Human Journey

Take a Trip: NatGeo Ranks Sustainable Travel Hotspots

places.jpgGeographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations and National Geographic Traveler magazine have teamed up again this year to rate the world’s most popular destinations on environmental and ecological quality, social and cultural integrity and outlook for the future, among several other categories.

The big winner this year is Norway’s fjord region, which topped the chart five years ago and increased its score this year.  The remainder of the top five rankings (including ties) are sites in Canada, New Zealand, Japan, the United States, Slovenia, Australia, and Spain.

Among the worst-rated were locations in St. Maarten/St. Martin, Mexico, the Bahamas and West Bank.  Spain‘s Costa del Sol received the worst ranking out of the 133 sites ranked.

The rankings were judged by 437 well-traveled experts specializing in different areas of sustainable tourism.  Categories include Best-Rated Places, Places Doing Well, Places in the Balance, Places in Trouble, and Worst-rated.

You can read more about the destinations, their rankings, and why they received the ranking at Traveler magazine’s website.

See a photo gallery of some of the destinations at National Geographic News.

You can also learn how to travel greener with the Green Guide‘s Travel and Transportation section.

James G. Robertsonjames_robertson.jpg














Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • JerryChan

    I just spent some time going through these photos of the hot vacation spots and I have to say I can see why Norways Fjord Region is number one. Those mountains are just breathtaking and I wish that one day I can make it over there for a week or two so I can witness such beauty. I have already been to many of the places that were in the top 50 such as the Bahamas and Vermont, but now my next destination is going to be Norway, although I will have to save up a little more money for this trip 🙂

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  • leo12

    i like Switzerland a lot. The jet d’eau, Geneva’s famous water fountain projecting water up to 140 meters high with 132 galon of water per second which has always dominated the Geneva skyline. The fountain turned blue in the Wednesday evening and in any given time while the jet is operating, it literally leaves about 7,000 liter of water in the air. regards SEO Products

  • Munnu

    With NatGeo coming out with the ranking for the best destinations, keeping in mind what the traveler has in mind like environment, eco tourism and other preferences, I don’t think we need a second opinion on the matter! With 133 destinations to choose from, I don’t think anyone will have difficulty to make up their minds! With the best and worst of the destinations, it will definitely come in useful to make our plans for this holiday!!My Trip advise would be dont forget about your travel insurance while you are going for holidays!

  • leo12

    Environmental quality is at the highest level. Landscape is amazing and aesthetically one of the most beautiful. The icons of Norway are so unique that it is difficult to imagine anything else. The local culture can be seen on the shores and mountains. It gives an ideal overview of well-preserved Norwegian rural life. free piano sheet music

  • karenhill1505

    I have been to Canada, Japan and mexico and wow, what an experience. I’ll have to go to Norway now seeing that it has such high review. Thanks.
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  • leo12

    its an awesome place. The German emperor Wilhelm II was so impressed by his first visit to the fjords that he came back almost every year after that. Kings and queens from all over Europe and even the Far East also made western Norway one of their favorite getaways. retractable clotheslines

  • leo12

    The west coast of Norway had been frequently visited for centuries, starting when Bergen became an important port for the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages. The merchants in those days were mostly just interested in business and it wasn’t until the 19th century that visitors to the west coast started venturing inland and discovered the fjords. Gradually, the fjord region became more and more popular and the British were particularly keen on traveling across the North Sea to enjoy this unique environment.

  • inter4522

    Norway’s fjord region is such a great place to go. This is one of most beautiful places that you will go. I am glad that you wrote this article about it.
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  • leo12

    Fjords are found in locations where current or past glaciation extended below current sea level. A fjord is formed when a glacier retreats, after carving its typical U-shaped valley, and the sea fills the resulting valley floor. indoor clothes dryer

  • laura44

    These landscapes are truly amazing. In hope one day I could travel all around the world to see all these marvels. Scrabble Word Finder

  • SheilaS

    Norway’s Geiranger Fjord, lined by soaring snow-capped mountains and fabled waterfalls, is a World Heritage Site that defies description. The stark wonders of North Cape and remote towns like Spitsbergen and Tromso await further north in Land of the Midnight Sun. Hardanger Fjord is known for its beautiful waterways, spectacular mountains, idyllic orchards and cozy small scenic fjord towns. printer toners and cartridges

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    If i am able i will go there…
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  • james lee

    I think New Zealand is the best place to go. It is such a beautiful place to go. The weather and the surroundings are the best. I would definitely recommend this country.
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  • cristianx82

    Awsome place, was there last year and i am definetely recommending it to everyone
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  • John

    Great. Now i really got an idea where to spend my summer. Thanks for posting this info.
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  • kaya

    Well hurry up people ,if you wanna see Hardanger Fjord for it’s real beauti.
    Cuz this week the goverment of Norway decided to destroy this wonderful Fjord,with Power Lines that will be all over the place!! : (
    It is terrible ,but true.This magnificent Fjord will be destroyd soon if the goverment here gets to choose. 🙁
    Lost of Norwegians are very sad and desturbed by this.And we will fight this as good as we can.However we might need help.If anyone who reads this has a clue how to help.Please do so.So we can save one of the greatest Fjords in the world from getting ruind.
    Check out : facebook page : STOPP KRAFTLINJA I HARDANGER
    It showes photo’s of what they are planning to do : (

  • danielx82

    Very good ideea for vacation, i think i know where i have to go now
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  • Conrad

    I came across your web site on google and check some of the earlier articles. Preserve up the wonderful work. Looking for forward to reading through further of your stuff afterwards!…

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