BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Two islands in the Caribbean have been named in the top 10 ethical tourism destinations among developing countries across the world.
In a recent release, the California-based non-profit organization Ethical Traveler announced that Barbados and Dominica had joined Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Latvia, Lithuania, Palau, Poland and Uruguay on its list in its 2011 report on The World’s Best Ethical Destinations.
The release explained Ethical Traveler conducts an annual study of developing nations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe to identify the best ethical tourism destinations. The group focuses on three general categories: environmental protection, social welfare, and human rights.
In citing environmental protection reasons for Barbados and Dominica’s placement on the 2011 list, Ethical Traveler stated: “Dominica was the recipient of a Green Globe for sustainable eco-tourism. We also applaud Barbados for organizing the Caribbean Green Economic Conference for 2011, to discuss opportunities and challenges to developing a green economy in the region.”
In terms of social welfare, Ethical Traveler highlighted that they consulted the 2009 Human Development Report, compiled by the UN Development Program (UNDP), for input into that criteria and Barbados was the highest ranked Ethical Destination country on that UNDP index this year.
However, Ethical Traveler did acknowledge that the two Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries, like the others on the list, were not “perfect”.
“In Barbados and Dominica, homosexuality remains criminalized. Normally this is a deal-breaker for us, but the laws do not appear to be zealously enforced. We sincerely hope that our vote of confidence will persuade these countries’ leaders to repeal these backward laws.”
The organization also called on Barbados to step up its efforts even further to halt sex trafficking.