Ethical travel destinations unveiled: Argentina, Barbados, Chile
Friday 10 December 2010
Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the world's best ethical destinations in the developing world, ranking Argentina, Chile, Lithuania and Poland in the top ten for the second year running.
The magazine, which focuses on how travellers can enjoy exploring without having an impact on their environment, said that it hoped the best of the best list would inspire travels and shed light on the concerns that countries face trying to balance best practices with challenging economic realities.
To compile the list, it conducted a study of developing nations from around the world, benchmarking each using categories such as Environmental Protection, Social Welfare, and Human Rights which are taken from third party sources and its own research.
This year, six new destinations made their way onto the list - Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominica, Latvia, Palau and Uruguay, along with the four countries who were featured in the 2009/2010 edition.
For the second year running, Ethical Traveler omitted Asian countries from the list, criticising the region's poor human rights record and lack of a strong environmental policy.
Unlike last year when South Africa, Ghana, Namibia and the Seychelles were judged to be in the world's top ten, no African countries were included in this issue, with the magazine saying that this was "because of serious violations to the basic human rights of their citizens".
Even South Africa, riding on a wave of tourism goodwill from the World Cup, failed to secure a place because of the eviction of vulnerable people from their houses and an increase in sex trafficking.
Suriname, meanwhile, was removed after the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination urged the country to ensure legal acknowledgement of the collective rights of its indigenous peoples, while Belize was dropped due to government seizure of land, high profile corruption and emerging child sex tourism.
While admitting that none of the countries on its new list is perfect (including Barbados and Dominica where homosexuality is criminalised), Ethical Traveler hopes that travelers will use the list when planning their 2011 journeys.
"By visiting the countries mentioned here, we 'vote with our wings'," said the editorial, "sending a signal that travelers are aware of where their money is going, and willing to support nations that care about the environment, human rights, and the global community."
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