The latest Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index reveals top 20 destinations for 2019. The GDS-Index is a collaborative business initiative created to help Destinations, Convention Bureaux, event planners and MICE suppliers drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of responsible practices in the business tourism and events industry.

As in 2018 ranking, Gothenburg is again the overall winner in 2019 with a score of 94% on the GDS Index. According to the GDS Index, "Gothenburg is one of the world’s most progressive cities when it comes to addressing climate and environmental issues. The regional climate target is to be fossil-independent by 2030 and Gothenburg was the first city in the world to issue Green Bonds to accelerate investments in climate-oriented solutions."

With its newly launched strategy for sustainable tourism, Tourism for Good, Copenhagen’s official DMO, Wonderful Copenhagen, wants to make tourism a driver of positive change. Addressing sustainability from a triple bottom-line approach, where environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability are considered, the strategy contributes to United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “I commend Wonderful Copenhagen for its new strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development 2030, which has strong links to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This strategy is designed to foster sustainability at local level, where both visitors and hosts can enjoy exploring, living and learning from each other. This is also one of the core objectives of UNWTO’s INSTO network. Through its strategic commitment to a holistic approach for destination sustainability, Copenhagen will contribute to realizing the potential of the Danish tourism sector as an agent of change,” said the Secretary-General of UNTWO, Zurab Pololikashvili.


1 Gothenburg 94%
2 Copenhagen 90%
3 Reykjavik 89%
4 Oslo 86%
5 Uppsala & Helsinki 84%
6 Malmö 82%
7 Zurich & Glasgow 80%
8 Melbourne 75%
9 Sydney 73%
10 Brussels & Espoo 72%
11 Tampere 71%
12 Stockholm 70%
13 Monaco 68%
14 Barcelona 67%
15 Stuttgart & Jönköping 66%
16 Lausanne-Montreux & Karlstad 65%
17 Västerås 64%
18 Aalborg & Bergen 62%
19 Kyoto 60%
20 Galway 59%

Mélanie Delaplanche, the GDS-Index Director adds: “I am thrilled to see the level of performance improve year on year, this is an extremely good sign that destinations are tackling the sustainability challenges of our industry and that the GDS-Index drives and delivers measurable results. Well done to all participating destinations!”