Top 10 Ethical Travel Destinations for 2016

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Are you a traveler that avoids spending cash in countries with poor human rights and environmental records?

Ethical Traveler, a non-profit organization seeking to use the economic clout of tourism to protect human rights and the environment, recently released its annual list of the 10 most forward-thinking countries in the developing world. Ethical Traveler is a project of the Berkeley-based non-profit environmental group Earth Island Institute.

According to Ethical Traveler, each country is reviewed for its performance based on the areas of human rights, animal welfare, social welfare, and environmental protection. And of course, the country also needs to have plenty of appeal as a travel destination. “By spending travel dollars in forward-thinking countries, explorers can reward the good guys — and encourage humane practices worldwide,” says Ethical Traveler’s report.

Grenada, Mongolia, Panama, Micronesia, and Tuvalu are five countries that made it for the first time on this year’s list.

Here are 2016’s winners, in alphabetical order:

1. Cape Verde

2. Dominica

3. Grenada

4. Micronesia (Federated States)

5. Mongolia

6. Panama

7. Samoa

8. Tonga

9. Tuvalu

10. Uruguay

Seven island nations made this year’s list, marking a continuing trend in the winner’s circle. Climate change affects islands dramatically, so island nations tend to put more effort toward effective environmental policies.

“While we acknowledge that no country is perfect, we honor those that strive to build a better, more sustainable society. Their neighbors can learn and benefit from their example — and so can we,” says Ethical Traveler co-founder and travel author Jeff Greenwald.

Plan this year’s travels to countries supporting human rights, social welfare, and the environment. To read the full report, visit

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