The World’s Best Ethical Destinations for 2012: “Travel is a Powerful Communicating Tool”

ethicaltraveller is a nonprofit that takes an unbiased look at the status of socially and environmentally responsible programs in developing nations. I was incredibly curious to see which countries they designate as being the ‘best’ to travel to, because I believe in not only seeing the world, but supporting companies, countries, programs and incentives that actively work to protect indigenous people, give good jobs, protect the environment, and support human rights.

As they state: “There are many ways to deliver a message and take a stand for human rights and the health of our planet. Social networks are critical—but travel is also a powerful communicating tool. Travel and tourism are among the planet’s driving economic forces, and every journey we take makes a statement about our priorities and commitment to change.”

And The Winners Are:

Ethical Traveler congratulates the countries on our 2012 list of The Developing World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations. The winners, in alphabetical order (not in order of merit), are:

Argentina *
The Bahamas
Chile *
Costa Rica *
Dominica *
Latvia *
Palau *
Uruguay *
( * = also appeared on our 2011 list).

Check out all the considerations that went into putting this list together on the Ethical Traveller site, but the short list is below:

“Every year, Ethical Traveler reviews the policies and practices of all the nations in the developing world. We then select the ten that are doing the best job of promoting human rights, preserving their environment, and creating a sustainable, community-based tourism industry. By visiting these destinations, we use our economic power—our travel dollars—to support these countries.”

So far, of countries on the list, I’ve gotten to visit Costa Rica and the Bahamas, and Chile and Argentina are high on my list of places I’d like to see in 2012. Where have you been and where do you want to go? (PS – I’m going to have to do some reading about Mauritius and Palau…have to admit I don’t know much about them!)