Tunis, Tunisia leads the ranking for mindful travellers in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) thanks to the density of markets and the opportunity to buy second-hand which is great for delving into the local culture, said Kayak, a global leading travel search engine, in a new report.
Kayak’s City Index for Mindful Travellers is an interactive guide, designed to help travellers consider sustainability-related aspects, such as Airport Carbon Accreditation, local traffic or air quality, in city destinations all over the world as they plan their next trip.
The Index analysed 167 cities in 63 countries across 28 factors to help conscious travellers make more informed travel decisions. The Index also features the option to personalize the results and filter by the factors which matter the most to travellers.
Tel Aviv, Israel, has come in second place and excels in the number of walking tours, some of which are free of charge. And while strolling from one cultural point to another, travellers can find recycling points.
Dubai rounds up the top three in the ranking of the Middle East and Africa region, down to its eco-friendly car hire options for costs lower than for conventional cars. Dubai’s rail transport connectivity is good, while it also has plenty of pedestrianised roads and bike paths per sq km. All this provides travellers with carless ways to get around and allows them to explore the city’s sights with less carbon emissions easier.
Abu Dhabi also performed well, landing right after Dubai and emerging as one of the region’s top destinations for mindful travellers due to its large share of properties with such practices in place as eliminating single-use plastic or running on renewable energy sources, finishing only behind Norwegian city Trondheim worldwide in this regard. It is also a less popular destination among travellers than nearby Dubai.
Europe leading the way
Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Graz are the first three positions in Kayak’s ranking, with the top 10 spots all held by European cities. The Dutch port city of Rotterdam scored highest, with its airport having an advanced carbon management system certified by Airport Carbon Accreditation, a large number of competitively-priced properties which have been qualified by Booking.com’s Travel Sustainable Program, a great urban rail network, and the greatest length of cycling routes per sq km.
Amsterdam, Netherlands, comes in 2nd, world-renowned for bike-friendly options and pedestrianised streets, with viable options for driving eco-friendly cars and a high concentration of EV charging stations.
Graz, Austria, takes the 3rd spot, scoring with great rail links, plenty of EV charging stations, and a walking-only UNESCO World Heritage city centre to explore.
Vancouver in Canada storms onto the podium in North America, being noted particularly for its air quality. Tokyo in Japan reached the highest rank in the Asia-Pacific region. The Japanese capital’s local markets, theatres and art galleries are extremely accessible thanks to “pedestrian only streets’’ and designated bike roads.
Santiago in Chile took the grand prize in the Latin American ranking. Santiago offers the biggest reduction in average flight prices during the low season, with its airport being recognised for great carbon management according to Airport Carbon Accreditation.
City trips are one of the drivers for global travel, with the expectation that almost 800 million people will visit global urban destinations annually by 2025, according to the ‘Global City Travel Report’ issued by Oxford Economics.
Top 10 highest-ranked cities according to Kayak’s City Index for Mindful Travellers:
• Rotterdam, Netherlands
• Amsterdam, Netherlands
• Graz, Austria
• Trondheim, Norway
• Munich, Germany
• Helsinki, Finland
• Stockholm, Sweden
• Zurich, Switzerland
• Gothenburg, Sweden
• Vienna, Austria
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