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World’s Top 10 Ethical Destinations Revealed

New report helps travelers plan vacations to places where human rights and the environment are protected


Michael McColl
McColl Communications
+1 (510) 451 0267

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For Immediate Release

BERKELEY, USA – ( – December 3, 2009) Are you the kind of traveler who wants to have a great time AND feel good about where your travel budget is going?

Ethical Traveler’s new report, “The World’s Best Ethical Destinations” identifies the 10 countries in the developing world that are best protecting their natural environments, promoting responsible travel, and building a tourism industry which provides real benefits to local communities.

“There’s no doubt that worldwide interest in mindful, responsible travel is growing – not only among travelers, but within the countries that host us,” says Jeff Greenwald, executive director of Ethical Traveler and co-author of the report. “Now is the perfect time for savvy travelers and well-intentioned governments to evolve together, each encouraging the other. This is especially true in the developing world, where travel and tourism can be developed as lucrative, low-impact alternatives to forestry, mining, and the destruction of ocean habitats.”

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 best ethical travel destinations for 2010 are: Argentina, Belize, Chile, Ghana, Lithuania, Namibia, Poland, Seychelles, South Africa and Suriname.

“In drafting our report, we use scores of information sources – including publicly available data – to rate each country’s genuine commitment to environmental protection, social welfare and human rights.” says Christy Hoover, co-author of the report. “Data sources include the United Nations Development Program, Human Rights Watch, Columbia University, Reporters Without Borders, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and many others. Private interviews with NGO leaders are part of the process, as well.” The full report can be viewed at

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Ethical Traveler is an international alliance of travelers who believe that travel is 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. Ethical Traveler is a project of the Earth Island Institute. For more information, please visit

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