Top 10 Ethical Travel Destinations for 2012

by Katia Savchuk

View of Riga, Latvia. Source: Flickr user diasUndKompott

Now that the holidays are over, you may be looking forward to your next vacation. Consider a trip to one of the "10 Best Ethical Destinations" for 2012, according to a report from Ethical Traveler, a San Francisco-based nonprofit.
  • Argentina
  • The Bahamas
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • Latvia
  • Mauritius
  • Palau
  • Serbia
  • Uruguay
I was part of the research team that selected the destinations based on their recent record of protecting the environment, promoting social welfare and human rights, and creating a sustainable tourism industry. Ethical Traveler puts the list together every year in the hopes that tourists will put their dollars where their values lie.

In addition to the top 10, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) and the Republic of Cuba appear in the report as "Destinations of Interest." Although they don't make the cut as ethical travel picks, these are places undergoing rapid social and political change, and travelers have much to learn by seeing them with their own eyes.

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  1. Great initiative! however I find number three on the list rather suprising since I recently came back from several months spent in Chile, Santiago. As you might know chilean students have for seven months now been struggling for a more just educational system. The educational system they are protesting against is extremly unequal.University education is the most expensive in Latin America and when family income is taken into consideration, one of the most expensive in the world!
    "The students are demanding free education, and an end to the privatization of their schools and universities." The free-market based approach to education was implemented by the military dictator(!) Augusto Pinochet in his last days(!) in power.

    I consider education one of the most important human rights,now young students are being killed by the police when protesting against an injust educational system. This brings, for many, painfull memories of the dictatorship to life.

    Off course the country's billionaire President, Sebastian Piñera (who has now fallen to a new historicly low number of 23% of approval according to Centro de Estudios Públicos,CEP)is doing everything in his power to make sure the situation in the country do not reach foreign media. However Al Jazeera has made a worth watching episode ont this;
    or this independent filmmaker

    With love

  2. Hi Johanna, Thanks for sharing this with us! I'll pass on your comments and the video to Ethical Traveler. Of course no country is perfect, and this is well worth noting.


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