Why did we select Darwin’s Finches as our emblem for ranking sustainable destinations? The 14 species of Darwin’s finches are found only in the Galapagos and they are famous for inspiring Darwin in his theory of evolution. These rare birds are like the proverbial “canary in the cave” for our planet. What better conservation symbol than the species that led to one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time? We rank each country between one and five finches, based on our overview of how a country is engaged in sustainable tourism planning, from just getting started to national strategies that advance sustainable tourism for development, including environmentally-friendly practices, protecting nature, safeguarding cultural heritage, and delivering social and economic benefits to local people. It is our intention that this will help you, as a fellow sustainable traveler, to create a purposeful vacation that embraces authenticity and discovery of our beautiful planet and its diverse cultures.
Sustainable tourism initiatives at the national level are at the beginning stage.
The destination recognizes sustainability as being important and have embarked on establishing sustainable tourism practices.
Destination stewardship planning is underway at the national level with multiple stakeholders, including government, NGOs, private sector and communities, to increase understanding and awareness of sustainable tourism best practices.
The country has fully embarked on a national level sustainable tourism masterplan incorporating the three main pillars of best practice: environmentally-friendly operations; support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage; and improving the special and economic well-being of local people.
The country has achieved international recognition as an innovative leader in sustainable tourism, the government is actively engaged in implementing or has already implemented a national sustainable tourism development plan, multi-stakeholders are engaged in ongoing dialogue for taking best practices to a higher level. Progress towards sustainability goals are evaluated, measured and monitored for improvement and ongoing success.
Learn more about the Galapagos.com sustainable travel values.