Barcelona, Spain

Organisation: Turisme de Barcelona 
Contact: Josep Maria Gómez
Year: 2018

GDS-Index Category Breakdown

Category Total
Environmental Performance 71%
Social Performance 71%
Supplier Performance 52%
Destination Management Performance 74%

Destination Highlights

Hectares of green area per 100 000 population


Barcelona wants its residents and visitors to enjoy the many attractions that the city offers in a balanced way that respects the environment. Therefore it promotes a model of tourism based on respect for the city's economic, social, environmental and cultural resources. As a result, and because it is always innovating, Barcelona has established itself as a tourist destination committed to sustainability, with responsibly managed tourism and a cross-cutting strategy which seeks to ensure it is a model that will endure well into the future. Barcelona promotes green means of transport for both residents and visitors alike, including cycling, electric vehicles and public transport with low CO2 emissions. For promoting tourism that shares environmental responsibility between visitors and residents, Barcelona has been accredited with Biosphere certification as a responsible tourist destination. Barcelona is a pioneering city in terms of its architectural adaptation of public spaces for everyone, as well as in proposing improvements for the elderly and people with reduced mobility. A city open to everyone, with a wide range of possibilities for tourism related to social responsibility projects".

Energy sourced from renewables
City traffic congestion level
Waste sent to landfill

Barcelona is an open, cosmopolitan city, where social cohesion is a reality. The Catalan capital is also ranked among the best cities in the world for quality of life, safety and equality. It is a city that is easy to live in, a healthy city with a Mediterranean climate, green spaces and locally produced food. Living in Barcelona ensures a good quality of life.

Corruption Perception ranking
World Bank Inequality Index Score (Lower score represents lower inequality)
Gender Inequality Index ranking

The celebration in Barcelona in May 2017 of the International Conference on sustainable tourism for development in the framework of the New Urban Agenda, is part of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development declared by the United Nations. The Conference reviewed the Biosphere criteria that apply to urban destinations, based on the adaptation and contextualization of the GSTC criteria to the new guidelines of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the global agreement against climate change of the COP 21 and the New Urban Habitat Agenda 3. The results of the conference are: • Declaration of Barcelona: "Building sustainable tourism in the framework of the new Urban Agenda." • Memorandum Biosphere-Barcelona 2017. Document that updates and reformulates the criteria according to the 17 ODS, as well as enables "the adhesion of companies and services to the commitment of the destination"

City's hotels easily accessible by public transport to/from congress and exhibition centres
PCOs and DMCs have a written sustainability policy
Exhibition centres have sustainability certification

Barcelona has become the first city in the world to be awarded Biosphere certification. The award recognises the city as a sustainable tourism destination committed to developing responsible tourism and including sustainable, environmental, cultural and socio-economic management criteria. The certification is promoted by Turisme de Barcelona and Barcelona City Council. You can find more information about Sustainable Barcelona here: You can also see the measures implemented by Turisme de Barcelona within the framework of corporate social responsibility in the leaftlet Turisme de Barcelona: committed to sustainability.

Yes No
Has the CVB established and is implementing a destination sustainability strategy?
Does the destination regularly measure and report on sustainable destination progress?
Does the CVB support or lead local sustainability training for cities MICE industry?
Does the CVB support or local authorities provide incentives or funding for organisations wanting to gain sustainability certification or issue a sustainability reports
Does the CVB provide free or subsidized public transport passes for major conventions?
Does CVB/DMO provide clients with ideas and resources to support the local community?

Blog Articles

Other Destination Rankings for 2018