Sweden was recently ranked at the top of the Euromonitor International Sustainable Travel Index. Euromonitor International is the world's leading independent provider of strategic market research, which developed the index to the industry "transition to a more sustainable and purpose-driven model, as data shows the future and success of travel businesses will be centred around sustainable and digital transformation."
The report argues that "radical change will be essential in building resiliency and agility to futureproof the sector. Sustainable transformations will play a significant factor in the future to ensure businesses and communities can thrive."
The index called out Scandinavia for "its engagement and awareness of sustainability, where 65 percent of travel businesses already have implemented a sustainability strategy."
Sweden gained the top spot for its culturual and political environment as "the birthplace of the flygskam (flight shaming) movement and home to climate strike activist, Greta Thunberg. It is a pioneer in lifecycle assessment research that is critical to understand the full impacts of consumer behaviour and consumption patterns." The country is also working "to preserve the Arctic ice and permafrost to help stop climate change, aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2045."
Other Scandinavian countries also came out well, with Finland (2), Norway (5), and Iceland (7) joining other European countries to round out the top ten.
In the Americas Canada ranked 24, Peru 31, and the U.S. was ranked 35. The world’s lowest-ranked destinations for sustainable tourism are mostly Asian and African nations, including Morocco (95), Vietnam (96), Mauritius (97), India (98), Pakistan (99).
Euromonitor’s rankings were based on seven key factors of sustainable tourism: environmental sustainability, social sustainability, economic sustainability, risk, sustainable tourism demand, sustainable transport, and sustainable lodging.
“As destinations around the world slowly begin to reopen while protecting local communities and preserve livelihoods, there is a growing awareness among consumers, businesses and governments for the need to prioritise not only profit but people and the planet,” Euromonitor said.