Green Destinations

Top 100 Stories


The Green Destinations Top 100 Stories is an annual competition that collects and celebrates initiatives from destinations globally, inspiring responsible tourism leadership.  

Green Destinations Top 100 Logo - 2023

About the Top 100

Who is this program for?

Destinations, Small and Regional DMOs.

Certificate Validity

1 year


Annual Competition


300€ for low and middle income economies. 600€ for high income economies

The Green Destinations Top 100 Stories has run annually since 2014 (with the expectation of 2015), celebrating and promoting 100 destinations as inspiring examples for other destinations, tour operators and visitors. 

Now more than ever, the tourism industry needs good practices and case studies. Good Practice Stories selected to the annual Top 100 list combines good practice elements with the power of storytelling. 

Participating destinations also have to self-report on the Green Destinations Core Criteria, showing their compliance with the basics of sustainability performance, which provides a unique opportunity for a first step towards sustainability recognition. 

Every year, Green Destinations’ jury of experts selects the most excellent stories from the Top 100 list to be nominated for the Green Destinations Story Awards, celebrated at ITB Berlin.


Any interested local government, DMO, governmental or institutional  stakeholder can start the application on behalf of the destination by completing the Registration form, linked in the Call for Application brochure.

The competition is structured in two steps: 

Step 1. Sustainability Check

.Applicants are required to self-report on Core Sustainability Criteria of the Green Destinations Standard (recognised by GSTC).

Destinations must reach at least 60% compliance to be eligible to take part in Step Two.

1st-year applicants: 15 criteria
  1. Sustainable destination coordinator
  2. Inventory of destination assets
  3. Destination management policy or strategy
  4. Responding to tourism impacts on nature
  5. Landscape & Scenery
  6. Solid waste reduction
  7. Reducing transport emissions from travel
  8. Reducing energy consumption
  9. Tangible cultural heritage
  10. Intangible heritage
  11. Community involvement in planning
  12. Supporting local entrepreneurs
  13. Promoting local products and services
  14. Health & safety
  15. Promoting sustainability among enterprises
2nd year applicants: 30 criteria

All Core 15 criteria +

    1. Managing visitor pressure
    2. Visitor behaviour at sensitive sites
    3. Nature conservation & tourism monitoring
    4. Animal welfare
    5. Noise
    6. Light pollution
    7. Waste water treatment
    8. Waste separation & recycling
    9. Renewable Energy
    10. Responding to climate risks
    11. Managing tourism impacts on culture
    12. Human rights
    13. Inhabitant satisfaction
    14. Property exploitation
    15. Sustain

Step 2. Good Practice Story

Once deemed eligible, participants will be asked to submit a Good Practice Story.

A template of the Good Practice Story will be provided by the team to support destinations in this process.

Destinations will be asked to provide at least 5 copywright-free photos and 30 secs of video footage to illustrate their story (to be used for promotion).


Participants gain access to the Top 100 training

All participants will gain access to the Top 100 training, to develop skills and expertise for a strong foundation to start or continue their sustainability journey. Training Modules:

  • The Green Destinations Core Criteria
  • Writing the best Good Practice Story

This training includes video presentations, webinars with industry experts, and live Q&A sessions. The Modules will be before  Step 1 and before Step 2 of the participation.

1:1 coaching sessions available

For participating destinations looking for more hands-on support in submitting to the 2023 Green Destinations Top 100 Stories Competition, one-on-one supervision and coaching is available. 

The Top 100 Application Support helps participants deliver a strong submission to the competition, focusing on both STEP 1: sustainability check and STEP 2: Good Practice Story.

Why join this program?

The Green Destinations Top 100 Stories provides an excellent first step for destinations looking to assess their performance on the basics of sustainability. Recognition of performance on the Green Destinations Core Criteria is illustrated in a score card, for effective and transparent communication with the general public.

Selected destinations to the annual Top 100 list gain global exposure and promotion of their efforts for sustainable destination management. 

Find out more about the benefits of the competition in the Call for Application brochure on top of this page. 


Valentina Riatti
Valentina Riatti

Top 100 Coordinator

Nicole Hulsebos
Nicole Hulsebos

Top 100 Coordinator

Top 100 Stories 2022


The Top 100 Good Practice Stories list is unveiled annually at the Green Destination flagship conference. Get to know this year’s inspiring collection of stories

Join the 2023 Green Destinations Top 100 Stories to take the first step in your journey towards sustainability recognition.