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Is There A Such Thing As A Guilt-Free Travel Destination?

Is There A Such Thing As A Guilt-Free Travel Destination?
Scott Dylan

If you’re a socially conscious traveler, not all destinations are morally equal. The Latin America Travel Company has created something called the Travel Morality Index. This index ranks the ethical standings of destinations around the globe by analyzing a variety of factors, including:

  • Human Rights
  • Animal Welfare

  • Gender Equality

  • Workers’ Rights

  • State of Peace

Which country is the most ethical holiday destination? The Travel Morality Index awards Germany the top spot. Germany was able to rank so high largely based on its laws regarding animal protection and the protection of workers’ rights when compared to other nations around the globe. Here’s a look at the countries that populate the rest of the top-10 list behind Germany:

  • Austria

  • Iceland

  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Canada

  • Belgium

  • Finland

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

The Travel Morality Index found that the top country for ethical travel in South America is Chile. Canada earned the title among countries in North America. New Zealand won the spot for Oceania. What about Asia? It turns out you’ll want to head to Japan if you’re interested in having a totally ethical experience while visiting Asia. Botswana was labeled the most ethical among African countries.

Which countries around the globe came in near the bottom when it comes to offering ethical travel options? The Travel Morality Index ranks Yemen at the bottom. Here’s a look at the rest of the bottom 10:

  • Iran

  • Sri Lanka

  • Libya

  • Syria

  • Tanzania

  • Iraq

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Afghanistan

  • Central African Republic

You might be wondering where the United States falls in terms of travel morality. America’s ranking in the Travel Morality Index stands at 21. The United States is sandwiched between Chile and Lithuania. What’s more, it was beaten by smaller nations like Estonia, Croatia and Slovenia. There are some other countries that rank surprisingly low on the index. The United Kingdom is actually several notches below the United States at spot 27. Spain is one spot below the United Kingdom.

[Image: Pixabay]

View Comments (5)


  1. chavala

    February 19, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Wonder how long before USA will make the bottom 10 list?

  2. strickerj

    February 20, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Oh lord, another “best of” list to make hipsters feel good about themselves. Go wherever you want to go. Regardless of where your destination falls on this list, you being there spending money (and hopefully not being disruptive) can only help.

  3. Daitheflu84

    February 20, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Japan? The country that slaughters hundreds of thousands of dolphins, whales and sharks every year? While this entire concept of “ethically acceptable travel destinations” is a laughable notion, Japan’s inclusion on the list is suspect, at best.

  4. RandomNobody

    February 22, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    No, because you should have spent that money on donations to the local charity du jour. /s

  5. ConnieDee

    March 1, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Wondering what “ethical destination” means. Is the destination/country itself not ethical or do they mean that it is more unethical to travel to an unethical country? If we avoided traveling to countries except for the boring ones at the top of the list, wouldn’t that put us in a Northern White Western English-Speaking Bubble? I lived for two years teaching English in a country 1/3 of the way down (and high on the corruption index) – it really opened my eyes about Life On Earth. Traveling through doesn’t afford as many insights as residency, but I appreciate being in some of these places and learning what I can. Am I supposed to feel guilty? Instead, my ongoing ethical questions involve HOW to travel in these countries in ways that mutually benefit tourists and residents.

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