Revealed: The Planet’s Most And Least Polluted Holiday Destinations

According to new research, some of the most frequently travelled global cities are amongst the most polluted holiday destinations on the planet. The 2015 study, surveying as many as 28 major world cities in terms of air quality, has disclosed some absorbing findings. The research compared cities and their Air Quality Index based on their respective levels of air pollution that may have detrimental implications for travellers owing to hazardous air pollutants active in the atmosphere.

According to the study, Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, has featured as the least polluted urban destination in the world, followed by Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Madrid. Also featuring prominently on the list of environmentally healthy global destinations are New York City, Paris, and Sao Paulo. Similarly, exceedingly popular cities such as London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Rome, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Mexico City have also fared moderately well, according to the findings.

However, those featured on the opposite side of the rankings include Beijing, Dubai, and Mumbai, which ranked among the most polluted cities for international travel, with Beijing ostensibly the most environmentally hazardous destination. Not too far behind are Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur and Turkey’s Istanbul and capital Ankara, ranked as relatively unhealthy.

(Dubai - Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Statistically, more than three million people around the world each year succumb to the toxic and life-threatening effects of outdoor pollution. These figures go on to suggest that travellers need to be pronouncedly attentive to some of the problematic and possibly hazardous aspects of travel prior to picking a holiday spot.

Pollution is a major environmental challenge confronted by the world at present. The impact of pollution is felt most unremittingly in developing countries, leading to poor health, death, and disabilities of millions of people year after year. Many environmental experts have already warned that environmental pollution may, in fact, be inevitable in developing countries.

Generally, any substance introduced into the atmosphere that has detrimental effects on living things and the environment is considered air pollution. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is the leading air pollutant and a principal force behind global warming. It fundamentally works as a pollutant when associated with cars, planes, power plants, and other industrial activities that involve the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline and natural gas.

The Chinese capital, for instance, has for many years experienced perpetual air pollution. Primary sources of pollutants include exhaust emission from Beijing’s more than five million motor vehicles, coal burning in neighbouring regions, dust storms from the north and local construction dust, all of these contributing to its appallingly modest standing as the least environmentally healthy city.

(Beijing - Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

According to a recent study, the world’s most eco-friendly cities are ranked according to the extent of their respective CO2 emissions, transportation alternatives, water and waste management, and overall environmental initiative.

As of last year, Vancouver featured among the leading cities of the world with an impeccable standing on carbon emissions and air quality, largely owing to the city’s commitment to green energy endorsements and judicious exploitation of its hydropower. Likewise, as one of the pioneers of the world’s first comprehensive, rapid-transit bus systems along with its consistently efficacious recycling measures, the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba continues to advance astonishingly well as a foremost eco-friendly city.

Among Scandinavian cities, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm continue to lead the march among Europe’s greenest and environmentally most forward-thinking cities. Likewise, South Africa’s second-largest city, Cape Town, after having made exceedingly noteworthy strides in Africa by strongly advocating energy conservation and actively harnessing its renewable resources, is among the world’s least polluted top travel destinations.

[Photo by Afton Almaraz/Getty Images]