and has taken into accountt.

The selection process was informed and supported by  the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 Selection Panel, consisting of ca. 40 international top experts on tourism and sustainability:

2017 Selection panel

Amy McLoughlin Wild Asia
Anna Carolina Lobo, Fabricio Scarpeta WWF Brazil
Andrea Nicholas Green Tourism
Andres Fellenberg van der Molen Green Partner
Anne-Kathrin Zschiegner The Long Run
Antonio Pezzano Destination Management Insiders (DMI), Italy
Aysegul Cil QualityDestination (Ambassador SE Europe and Turkey)
Brian Mullis Sustainable Travel International (STI)
Cristina Nunez NECSTouR
Fabián Román Fundación Plan21, Argentina
Florian Kaefer Place Brand Observer
Hamira Zamani-Farahani Astiaj Tourism Research and Consultancy Center, Iran
Heidi van der Watt Better Tourism Africa
Herbert Hamele ECOTRANS; DestiNet, Germany
Hugo de Jong Green Destinations
Jana Apih Institute Factory for Sustainable Tourism – Goodplace
Jim Sano WWF USA
José Maria de Juan Alonso European Alliance for Responsible Tourism and Hospitality (EARTH)
Julie Middleton The Travel Foundation
Karmen Mentil Alpine Pearls, Austria
Leana Paula Bernardi Blue Flag, Brazil
Lida Pet PT Hatfield Indonesia
Lonneke de Kort HIBS; BookDifferent
Magdalena Muir IEELS; University of Calgary, Canada
Mario Hardy Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Marion Hammerl Global Nature Fund, International Living Lakes Network
Marloes Van de Goor Earth Travel / IIAE, Canada / NL
Martha Honey Center for Responsible Travel (CREST)
Mihee Kang [Korea]
Muhammed Nahar Minla Strategy, India
Natalia Ferrer Sustainability Leaders
Natalia Naranjo University of Bogota, Colombia
Natasha Ilijeva Acevska NALAS – Network of Associations of Local authorities of South East Europe
Naut Kusters ECEATTravelife
Niek Beunders Development Institute Ghana; consultant on sustainable tourism dev.
Patricio Azcárate Díaz de Losada Biosphere Responsible Tourism, ITR
Patrizia Modica European Tourism Indicator System (ETIS)
Peter Prokosch Linking Tourism & Conservation
Peter Richards [Thailand]
Prof. Ramunas Povilanskas Dep. of Recreation and Tourism, Klaipeda University, Lithuania
Rachel Feng University of Shanghai, China
Siegfried Manzel Green Guides; Mantour, Germany
Susan Santos de Cardenas Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. (SSTDI)
Susana Inés Sandoval Viajero Responsible, Argentina
Uwe Sturmann  [Southern Africa]
Prof. Xu Honggang Sun Yat-Sen University, China
Pekka Alhojarvi [Finland]
Arild Molstad [Norway]
Bel Kambach St. Cloud State University, USA
Glenn Jampol Global Ecotourism Network (GEN)
Todd Comen Johnson State College, Vermont, USA

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