The No. 1 Sustainable
Travel Destination: Sweden

When Euromonitor International ranked 99 countries worldwide on their Sustainable Travel Index in a report in 2020, Sweden came out as the number one country. Sustainable travel refers to a trip where you experience the natural beauty of a country without disturbing the land.

During a sustainable vacation in Sweden, you’ll work to leave the destination just as you found it at the start of your trip. Today we’re going to take a deeper look at why Sweden ranks number one on the Sustainable Travel Index and what you can expect to experience on a sustainable vacation in Sweden.

1. Sustainable Transportation Options

Euromonitor International’s Sustainable Travel Index is created by analyzing seven key pillars of sustainability. In order for Sweden to reach the number one ranking, it had to achieve the lowest score in comparison to the other nations. One of these is sustainable transport options, and Sweden certainly excels in this area. Most people who plan a vacation in Sweden start their adventure in Stockholm, the capital city.

Public transportation in Stockholm achieved its goal of using 100% renewable energy on the metro, trains, and buses in 2017. The city is now working to have fossil-free maritime traffic by 2030. When traveling around Sweden, you’ll find the use of public transportation is highly encouraged, making planning an adventure for a week or two much easier than other sustainable travel destinations you may be considering.

2. Freedom to Roam

The Freedom to Roam is a law in Sweden that offers everyone access to public and private land throughout the country. This could be for recreation or exercise and allows individuals throughout Sweden to explore freely without restrictions. Known as “allemansrätten” in Swedish, this freedom was granted by the Constitution of Sweden in 1994. There is an emphasis, as with all sustainable travel, to not disturb and destroy the land, and this belief is something that’s become ingrained in the culture and considered a human right.

In fact, Visit Sweden even listed their whole country on Airbnb to show just how welcoming they are to everyone. Of course, there are some restrictions in place, such as for fishing, but you’ll find your adventure travel options in Sweden are excellent thanks to this initiative.

3. Sustainable Travel Accommodation Options

One of the other key pillars the Sustainable Travel Index considers is accommodation options for visitors to the country. When looking for an eco-friendly hotel for your vacation in Sweden, you’ll find that your options are simply unlimited.

As well as offering environmentally-friendly accommodation, you’ll find many of these locations give you the chance to immerse yourself in nature for a relaxing vacation in Sweden.  The country currently has about 250 hotels which meet the Nordic Eco-label requirements, which mean they meet and exceed a strict set of criteria for sustainable travel.

In Stockholm, you can start your trip in the Elite Hotel Adlon, which is a Green Key certified hotel in the capital city, who work to minimise their energy and water consumption. Two hours outside of Stockholm, you’ll find Kolarbyn Ecolodge, which offers a luxury eco-friendly solution. This site is approved by both the Green Key and Nature’s Best Sweden. Each of their cabins is covered in mud and grass, and there are even mushrooms growing from the roof. With no electricity or showers, you’ll just be able to immerse yourself in the peaceful world around you.

4. Nature’s Best Sweden

Nature’s Best Sweden is the country’s certification for approving ecotourism companies. It works to highlight accommodation and tour options within the country, and offers a select list of companies you can work with during your vacation in Sweden.

Nature’s Best has six main criteria which are used to judge companies on their eco-friendly offerings. It was launched back in 2002 and was Europe’s first ecotourism label, putting Sweden ahead of the game as far as sustainable travel. It is supported by The Swedish Nature & Ecotourism association. They help to educate companies within the country to encourage an increased awareness of sustainable travel solutions.

When it came to judging countries on the Sustainable Travel Index, Sweden was awarded the number one spot in this report, thanks to its excellent scores across the seven categories. With so many great initiatives in place for locals and visitors alike, it’s no surprise this is one of the best sustainable travel destinations in the world today.

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