Methodology Sustainable Destinations Top 100

Eligibility Criteria

Every year open calls for nominations are published through international networks and in various social networks. Registrations for nominations are first checked for eligibility criteria.

Countries, states, regions, cities, towns, or protected areas are 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.


Eligible destinations make nominations through Green Destinations’ online assessment platform, and shall include:

  • A brief destination description, a map, a sustainability pitch, and 5 copyright-free pictures (high
    resolution, 1 MB or more).
  • Summarize what the destination is doing to adhere to the relevant policy and management criteria
    of the Green Destinations Standard.
  • Quantitative information on ca. 30 indicators (Indicator Report).
  • A Good Practice Story.
  • Two independent references (names and contact information)

30 Core criteria

Sustainability coordinator Soft mobility
Vision Cultural heritage conservation
Tourism policy Waste separation
Sustainability standards Intangible heritage
Nature protection Energy consumption reduction
Inventory Protection of people
Captive animals in tourism Managing tourism impacts on culture
Natural resource protection Optimising private sector contribution
Protection of landscape & scenery Real estate exploitation
Landscape & scenery Promoting local products and services
Wastewater treatment Respecting authenticity
Air pollution Health & safety prevention & response
Visitor behaviour at sensitive sites Residents informed about sustainable tourism
Solid Waste Optimising social impacts
Reduction of fossil fuel dependency Inhabitant satisfaction

Jury & partner organisations

Nominations are then reviewed based on quality and comprehensibility of the provided information, supervised and supported by the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 Jury consisting of international top experts on tourism and sustainability:


For more detailed methodology of the 2020 edition see the Call for Nominations.