Palau was named as one of the World’s Best Ethical Destinations for 2013 on the Ethical Traveler’s annual survey of the developing world’s top countries for tourism, based on environmental and human rights performance. For the second year in a row, Palau made the list of 10 countries — all in the developing world — that combine best practices with superb scenic and cultural attractions.
The winning destinations have all demonstrated a clear and continuing commitment to environmental protection, human rights and social welfare.
This year’s 2013 top ethical destinations, in alphabetical order, are Barbados, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Ghana, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Palau, Samoa and Uruguay.
Palau has also been highlighted in the current IMAX film, “The Last Reef,” the Rock Islands were recently inscribed onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the destination has been designated as the world’s first Shark Sanctuary, and Palau is also one of the “Seven Underwater Wonders of the World.”
“We congratulate this year’s winners.
They’re doing a great job showing the world that you can have a successful tourism industry along with sustainability and social justice,” said Ethical Traveler Executive Director Jeff Greenwald. “With the number of international arrivals expected to top the 1 billion mark in 2013, travelers have more power than ever.
Every dollar we spend is a statement about which countries and governments we choose to support.
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.