Our new issue of National Geographic Traveler just arrived and with it the most recent survey of how 133 iconic destinations rank in terms of sustainable toursim. I’m happy to report that of the 62 locales listed as “best rated” or “doing well”, Classic Journeys pays careful visits to 23 as part of our Cultural Walking adventures, culinary tours and family journeys.
If you’ve traveled with Classic Journeys, you know that our small group, low impact approach to travel meshes well with geotourism’s mission: tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.
Below you’ll find the list of the “Best-Rated Places” and “Places Doing Well” along with our tours that visit them:
•Fjords Region, Norway – Scandinavia’s Fjords and Fields
•South Island, New Zealand – New Zealand South Island Cultural Walking Adventure and Family Journey
•Medieval Granada and the Alhambra, Spain – Southern Spain’s Andalucia
•Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom – Scottish Highlands
•Corsica, France – Sardinia and Corsica
•Central Copenhagen, Denmark – Scandinavia’s Fjords and Fields
•Northern Coast, California – Napa and Sonoma’s Culinary Treasures
•Taos and the Enchanted Circle Tour, New Mexico, U.S. – Santa Fe to Toas
•Lake District, Italy – Italian Lake Retreats
•Cornwall, England, United Kingdom – England’s Cornwall Coast
•Grand Canyon/Tusayan, Arizona, U.S. – Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon Cultural Walking Adventure and Family Journey
•Qin Emperor Mausoleum, Xi’an, China – China—Shanghai to Shangri La
•Patagonian Andes Region, Argentina – Argentina—Patagonia and the Wine District
•Rajasthan, India – India—Rajasthan, Tigers & Taj
•Hue, Vietnam – Vietnam & Angkor Wat
And in a fortunate connection to my blog last week, UNESCO works diligently with local governments to manage the impact of tourism so that even places “…in the balance” as the survey describes them (like Machu Picchu), can be shepherded carefully to where they are no longer in jeopardy.
How? For one, by limiting the number of travelers as they do on the Inca Trail, where the total number of people on the path any day is capped at 500 including tourists, guides, and porters. The results have been dramatically positive, showing how tourism can have a profoundly positive impact on a region.
If you have a favorite spot that you’d like to share with us, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.