The tiger seems the obvious emblem to represent Asia and the South Pacific for ranking sustainable destinations. Tigers once roamed widely across Asia, but over the last century these magnificent animals have lost a startling 93% of their historic range. In fact, since the 1990s, tiger habitat has declined some 41%. In India, only 11% of the historical tiger habitat remains due to habitat fragmentation. The global wild tiger population at the start of the 20th century was estimated to be around 100,000, compared to today’s estimates, which are thought to run between 3,062 and 3,948 individuals. Tigers face the same pressures as so many other species – habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and poaching. The tiger featured prominently in ancient mythology and folklore, and has been a popular mascot for sporting teams as well as the national animal of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and South Korea. There is hope on the horizon for the regal tiger as conservation projects are being carried out across the tiger’s kingdom.
We rank each country between one and five tigers, based on how well and how actively they are pursuing sustainable tourism initiatives, 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 better support and select those destinations that reflect your values – and ours – of caring for the planet.
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 Visibleasia.com.