Ethical consumer spending bucks recession with 18% growth (but that includes “ethical” long haul destination holidays …)
From Fairtrade food to eco-friendly travel, green goods market grows by almost
fifth over two years
by Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent
(extracts from the article only …)
Consumer spending on “green” goods from Fairtrade food to eco-friendly travel
grew by almost a fifth over two years despite the economic downturn, figures reveal
The ethical market in the UK was worth £43.2bn in 2009 compared with £36.5bn
two years earlier – an increase of 18% – according to the Co-operative Bank’s
annual Ethical Consumerism Report.
The annual report has been compiled since 1999 and analyses sales data for sectors
including food, household goods, travel and ethical finance.
Spending on eco-travel and transport has motored by 23 % from £2.2bn to £2.7bn.
Ethical travel is not defined in terms of transport carbon emissions, which tend to be completely ignored.
Ethical travel destinations: Argentina, Barbados, Chile
Ethical Traveler’s annual list of the world’s best ethical destinations in the
developing world, ranks Argentina, Chile, Lithuania and Poland in the top ten
for the second year running.
The magazine, which focuses on how travellers can enjoy exploring without having an impact on their environment, [sic] said that it hoped the best of the best list would inspire travels and
shed light on the concerns that countries face trying to balance best practices
with challenging economic realities.
To compile the list, it conducted a study of developing nations from around the
world, benchmarking each using categories such as Environmental Protection, Social
Welfare, and Human Rights which are taken from third party sources and its own
This year, six new destinations made their way onto the list – Barbados, Costa
Rica, Dominica, Latvia, Palau and Uruguay, along with the four countries who were
featured in the 2009/2010 edition.
For the second year running, Ethical Traveler omitted Asian countries from the
list, criticising the region’s poor human rights record and lack of a strong environmental policy.
Unlike last year when South Africa, Ghana, Namibia and the Seychelles were judged
to be in the world’s top ten, no African countries were included in this issue,
with the magazine saying that this was “because of serious violations to the basic
human rights of their citizens”.
Even South Africa, riding on a wave of tourism goodwill from the World Cup, failed
to secure a place because of the eviction of vulnerable people from their houses
and an increase in sex trafficking.
Suriname, meanwhile, was removed after the UN Committee on the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination urged the country to ensure legal acknowledgement of the
collective rights of its indigenous peoples, while Belize was dropped due to government
seizure of land, high profile corruption and emerging child sex tourism.
While admitting that none of the countries on its new list is perfect (including
Barbados and Dominica where homosexuality is criminalised), Ethical Traveler hopes
that travelers will use the list when planning their 2011 journeys.
“By visiting the countries mentioned here, we ‘vote with our wings’,” said the editorial, “sending a signal that travelers are aware of where their
money is going, and willing to support nations that care about the environment,
human rights, and the global community.”
The Developing World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations
[Admittedly, some of these destinations are not so far from the USA, as from
Ethical Traveler (which is American)
Ethical Traveler is a nonprofit organization, founded to &lquot;empower travelers to
change the world.&rquot; We seek to use the economic clout of tourism to protect human
rights and the environment.
Organizational issues/questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
(feel free to complain to them, if you wish)