Ethical travel? What is THAT? And why does it matter?
Ethical travel is the awareness of our impact on the planet when we go anywhere. Anywhere. From how we get to our destination to what we do when we get there, our choices–including how we spend our money–make a difference. This means no more swimming with dolphins or elephant rides.
Meet Jeff Greenwald, co-founder of Ethical Traveler
Jeff Greenwald, the kind of traveler, author, and humanitarian that makes the rest of us look like sloths, knows a few things about making the world a better place. On his first trip to Asia in 1979, he designed playgrounds for UNICEF and the Nepal Children’s Organization…see what I mean?
In 2003, Jeff co-founded Ethical Traveler, a non-profit that encourages travelers to use their “economic clout” to protect human rights and the environment. He notes that tourism is the largest industry in the world; 1 in 11 people work in hospitality. More than other huge industries like oil. Every trip we take is an opportunity to make a positive impact for people and the planet.
Join Ethical Traveler–for free!–and become a member of the travel community that wants to change the world. Listen to the podcasts or sign up for an ethical travel journey.
Where we choose to spend our money: It matters
How a country handles tourism is important. What happens to the money that travelers invest in the destination? Is it used to make life better for the citizens? Are human rights honored? Is the environment respected and protected? Are animals treated well?
Every year, Ethical Traveler based on three criteria: environmental protection, human rights, and social welfare. No country is perfect, but sincere effort counts. Spending your travel dollars in these places helps their economy…and keeps important programs funded.
The 2018 list looks a little different from the usual “hot-spots-to-visit-now” lists put out by travel companies and websites. You won’t find Ethical Traveler giving a thumbs-up to Italy or France…or the United States. There are some familiar and favorite places, as well as some new countries for your consideration.
Ethical Travel: Here’s where to “vote with your wings”
In alphabetical order…
(* also appeared on the 2017 list).
St. Kitts & Nevis
Are you surprised? Are you curious to learn more about Benin? Vanuatu? Palau? Although I normally write about budget travel, I recognize that some of these destinations aren’t exactly low-cost. But some are! Costa Rica is a good value, for sure. A quick visit to BudgetYourTrip.com shows Columbia is affordable, too. Vanuatu is pricey…but when you win the lottery, put it on your list.
The tagline for Ethical Traveler is “Empowering travelers to change the world.” It’s a heady thought, changing the world. I’m up for the challenge. I hope you’ll join this organization today, too.
More thoughts on travel: