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Every year, Ethical Traveler, a non-profit organization basd in San Francisco, conducts a study of developing nations, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, to identify the world’s most ethical travel and tourism destinations.
The list for 2013, in alphabetical order (not in order of merit), are:
- Cape Verde
- Costa Rica *
- Latvia *
- Mauritius *
- Palau *
- Uruguay *
( * = also appeared on 2012 list).
How the list is created:
Using publicly available data, potential destinations were evaluated on a broad spectrum of criteria—including ecosystem support, natural and cultural attractions, political rights, press freedom, women’s equality, commitment to LGBT rights, and— the survey’s newest indicator— terrestrial and marine area protection.
It’s worth noting that island states are again a strong presence in this year’s Top 10 list. These include Barbados, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Palau and Samoa. One clear reason for this is marked efforts towards environmental responsibility.
This year’s report also includes a section recognizing “Destinations of Interest” for the coming year..which encourages potential tourists to peer behind the “media curtain” and explore controversial countries—like Burma, Cuba and Namibia—that are in the midst of dramatic social changes.