Posted in Press Releases

Group Names Planet’s Top 13 Ethical Travel Destinations

New List Features Worthiest Vacation Spots in the Developing World


Michael McColl
Director of Communications
Ethical Traveler
+1 (510) 451 0267

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For Immediate Release

(San Francisco, CA) THE UNITED NATIONS RECOGNIZES 191 countries around the world. Which should you choose for your next vacation?

For the conscientious traveler, certain countries are better choices than others, according to Ethical Traveler, a non-profit advocacy group which is a project of the Earth Island Institute. Earlier this year, student researcher Kiran Auerbach of Stanford University scoured publicly available statistics, looking for ways to rate a given country’s desirability as a tourist destination. Today, Ethical Traveler published the results of this study in a report titled “The World’s Most Ethical Travel Destinations.”

Ethical Traveler’s Executive Director Jeff Greenwald explains, “This report serves as a practical guide for tourists who seek vacations that are both rewarding for the traveler, and supportive of the people and environments being visited.” The URL for the study is

Countries were graded across three main categories: support for ecotourism, environmental protection, and social development. Of course, as Ethical Traveler staffers point out, none of the countries named in the report are ethically “perfect.” The thirteen top countries score well across these three critical categories, says Greenwald, who helped write the final report. Greenwald adds that ethical tourism can be used as an “economic carrot,” to support and reward countries pursuing high standards in these areas.

In alphabetical order, the list of most ethical travel destinations is: Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Kenya, Peru, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Uruguay.

According to Greenwald, “The destinations highlighted by Ethical Traveler simply haven’t received the kind of attention they warrant. Visiting these countries raises the standard of living for the population, and supports programs that protect the environment and human rights.” Travelers who visit these ethical destinations may also find that the good feeling they bring home with them is a perfect souvenir of their trip.

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Ethical Traveler is an international alliance of travelers who believe that travel can be a powerful tool for international goodwill and cultural understanding. The group seeks to harness the political and economic clout of tourism to support human rights and the environment. For more information, please visit

Note to editors: Photos and follow-up interviews available upon request.

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