It has been reported by National Geographic Traveler magazine (March 2004 issue) that the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire is being recognised as one of the top destinations worldwide for its sustainable tourism management.
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.
Anonymously rating their favourite destination based on a 100-point scale, the specialists took 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.
Out of a possible 100 Bonaire scored a 70, just twelve 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 in Germany and the Krakow Historic Center, Poland.