You might not necessarily think of Scotland as one of the world’s greenest countries – but, in many ways, the nation is leading the way in sustainability. Not only does it have tonnes of green spaces but the country was the first in the world to sign the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency initiative, a measure encouraging the tourism sector to reduce its carbon footprint.
And now, the World Travel Awards has declared the Scottish capital Edinburgh as Europe’s leading sustainable destination for 2023. The title is well-deserved – as the greenest city in Scotland, Edinburgh has made a number of efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, including promising to introduce measures to become more plant-based.
But Edinburgh’s triumph at the 2023 WTAs wasn’t an easy ride and the city faced some stiff competition. Edinburgh was nominated alongside the likes of Dubrovnik in Croatia (which is making moves to limit cruise ships arriving at its ports) and Pembrokeshire in Wales, which champions local businesses and produce above all else.
The winners were decided through a year-long voting campaign in which votes from members of the public carried a weighting of one and those from verified travel experts carried a weighting of two. So, you can trust the results are well-informed.
Time Out’s take
At Time Out, we’re experts on both Edinburgh and travelling sustainably. Crowned Time Out’s best city in the world for 2022, we’ve covered the Scottish capital inside-out. With help from our knowledgeable roster of local writers, we’ve got a ton of essential guides to all of its best bits and that’s not to mention our annual coverage of all things Edinburgh Fringe.
When it comes to planet-friendly travelling, read our guides on steps to take to become a better tourist, our favourite sustainable travel companies to book with, the world’s best ecotourism destinations and why sustainable travel might not be enough anymore.
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