The Latin America Travel Company

Travel Morality Index

The Top Ten Countries for Ethical Travellers

Travel with a Consience?

Recent years have shown that the world is expanding, and with it comes an overwhelming sense of what is morally right and ethical. Seeing how different countries live, breath, and survive highlights the immoralities within our own societies, and the dangers tourism and travel is posing towards the environment, and those involved in the tourism industries – such as local workers.

Travellers have an enormous power. So many countries rely on tourism as one of their main sources of income, and travellers have the ability to boycott places and events in order to force them to make ethical and moral changes. Or, alternatively, travellers can choose to visit those countries that have put in place good ethical practices, in order to encourage other destinations to follow suit.

So, here at The Latin America Travel Company, we have created a Travel Morality Index by analysing a variety of different factors that affect the ethicality and morality of a destination – and thus affect the enthusiasm towards visiting by ethical travellers. We thoroughly researched surveys, blog posts, social media, polls, and more in order to come up with a list of important factors that need to be considered when assessing the morality of a destination. These included elements such as the human rights protection score of a country, the amount of animal rights legislation that was in place as of 1st March 2017, the gender equality rates – pretty much everything that should be considered when considering how ethically good a place is. We then ranked countries around the world who offered the best of the best for these categories.

The number one destination for morality was Germany, with Austria and Iceland following in second and third place. We were thrilled to see Chile rank in the top 20, largely due to its high level of gender equality, and its animal welfare laws which includes measures towards anti-cruelty, protection and welfare of animals.

Uruguay also ranked highly at 26, thanks to its high Human Rights Protection score, which measures protection from political repression and violations of “physical integrity rights”.

Read on below to find out the full results of our Travel Morality Index.
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Table of Results

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Analysis of results

Germany ranked as highly as it did thanks to the fact it has the highest level of animal welfare protection possible, according to the Global Animal Law Project, as well as a gender inequality score of only 0.072, making it the 5th best country in the world for gender equality.

The country also scored the highest possible score of 1 in the ITUC Global Rights Index, with “irregular violation of [workers] rights”, making it one of only 12 countries to get this score. Germany also came 17th in the Global Peace Index, and 9th in the positive peace report.

Following Germany, the top 10 countries are:

2. Austria
3. Iceland
4. Netherlands
5. New Zealand
6. Canada
7. Belgium
8. Finland
9. Czech Republic
10. Denmark

Austria and Iceland ranked highly for similar reasons to Germany, although Iceland was awarded a very low score for animal welfare protection, with only basic national laws in place to protect animals. On the other hand, Iceland had the highest score for human rights protection in 2014 – although it has gone down since 2012. Iceland also came 6th for gender inequality, and 1st in the Global Peace Index. Austria also scored highly across these categories, coming 3rd in the Global Peace Index, and ranking among the top 12 countries in the world for workers’ rights.

We were thrilled to see our destinations of Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Argentina all rank in the top 50. Uruguay is the top 28th country in the world for human rights protections, while Argentina is in the top 100 in the Global Peace Index. Chile, Uruguay, and Costa Rica also all scored highly for gender equality.

The results by continent are as below:

Best country for ethic travel in Europe: Germany
Best country for ethic travel in South America: Chile
Best country for ethic travel in North America: Canada
Best country for ethic travel in Oceania: New Zealand
Best country for ethic travel in Asia: Japan
Best country for ethic travel in Africa: Botswana


To compile the Travel Morality Index, we used the following methodology. We analysed a variety of studies and surveys of ethical travellers, and aspects of societies that would be considered ethical in order to determine what is looked for from a travel destination. The elements we found to be important were:

Human Rights
Animal Welfare
Gender Equality
Workers’ Rights
State of Peace

In order to identify exactly what each destination had to offer, we searched through a variety of different sources. One source we looked at that would typically be considered one of the most important factors when assessing the morality of a country was the human rights protection, alongside what laws are in place to protect the rights of animals. We also added in the rate of gender equality, and worker’s rights, in order to assess the morality of each country at a base level.

For each of the above categories, we scored each country from 1-5 (with 5 being the highest) and then added these scores together in order to get our final MTI score, with a total of 30 being available.

The full dataset is available upon request.


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