The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has put together a brand-new set of criteria that will help put travel destinations, not just hotels, restaurants or airlines, on the path toward social, cultural, and environmental sustainability. Using things like Green energy help towards the global efforts to reduce climate change and attempt to save our planet. Tourist destinations being environmentally friendly, means that even whilst on vacation, people can be consuming less energy and working towards a better future, especially as when people go on holiday they tend to stop thinking about things like global warming. Therefore, this is a positive step to hopefully many more destinations using these sustainable methods.

The four places that have signed up to be the world’s first sustainable destinations are…

Fjord, Norway

Photo by Global Sustainable Tourism Council

  • Why go: Hiking, skiing, scenery. Port for cruises.
  • Issue: How to balance preservation and development.
  • Focus: Promote low-impact versions of adventure travel activities.

Jackson Hole, WY

  • Photo by Global Sustainable Tourism CouncilWhy go: Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Great for hiking, camping, watching wildlife and outdoor activities.
  • Issue: Jobs are seasonal as crowd peak in summer.
  • Focus: Environmental preservation and creative steady year round jobs.

Huangshan, China

Photo by Global Sustainable Tourism Council

  • Why go: Landscapes attract artists and painters. Location of the film Avatar. UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Issue: At 2.5 million tourists every year, the trails are at maximum capacity.
  • Focus: Control of noise and sight pollution; water and energy conservation; convey the message of sustainability to the visiting public.

St. Kitts and Nevis Islands

Photo by Global Sustainable Tourism Council

  • Why go: Pristine white sand beaches, water sports, rich history.
  • Issue: Preserving the heritage for generations to come.
  • Focus: A partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises. They are enforcing green technology and have an environmental program officer on every ship.

Photos courtesy of Global Sustainable Tourism Council