SA is named a top-10 ethical destination

Posted by Laura Grant on July 30, 2008
Posted in Lifestyle

South Africa and Namibia have made it onto a list of the Top-10 ethical tourism destinations – the only two African countries to do so. The Developing World’s Best Ethical Destinations list is compiled by an American group called Ethical Traveler which assesses countries on their records in environmental protection, social welfare and human rights.

Five of the countries on the list are in South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica and Nicaragua) and the other three are in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia and Estonia). None of the Asian countries made the grade. “Runaway development, human rights abuses, and a lack of strong environmental policy kept them all off the list this year,” says the group.

Via :: USA Today

South Africa’s environmental record seems to be what impressed the judges the most, but our “huge rich/poor gap” and “high crime rate” did not go unnoticed. “Travelers should be mindful of the dangers, and stay informed about which areas to avoid,” says Ethical Traveler. (Let’s not mention the words xenophobic violence).

Kenya, which was on the last list compiled in 2005, has dropped off because of the ethic violence after last year’s elections.

The travel industry is now the biggest on Earth and travellers have enormous economic clout, says the Ethical Traveler’s website. Instead of all the tourist dollars being spent in the usual destinations, the group thinks travellers should try some unusual “off the beaten track” destinations where their money could potentially be a “positive force”.

“Many developing countries, in their efforts to woo travelers, are making noble attempts to preserve their natural assets, create a user-friendly infrastructure, and build an economy where their citizens share the benefits of tourist revenue. By bringing our commerce to such places we encourage their efforts, and inspire neighboring countries to support these values as well,” they say.

Via :: USA Today

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