Despite the devastating effects of global corona virus epidemic on global tourism industry, Destination Gambia has been named among the World’s Ten Best Ethical Destinations 2021 by the Ethical Traveler.
The Gambia was named (in alphabetical order, not in order of merit) alongside nine other countries by Ethical Traveler 2021 list of the Ten Best Post-Pandemic Ethical Destinations.
The destinations include- Belize, Benin, Cabo Verde, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mongolia, Nepal, The Gambia and Uruguay.
According to Ethical Destination reports in creation of the list, ‘Ethical Traveler surveys the world’s developing nations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, focusing on four general categories namely; environmental protection, social welfare, human rights and animal welfare.’
For each category, they looked at information past and present to understand not only the current state of a country, but how it has changed over time.
“This process helps us to select nations that are actively improving the state of their people, government, and environment,” Ethical Destinations, report stated.
The move is designed to encourage practices and mind sets that help create a safer and more sustainable world.
“More so, our Ethical Destinations Awards are given to the 10 that have shown the greatest improvement over the past year. They must also offer unspoiled natural beauty, great outdoor activities, and the opportunity to interact with local people in a meaningful, mutually enriching way.”
In addition to this, according to Ethical Destinations Reports, “this year, due to Covid-19’s withering effect on international travel, instead of starting with a shortlist based on our go-to metrics and databases, we have decided to have a closer look at some of the countries that have appeared on our winner’s list over the last five years. We investigated how they handled the pandemic and tourism industries.”
Also the Ethical Traveler as well researched whether there were any positive initiatives and opportunities emerging from this crisis-strategy – example, for making tourism more sustainable.
Though, not exhaustive explanation of Ethical Traveler methodology but in excerpt from Ethical Destinations, Reports “this smallest country (The Gambia) on the African continent features golden beaches backed by swaying palms, scenic lagoons, sleepy fishing villages, and teeming wildlife – including manatees, hippos, crocodiles, and nearly 600 bird species.”
The destination also “hosts the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, Africa’s longest-running chimp project.”
Meanwhile, in the past, Ethical Destinations honoured The Gambia with its Ethical Destinations Award in both 2019 and 2020.
“Just like in the majority of Sub-Saharan countries, Covid-19 has not caused a major health crisis on the level of the Americas and Europe. However, The Gambia could not avoid the devastating economical impact, mainly because it depends heavily on tourism, which accounts for 20% of The Gambia’s GDP and provides a living to nearly a fifth of Gambians.”
About Ethical Traveler
Ethical Traveler is an all-volunteer non-profit organization, and a project of the Earth Island Institute based in San Francisco. More importantly, “no money or donations or any kind are solicited or accepted from any nations, governments, travel bureaus, or individuals in the creation of our annual list.”