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*. To help travellers research options for mindful urban travel easily , the world’s leading travel search engine KAYAK has launched the City Index for Mindful Travellers**. Rotterdam secured the top spot, named the most attractive city destination for mindful travellers, followed by Amsterdam and Graz.
KAYAK’s City Index for Mindful Travellers (CIMT) 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 CIMT 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.
Europe is leading the way
Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Graz are the first 3 positions in KAYAK’s ranking, with the top 10 spots held by European cities. The Dutch port city Rotterdam has scored highest, with its airport having an advanced carbon management system certified by Airport Carbon Accreditation, a great urban rail network, and the widest length of cycling routes. 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*.
Top 10 highest ranked cities according to KAYAK’s City Index for Mindful Travellers:
1. Rotterdam, Netherlands
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
3. Graz, Austria
4. Trondheim, Norway
5. Munich, Germany
6. Helsinki, Finland
7. Stockholm, Sweden
8. Zurich, Switzerland
9. Gothenburg, Sweden
10. Vienna, Austria
Indian travellers plan for more sustainably-minded tourism
“According to our recent international research, 75% of Indian travellers don’t have enough information to make sustainability-minded travel decisions***. With the new City Index for Mindful Travellers, we are making it easier for mindful travellers to make informed choices when exploring city destinations,’’ comments Per Christiansen, SVP, Marketing at KAYAK.
North America: Vancouver at the top
Vancouver in Canada and San Francisco in the USA form the leading 2 in KAYAK’s ranking for North America, just ahead of Boston, Washington DC and New York. Vancouver was noted for its air quality, San Francisco landed in 2nd place thanks to its top-notch urban rail transit system and pedestrian-only roads. Boston slides into the 3rd spot, with plenty of EV charging stations, bike rental options and bike paths which make getting around the city with less carbon emissions easier.
Tokyo leads the way in Asia-Pacific
Tokyo, Japan, reached the highest rank in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Osaka, Japan. The Japanese capital’s local markets, theaters and art galleries are extremely accessible thanks to “pedestrian only” and designated bike roads. Tokyo’s variety of bike sharing options effortlessly connect travellers to the world-class rail system. In Osaka the popularity of bikes for commuting accounts for as much as three times that of cars.
Latin American podium with Santiago, Quito and Bogota
Santiago, Chile, took the grand prize in the Latin American ranking. Chile’sairport has been recognized for great carbon management according to Airport Carbon Accreditation. In Quito, Ecuador, which came 2nd, travellers can easily hire eco-friendly cars as the city is well equipped with EV charging stations. As a UNESCO ICCAR (International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities) member, Bogota, Colombia, rounds out the top 3 in the region, showing a commitment to diversity and inclusion – evident in the amount of the city’s tours that are wheelchair-accessible (26%).
Tunis pulls ahead of Tel Aviv and Dubai
Being a mindful traveller also means supporting a destination’s culture and communities, and benefiting the local economy wherever possible by, for instance, buying local produce. In Tunis, Tunisia, which leads the ranking in this region, the density of markets and the opportunity to buy second-hand is great for delving into the local culture. Tel Aviv, Israel, is 2nd 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. The UAE’s Dubai is in 3rd place due to its eco-friendly car hire options for costs lower than for conventional cars.