Belfast has been ranked eighth in the world in the 2022 Global Destinations Sustainability Index.

Belfast’s vision to transition to an inclusive, zero-emissions, climate-resilient economy within a generation has been rewarded with an eighth-place ranking in the annual Global Destinations Sustainability Index.

The index assesses destination performance across 73 criteria over four key areas: environmental strategy and infrastructure, social sustainability, industry sustainability, and destination management performance.

Belfast has worked to bring sustainability to the forefront of tourism growth and development, aiming to be among the greenest and most sustainable destinations in the world.

Last year, Visit Belfast and Belfast City Council launched the world’s largest green tourism city partnership with the result that over two-thirds of the city’s hotel stock is now sustainability certified.

Among the projects that contributed to Belfast’s ranking in the index is one which will see a million native trees planted across the city by 2035.

Belfast has also achieved several green tourism firsts: the city’s international convention centre, ICC Belfast, became the first Green Meetings certified venue on the island of Ireland while Queen’s University Belfast became the first organisation on the island of Ireland to be given a Green Meetings Gold Award. And the city’s top attraction, Titanic Belfast, was recognised as a leader in sustainability, receiving Silver Awards for the Green Tourism and Green Meetings accreditations.

Queens University

The Global Destinations Sustainability Index challenges destinations to demonstrate how tourism can be a force for good, contributing not just economically but also societally and environmentally to its host city.

In this respect, Belfast’s ‘Changing the Menu. For Good’ initiative impressed the judges. A pioneering project to raise funds and supplies for those experiencing food poverty in the city, it demonstrates how the tourism sector can contribute positively to the city’s wellbeing.

“Changing the Menu. For Good’ is part of a long-term commitment to deliver more sustainable events and drive a regenerative tourism sector which leaves a lasting legacy and that has our people and their needs at its heart,” says Visit Belfast Chief Executive Gerry Lennon.

Making it into the world’s top 10 sustainable destinations highlights Belfast’s qualities as an appealing, responsible tourism destination.

With so much to explore in the city, it’s the perfect destination for those who want to combine great experiences with eco-friendly peace of mind.