A pioneer in nature conservation and preservation, Bonaire has long been known for its protection of the environment both above and below the water. Now Bonaire is being recognised as one of the top destinations for sustainable tourism as reported by National Geographic Traveler magazine (March 2004 Issue). In 2003, in the first ever poll of its kind, National Geographic Traveler magazine and the National Geographic Sustainable Tourism Initiative surveyed 200 specialists in sustainable tourism including anthropologists, tourism specialists, geographers and travel writers in an attempt to see how the world’s destinations have faired in response to environmental challenges and tourism development.
Each specialist was asked to anonymously rate their favourite destination based on a “Destination Stewardship Index,” a 100-point scale, taking into consideration environmental and ecological quality; social/cultural integrity; condition of built heritage; aesthetic appeal (natural and human-made); nature of tourism development; and future outlook for the destination in terms of sustainability.
115 destinations in all were rated.
Out of a possible 100 Bonaire scored a 70, just 12 points below the top score of 82, making it the only Caribbean destination to place in the top third of the score range.
Bonaire tied in the ratings with the Bavarian Alps, Germany and the Krakow historic centre, Poland. For more information and a complete listing of all the destinations rated visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/scorecard/#anchor_8.