We all need to pay more attention to sustainable tourism measures, but the good news is that there are many inspiring models for us to learn from.
We’ve compiled a list of six standout cities that are promoting or encouraging sustainable lifestyles. When booking, don’t forget to look for the Sustainable Tourism badge to ensure your accommodation values sustainability.
Copenhagen, Denmark: Cycling for the Future
It’s hard to determine which city has the best cycling infrastructure. The race between Amsterdam and Utrecht has been going on for decades as both cities continually outdo each other with cycling infrastructure projects. But Copenhagen may have taken the lead in the race where everyone is a winner. The Danish capital recently secured the position as the starting point for the Tour de France and is committed to becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. Additionally, Copenhagen’s streets are pedestrian and bike-friendly, with dedicated bike lanes and highways. Bicycles are also available for rent at an affordable price.
You can easily find Sustainable Tourism accommodations in this city, such as the highly-rated CityHub Copenhagen. This unique accommodation is a trendy hostel-hotel hybrid, with comfortable common areas and modern, private sleeping quarters.
San Francisco, USA: Art of Recycling
San Francisco is one of the greenest cities in the US, with 80% of its waste diverted from landfills. The city has a recycling mandate, banning plastic bags and implementing pay-as-you-throw models for non-recyclable waste. The story began 30 years ago, with initiatives encouraging artists to reuse waste. This project has yielded positive results and contributed to the Sculpture Garden at Recology’s main recycling center.
In addition to using single-use plastic-free toiletries, the Argonaut Hotel recycles kitchen grease into biofuel and compost, diverting 74% of waste from landfills. You can enjoy beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and take part in numerous exciting activities such as a walking tour of Fisherman’s Wharf, which is just a stone’s throw away.
Sydney, Australia: Greening the World
Sydney is implementing a strategy that involves planting hundreds of new trees each year and significantly increasing the amount of greenery covering rooftops and walls, all of which help mitigate the effects of rising temperatures.
For a fun vacation in Sydney, check out Ovolo Woolloomooloo. This boutique hotel is known for its luxurious interiors and sustainability-focused ethos.
Chiang Mai, Thailand: Vegetarian Paradise
If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll have plenty of restaurant options in Chiang Mai. The city participates in the annual nationwide vegetarian festival, held from late September to October. If you’re visiting at other times of the year, you can still try delicious vegetarian dishes at the night market and then take a tuk-tuk tour to see the sights at night.
Hong Kong: Efficient and Affordable Transportation
Public transportation accounts for about 90% of daily trips in Hong Kong, the highest proportion of any city in the world. Given that it’s also one of the world’s most densely populated cities and less than 1/5 of its population owns a car, it’s easy to understand why public transportation needs to be so efficient.
While public transportation in Hong Kong is relatively cheap, accommodations may be a bit more expensive. However, at places like Hotel ICON, you can still receive high-end services for a reasonable price. This sleek glass building with elegant greenery boasts a vertical garden with over 8,000 plants of 71 different species. You can soak in the hot tub on the rooftop while enjoying views of the harbor, and when you’re ready, hop on the hotel’s shuttle bus, which is, of course, electric.
Strasbourg, France: French Culinary Revolution’s Ambassador to the EU
France is addressing food waste by regulating supermarkets’ disposal of usable food as illegal and requiring that they donate these foods to charity. Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament, is promoting France’s efforts with waste-free initiatives and pilot programs, such as a bike-powered organic waste collection program.
These sixcities are leading the way in sustainable tourism with their innovative approaches to sustainability. From Copenhagen’s focus on cycling to San Francisco‘s commitment to recycling, each of these cities has something unique to offer. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay or a budget-friendly option, there’s an accommodation in these cities that values sustainability. So, when planning your next trip, consider visiting one of these destinations and doing your part to support sustainable tourism.