Belfast ranked among top 20 most sustainable global destinations

A major global ranking has seen the city of Belfast break into the top 20 most sustainable cities globally, thanks to new initiatives by the city for 2021.

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS – Index) has ranked the city of Belfast in the official top 20 list of most sustainable global destinations, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sydney and Brussels.

The Index evaluated Belfast in several different key areas. The rankings saw Ireland’s second city climb just over seventy places in ranking to end the year in style.

The GDS Index – ranking the world’s most sustainable cities

The GDS Index ranked the most sustainable destinations in the world.

The GDS Index describes its vision as to “engage, inspire, and enable destinations to become more regenerative and sustainable places to visit, meet, and thrive in.” It aims to create more sustainable environments the world over.

With the issues of climate change and global warming rising to the top of agendas worldwide, it is more important than ever that cities develop an eco-friendly environment that can meet the demands of the modern-day.

Now, Belfast has been ranked among the top 20 most sustainable global nations.

Belfast high on the list – why it is one of the most sustainable cities in the world?

Belfast ranked among most sustainable global destinations.
Credit: Tourism Northern Ireland

Climbing significantly from its 42% score in 2020, Belfast scored 70.7% on the global index according to GDS – Index.

Following evaluation of the city’s environmental strategy, social sustainability performance, industry supplier support, and the initiative of Belfast’s destination marketing of Visit Belfast, it ranked 19th in the list of most sustainable global destinations.

Belfast launched its ‘Resilience Strategy’ in December 2020, which listed 30 programmes to make Belfast city a more climate-resilient economy with a zero-emissions outlook. This has paid off.

Other cities that sit alongside Belfast are Cork city, Brussels, Zurich, Helsinki, and Glasgow, among many others. This year, Belfast joined the GDS Movement to coincide with the city’s ten-year action plan for tourism in Belfast.

Reacting to the news – vindications of Belfast’s efforts

Numerous initiatives have played a part in improving Belfast's sustainability.

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl spoke on the news that Belfast ranked among the most sustainable global destinations.

She said, “The notable jump in our performance is testament to the continue collaborative work by Council, Visit Belfast, and city partners to drive Belfast towards sustainable and inclusive growth”.

Visit Belfast Chief Executive Gerry Lennon also commented on the news. He said, “It’s critically important that we see Belfast transition to a sustainable destination as quickly as possible.

“These partnership efforts will be crucial as we work to deliver on our commitments outlined in our tourism recovery plan”.

Why visit Belfast? – things to see and do

Belfast ranked among most sustainable global destinations.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Belfast is a city on the rise and is certainly one worth visiting. Among others, see the Titanic Quarter exhibition. This tells the story of the world’s most famous lost ship and marvel at the overarching Harland and Wolff cranes.

Climb Cave Hill, drink in the Cathedral Quarter, and shop in Victoria Square. You can delve into history at the Peace Walls, immersing yourself in one of the world’s most sustainable cities.

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