The World’s Ten Best Ethical Destinations – 2014
Your travels can have a positive impact! Visit the countries working to maintain strong environmental, human rights, and eco-tourism values by “voting with your wings.” Our World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations report helps you choose countries you can feel great about supporting.
“Do not tell me how educated you are. Tell me how much you have traveled.”
These words, spoken by Muhammad, seem as apt today as they must have 14 centuries ago. As we explore our home planet with greater ease, but at an ever greater remove — on our laptops, tablets and smart phones — let’s not forget the transformative potential of actual, physical travel. No matter what it takes to get there, there’s still nothing like arriving in a strange land, for the first time, and embarking on a personal voyage of discovery. The ability to travel swiftly and safely between countries and cultures is almost as recent a development as social networking, and as important a tool for understanding this planet and its people.
Travel has recently become the world’s largest industry, exceeding a trillion-dollar annual footprint. This means that travelers have real power. Where we choose to put our footprints has real economic and political significance. Ethical Traveler believes that mindful travel offers many rewards, both personal and global. By “voting with our wings” — choosing our destinations well and remembering our roles as citizen diplomats — we create international goodwill and help change the world for the better.
Every year, Ethical Traveler reviews the policies and practices of scores of nations in the developing world. We then select the ten that are doing the most impressive job of promoting human rights, preserving their environments, and supporting social welfare – all while creating a lively, community-based tourism industry. By visiting these countries, we use our economic leverage as travelers to support best practices.
We urge you to explore these destinations, and to enjoy the wonderful sights, cultures and inspirations they offer.
Though our very best efforts go into creating this list, we must continually remind ourselves: No country is perfect. All nations have genuine shortcomings. Each of our winners, however, had made a genuine effort to “do the right thing” in the many areas that we take into consideration.
Ethical Traveler is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, and a project of the Earth Island Institute. No money or donations of any kind are solicited or accepted from any nations, governments, travel bureaus or individuals in the creation of our annual list.
Ethical Traveler congratulates the countries on our 2014 list of The World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations. The winners, in alphabetical order (not in order of merit), are:
( * = also appeared on our 2013 list).
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