By 10 March 2015 | Categories: news


In a recently unveiled survey by Responsible Travel, a website specialising in bringing destinations and practices in responsible tourism to the fore, South Africa has ranked top in terms of sustainable tourism practices. Responsible Travel forwarded a set of six questions to its Top 50 ranked nations, and released a table based on how many of the questions were answered in the affirmative.

SA scored six out of six, alongside three other nations, England, Sweden and Bhutan. The survey was sent to each country's tourism board to complete, with the scores then tallied and ranked accordingly.

Responsible Travel's CEO, Justin Francis, praised South Africa in particular for its commitment to sustainable tourism practices. "In many cases around the world we think responsibility in tourism is being achieved despite the tourist board not because of it," says Francis. He notes that "South Africa is a real exception. They have national and local strategies for responsible tourism enshrined in law and policy and with real programs of work to deliver it."

Interestingly, some of the world's biggest tourist destination countries, such as Spain and the US scored relatively poorly in Responsible Travel's survey. Spain scored three out of six for example, and the US scored zero out of six.

The questions for Responsible Travel's survey were:

1. Is there any mention anywhere of responsible or sustainable tourism?

2. Does responsible or sustainable tourism feature in their vision/mission?

3. Do they have any specific policies for responsible or sustainable tourism?

4. Do they have evidence based reports on any achievements in responsible or sustainable tourism?

5. Do they identify holidays on their site that have been screened or audited for responsible tourism?

6. Do they provide any educational information or tips for tourists about responsible tourism?   

Head to Responsible Tourism for the full list of surveyed countries and their scores.


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