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Travel

Ethical Traveler Announces 2021’s ‘Ten Best (Post-Pandemic) Destinations’ Awards

February 17, 2021

BERKELEY, Calif. — Every year, California-based Ethical Traveler reviews the world's developing nations for their commitment to human rights, social welfare, and environmental protection. The ten destinations with the most impressive records are honored with Ethical Destinations Awards. For 2021 – mindful of 2020's COVID challenges – we did something different: We reviewed our lists of recent winners, and determined which of these already worthy and fascinating countries will benefit most from our travel dollars in a post-pandemic world.

Our 2021 Awards underscore the fact that, despite the chaos wrought by COVID-19, we enter 2021 seeing rays of hope. But the world won't recover overnight. This is especially true for the international travel industry, which employs 1 out of 10 people worldwide. The free fall in travel and tourism has had a devastating impact across this vast sector of human society.

Visiting our winning destinations will enable them to emerge from the pandemic's shadow and continue their impressive work on all fronts. By "voting with your wings" (once you are vaccinated, of course!), you can reward these nations for their efforts and motivate other countries to do the same.

Ethical Traveler congratulates the 2021 honorees of the Ten Best (Post-Pandemic) Destinations Awards.

In alphabetical order (not in order of merit), the winners are:

Belize

Benin

Cabo Verde

Costa Rica

Ecuador

Jamaica

Mongolia

Nepal

The Gambia

Uruguay

"Though the travel suggestions in this report may seem wishful, they are actually aspirational, because this much is certain: Travel will return," says Ethical Traveler's executive director Jeff Greenwald. "And when we visit countries like these, which have taken extraordinary steps to confront the pandemic, we're expressing our admiration and support in a tangible way."

Adds Greenwald, "If COVID-19 taught us one thing, it's that our borders are imaginary. We are the inhabitants of a small planet, stunning in both its beauty and fragility. We can survive as a species only by taking care of each other. This begins with knowing each other. Travel and exploration – whether to the reefs of Belize, the steppes of Mongolia, or the volcanoes of Cabo Verde – brings more than a new awareness of ourselves. It shows us what it means to be human."

Ethical Traveler is a project of the Berkeley-based Earth Island Institute. The mission of Ethical Traveler – "Empowering travelers to change the world" – highlights the economic clout of travel and tourism to protect human rights and the global environment.

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