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Ethical Traveler puts Costa Rica on their list of Developing World 10 Best Ethical Destinations

IVO HENFLING | MARCH 2, 2011

Costa Rica on the list of developing world 10 best ethical destinationsEthical Traveler supports countries working to maintain strong environmental, human rights, and eco-tourism values.

The nonprofit organization Ethical Traveler places Costa Rica on their Top 10 of best ethical destinations world-wide.   Ethical Traveler urges urge travelers to step off the beaten path. Each year, after extensive research, their team chooses the 10 best countries to visit in the developing world.

These countries are rich in natural wonders, and alive with fascinating culture. They’re also committed to conserving their natural treasures, while building economies that sustain and empower local communities.

This year 2011, Ethical Traveler, has chosen the following countries as the winners, in alphabetical order (not in order of merit)

* Argentina
* Barbados
* Chile
* Costa Rica
* Dominica
* Latvia
* Lithuania
* Palau
* Poland
* Uruguay

The organization states ” the idea of naming the 10 “best” developing countries has its perils. No country in the world is perfect. All the places on our list have both strengths and weaknesses. Still these are the best of the best. We sincerely hope this list inspires your travels. We also hope that our summary sheds light on the many concerns that every country must tackle to balance best practices with often challenging economic realities.”

What is the purpose of Ethical Traveler?

Ethical Traveler is dedicated to educating travelers about the social and environmental impact of their decisions, showing how travel can be a potent form of diplomacy, and giving travelers a forum through which their united voices can serve the world community.

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What does Ethical Traveler do?

They raise awareness of the interdependency between travelers and the places they travel to. They are doing this by building a global community of travelers, and over time will be providing their membership with information on key issues (e.g., coral reef protection, deforestation, women’s rights, and forced labor) relevant to the world of tourism, and unite travelers’ voices with those of other, like-minded organizations.

Their signature work will focus on well-researched campaigns that harness their members’ combined actions to promote social justice and environmental conservation.

How is this list is created?

Ethical Traveler conducts every year a study of developing nations to identify the best tourism destinations among them. The research is focussed on three general categories:

  • Environmental Protection
  • Social Welfare
  • Human Rights

For each of these categories, they look at information past and present so that they understand not only the current state of a country, but how it has changed over time. This helps them select countries that are actively improving the state of their people, government, and environment.

In the first phase of the process, they consider country scores from a variety of databases related to one of the three categories, using information from sources like Freedom House, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the World Bank. After identifying the top performers, they turn to detailed case research, focusing on actions governments have taken over the year to improve (or in some cases, weaken) practices and circumstances in the countries.

For more information on Ethical Traveler, see their website.

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Ivo Henfling

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