Ethical Traveler, a non for profit California based organization has just released their list of the top 10 ethical travel destinations for 2015. These countries have made significant changes to protect the rights of their citizens and to safeguard the environment.
In alphabetical order, the best ethical travel destinations for 2015 include:
Cape Verde scored highly when it came to assessing citizens' civil and political rights and ranked highly on the Heritage Foundation's Economic Freedom Index as it offers a wide array of social welfare based programs.
Chile's government was the first government in South America to sign a pledge to introduce carbon taxes by 2018. Out of the 10 countries included in the list, Chile scored the most points when it came to protecting the environment.
Dominica opposes commercial whaling and received high marks for its commitment to animal welfare and innovative plans to invest in clean, renewable, energy sources.
Lithuania ranked the highest on the United Nation's Human Development Index. An impressive 22% of Lithuania's energy is renewable, so Lithuania is well on their way to achieve their goal of having 23% of their energy coming from renewable sources by 2020.
Mauritius offers a variety of social services and is currently the only African nation to provide income security programs for citizens over the age of 60. Mauritius' government also plans to plant 200,000 trees by the end of 2014.
The Small Islands Developing States Network, awarded Palau with an environmental star for its work to preserve both marine and land based eco systems.
The Samoan government recently invested 1 million dollars into a new project which aims to increase biodiversity and combat the effects of climate change.
The Tongan government has pledged to reduce diesel consumption by 50% by 2020 and has plans to introduce organic farming, on the island of Ha'aapai, in 2015. If successful, the government plans to introduce organic farms to the rest of its islands.
Tourists who visit the Colonia del Sacramento, which is one of the oldest towns in Uruguay and a World Heritage Site, can tour the town by electric car. Uruguay's government also has plans to introduce electric taxis and buses in 2015.
Vanuatu, which comprises over 80 islands, has passed multiple land reform acts, which have been designed to protect the rights and welfare of its indigenous citizens.
So if you're a passionate traveler and plan on exploring a new country or two, in 2015, seriously consider visiting any one of the ethical travel destinations listed above. As not only will you enjoy the benefits of travelling to a country which attracts fewer tourists but you'll also contribute to the economy of a country that is proactively taking steps to protect the environment and ensure the welfare of its citizens.