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6 November 2019 | 6 min read

6 Sustainable Holiday Destinations Around The World

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There is a famous quote that says that travelers should leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but memories. However, the harsh reality remains that travel is no longer sustainable and damages the ecosystem in multiple ways – particularly if you are looking to visit places without the aid of a ship.

And while the most eco-friendly holidays that you can take might take involves camping at locations where you can reach with local transport, there are destinations around the world that can be more sustainable and beneficial for the environment around you. For example, you can always invest in companies that promote ethical holidays, or tour guides that belong to the region and help you discover the destination, without destroying its sustainable fabric. Plus, you can also choose to stay with a local family or volunteer at an organization while on holiday – there are many ways in which you can contribute to a more ethical manner of travel.

And to make your life much easier, we have put together some destinations that are not just adventurous, but also offer scenic views, coupled with a chance to do something good for Mother Nature. Ready – lets go.

Slovenia

Why – Was voted as the most sustainable country in the world by National Geographic in 2016

Perfect for hiking enthusiasts

A small European country that borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, Slovenia scores highly in terms of environment and climate. Boasting of mountains, lakes, thermal springs and sea, this country has always sustained a lifestyle that is green, healthy and active. That’s not all – its quaint capital Ljubljana was also voted as the Greenest Capital of Europe in 2016 by the European Union.

Ljubljana has a huge no-car zone in the centre of town which has led to making its bike borrowing service extremely popular with both locals and visitors alike. New Ljubljana hotels and hostels are majorly green accommodations, and if you add in the city’s commitments to local foods, beautiful parks and methane city transport, it’s obvious why its green scene is growing and thriving. It also has city buses that run on natural gas, an urban electric train and 46 percent of the land within the municipality is indigenous woodland.”

Consider this – nearly 60 per cent of the country is covered in lush forests and it has more than 40 parks and reserves that are today home to a wide variety of plants and animals. In addition, there are multiple hiking trails and there is a continuous focus by the government to promote initiatives that bring travelers closer to nature. Need more reasons to go?

How to reach – Flights to Slovenia start at INR 60,218 – use your digibank debit card and get a discount of up to INR 31,000 when you book through Goomo {conditions apply}. Find out more here 

Denmark

Why – Is consciously working towards achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050

Perfect for history lovers

Over the years, Denmark had made a lot of changes in its political and social fabric so that it can become the first CO2 neutral country by 2025. These changes include lost of bikes {both electric and manual}, organic agriculture {17 per cent of the total food is organic}, clean water and almost 70 per cent sustainable buildings and hotels.

In a nutshell, Denmark has managed to hit the bull’s eye with its old-fashioned charm coupled with forward-looking design and social developments. Considered as one of the most liveable and the happiest nations on earth, this country truly deserves a place on the list of every sustainable traveler.

How to reach – Flights to Denmark start at INR 57, 946 {one way}. You can book your tickets here

Australia

Why – It is working hard to reduce carbon footprint of both travellers and citizens

Perfect for beach lovers

Australia has recently introduced a host of plans that are aimed at reducing its carbon emissions and dependence on coal. It also hopes that by 2020, almost one-fifth of the country’s energy will come from renewable sources like sola, wind and geothermal sources. It is also promoting large-scale carbon capture as well as dedicated resources {both money and man-power} to reduce its overall carbon footprint.

All said and done, Australia is also a perfect destination for any sustainable traveler, because you are only a stone throw away from a unique experience here. Not scared of deep waters? Dive into famous reefs from the Ningaloo to the Great Barrier Reef. If you like to stay on land, the incredible wildlife parks outside of Brisbane {Australia Zoo} and Darwin {Crocodylus Park} offer incredible getaways. In short, whatever your idea of sustainable travel, Australia has something for you.

How to reach – Flights to Australia start at INR 59, 934 {one way}. You can book your tickets here.

Iceland

Why – The only country in the world whose electricity and heat are entirely generated from renewable sources

Perfect for the culture fan

Green in every sense of the word, Iceland has continued to hold is ground as one of the sustainable destinations in the world. It has placed top priority in utilizing its  geothermal resources for heat and electricity production, vigorously fights against ocean pollution, and promotes sustainable fishing practices. Plus with green spaces practically everywhere, it is also one of the safest cities in the world as well.

Popular for its fjords, natural hot springs, volcanoes, Northern Lights, whale watching, and glacier hiking, there are literally many reasons why this country leaves travelers completely transfixed.

How to reach – Flights to Iceland start at INR 86, 635 {one way}. You can book your tickets here.

Palau

Why – It is the world’s first nation to change its laws for sustainability and sustainable tourism

Perfect for dreaming of a tropical paradise

A trailblazer of sustainable tourism, Palau is an incredible archipelago of about 200 limestone and volcanic islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It became the first nation in the world to change its immigration laws to help protect its environment. Upon entry, travelers need to sign a pledge that they will act in an ecologically responsible manner during their stay on the island. Only after this pledge has been signed, entry visas are issued.

The pledge includes simple things that travelers will not to do during their visit, such as collecting marine life souvenirs, feeding the fish and sharks and dropping litter or smoke in restricted areas. They also promise to respect local customs and culture, take care of local wildlife and coral, and support local businesses and communities. Not bad for a country that covers an area of just 180 square miles.

The waters surrounding the Palau islands are crystal clear and filled with marine life. The islands   are also covered in lively forests and pristine beaches. Palau’s reefs are no-fishing zones and diving is the star attraction of the region, with truly world-class dive sites. Divers swear by Palau’s exciting seascape, fascinating wrecks and stunningly diverse marine life – it’s not dubbed ‘the underwater Serengeti’ for nothing.

How to reach – Roman Tmetchul International Airport situated 6 km from town of Koror, is the only international airport within the island archipelago. If you are traveling from India, you will have a book a connecting flight from Japan or Manila.

Malta

Why – It has 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that it plans to achieve by 2030

A little archipelago in the central Mediterranean Malta is situated right in-between Sicily and the North African coast. Start your trip with a trip to Gozo which is a rare gem and a ferry ride away from Malta. Boasting of incredible beaches such as Ramla Bay, San Blas Bay, and more touristy Paradise Bay, it is a great spot for diving enthusiasts.

Malta also promotes eco-education in schools and won the award for showing global leadership in protecting its local culture and traditions. If you prefer the land, head to the UNESCO Neolithic Ġgantija Temple ruins that command soaring views over most of southern Gozo. Spend the rest of your time going on rural hikes and snorkelling in the crystal waters. Trust us, this is an unforgettable holiday.

How to reach – There are no international airlines that fly directly from India to Malta International Airport. You can, however, opt for major international airlines that offer connecting flights.

by Mary Martina
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