Palau Named as Best Ethical Destination for 2013


For the second year in a row, Palau, Micronesia was recognized by non-profit Ethical Traveler as one of the world’s most ethical tourism destinations. The list highlights 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.


In addition to this recognition from Ethical Traveler,

Palau is also honored as the feature destination 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 known as 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. By visiting the countries on our list, savvy travelers can have great vacations and promote the values we all share.”

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.

The 2013 list and report on the winners were presented at a public event on December 10th, 2012 at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club. To view the full 2013 Ethical Destinations report and accompanying photo gallery, please visit


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