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Destination Stewardship and National Geographic

traveler-november-december-09For the past six years, National Geographic Traveler magazine has, in conjunction with the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations, devoted its “Places Rated” Destination Stewardship survey to some of the world’s most traveled and well-loved destinations. Survey results provide insight into just how well these places are standing up to the pressures of tourism and climate degradation, culturally and environmentally.

This year, a panel of 437 travel experts from the sustainable tourism industry surveyed 133 destinations. Many factors were taken into consideration during the evaluation process, which included examining the qualities that make a destination unique, measuring the “integrity of a place” and assessing its authenticity and stewardship. The ratings were based on six criteria: environmental and ecological quality; social and cultural integrity; condition of historic buildings and archaeological sites; aesthetic appeal; quality of tourism management; and outlook for the future.

The surveyed destinations were placed in one of five categories: Best-Rated Places, Places Doing Well, Places in Balance, Places With Troubles, and Worst-Rated.

Across the pond, the top-scoring U.S state was Vermont for its scenic countryside, and its environmental and social sustainability efforts, but two other U.S. Destinations made the top category as well: Oregon and Washington’s Columbia Gorge and Massachusetts Berkshires. Our neighbor to north, Canada, took places #2 and #3 overall, for for British Columbia’s Kootenay and Yoho national parks on the western slope of the Canadian Rockies and for Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula that juts into the Gulf of St. Lawrence with oceanfront, islands and mountains.

The survey is the cover feature of the November-December 2009 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine, on newsstands now. To learn more about the 133 destinations ranked, visit

The Center for Sustainable Development, which conducted the survey, hopes that the results will bring attention to those destinations doing well, and to those that aren’t, due to reckless development and commercialism. The Center is dedicated to protecting the world’s distinctive places through wisely managed geotourism and enlightened destination stewardship.

This article is quoted from the Responsible Travel Report The Sustainable Tourism e-Newsletter Vol. 7 No. 11, November 2009 published by STI.
The article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Best practice, Market knowledge, Sustainability, World.

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