BERKELEY, California, Dec 16 — Travellers with a social conscience are being encouraged to visit places such as Chile, Samoa, Tonga and Mauritius, destinations that have been deemed among the most ethical in the world.
After reviewing the national policies and practices of developing countries, editors at Ethical Traveler selected the destinations they feel are doing the best job of promoting human rights, preserving the environment and supporting social welfare.
In addition to applauding countries that are doing a solid job on all three fronts, the list also serves as a guideline for globetrotters looking to travel with a clean conscience and give them confidence that their tourism dollars are supporting economies that are on the right track.
“By visiting these countries, we can use our economic leverage to reward good works and support best practices,” says Ethical Traveler.
This year, eight of the 10 countries are island nations, including newcomers such as Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga.
Chile and Uruguay are the only mainland winners.
Of note, Latvia, Barbados and the Bahamas lost their spots this year.
While Latvia was disqualified as it’s now considered a developed nation, Barbados was removed for failing to show progress in areas of human rights, particularly human trafficking, police brutality and discrimination against its LGBT citizens.
The Bahamas was also dropped for its grim environmental record, including the ongoing construction of captive dolphin facilities.
Editors pointed out that the absence of Asian countries is due to their dismal record on human rights abuses and little movement towards sustainability.
Here are the top 10 most ethical destinations 2015, in alphabetical order:
* denotes countries that also appeared on the 2014 list