Top 10 GOOD destinations for 2018

Eliza Raymond
Jul 23, 2023

The world has become so much more accessible that it can be hard to choose where to travel! To make it easier for you, we've come up with ten GOOD destinations for 2018! Each country we've chosen is doing something innovative and unique in the area of sustainable and ethical tourism. In no particular order, here are ten destinations to consider for next year.

1 Papua New Guinea

Our cofounder Shelley Bragg recently spent a week in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. She was part of the West New Britain Tourism Policy Development Workshop, which focused on guiding sustainable tourism in the province. She also had the opportunity to visit some of the pilot projects and tourist attractions in the area. 

West New Britain is virtually untouched, unexplored and unknown. This means they're in a unique position to develop exactly the type of tourism industry that they want - which turns out to be sustainable, community-led tourism!

This is the perfect destination for intrepid travellers wanting to be directly contribute towards West New Britain's vision for a sustainable tourism industry.

2 Bhutan

If you're looking for mountains, monasteries and a little bit of mystery, the Kingdom of Bhutan might be just the place for you! Located in the Eastern Himalayas between Tibet and India, Bhutan has pioneered the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Instead of the traditional economic measure of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Bhutan instead measures GNH in order to increase economic growth and development, preserve and promote the cultural heritage, encourage sustainable use of the environment and establish good governance.

Bhutan has been recognised as a world leader in conservation policies, efforts, and outcomes. 60% of the country is currently still under tree cover and 40% of the country is designated as national parks, reserves, or other protected areas. They have also achieved net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

60% of the country is currently still under tree cover and 40% of the country is designated as national parks, reserves, or other protected areas. They have also achieved net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

From a tourism policy perspective, Bhutan's focus is on “High Value, Low Impact”. This approach has enabled Bhutan to become regarded as one of the most exclusive travel destinations in the world and they continue to benefit from a reputation for authenticity, remoteness and a well-protected cultural heritage and natural environment.

3 New Zealand

We had to include the home of GOOD Travel: Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud. Despite our clean, green image, we still have a long way to go before we can claim to be leaders in sustainable tourism. But we are working on it! 

This month, the Tourism Industry Association in New Zealand launched the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment, which aims to see every New Zealand tourism business committed to sustainability by 2025. In addition, the Sustainable Business Network, Tourism New Zealand, GOOD Travel and a range of partners are working a campaign that will go alongside TIA's work to make it easier for visitors to New Zealand to travel in ways that have a positive impact on our country.

There are also some inspiring individual businesses in New Zealand with wonderfully GOOD policies. From Whale Watch Kaikoura to the Living in Peace Project to Switched on Bikes, there are many Must-Do GOOD activities for you to get excited about - not to mention a coffee with GOOD Travel's co-founder at a Conscious Consumers cafe in Wellington!

4 South Africa

Our recent retreat to South Africa really highlighted to us the great work that South African tourism businesses and organisations are doing to develop sustainable tourism in the country. It's also a relatively easy country to be a GOOD traveller due to the brilliant resources that have been developed by organisations such as Fair Trade Tourism and Responsible Tourism Cape Town.

There are also some truly innovative tourism businesses in South Africa leading the way in transforming the travel industry into a force for GOOD. For example, the Hotel Verde in Cape Town has developed a Verdling system which rewards GOOD behaviours from travellers!

5 Mongolia

Mongolia might not be the first destination that comes to mind, but if you're an intrepid traveller seeking wilderness and incredible hospitality, think again! Tourism is not yet a big industry in Mongolia, which makes it a wonderful destination to connect with local people and experience different lifestyles and perspectives. Half of the population still lives pastoral/nomadic lifestyles, but this is changing fast so now is the time to go! By supporting community-based tourism initiatives owned by nomads, you can also help


- Mongolia has established goals to reduce its carbon footprint by having 30 per cent of all energy output be from renewables by 2030, a significant increase from its current 7 per cent. (taken directly from the Ethical Traveller website)

- Mongolia impressed us again this year with a huge investment in education projects for 457 schools, benefitting half a million students and teachers. In an effort to increase interest in the sciences, the Ministry of Education created 200 new physics labs in secondary schools across the nation. (Ethical Traveller website)

- Authentic nomadic culture – half the population lives pastoral/nomadic lifestyle.  However, this is changing fast as economic growth and foreign investment lures more and more people to live the city life in Ulaanbaatar.  Now is the time to go!

o Also a chance to help preserve this traditional lifestyle, as income generated from tourism can directly benefit the families that keep this way of life going.  Otherwise they tend to go to the city to make their way…

- One of the least densely populated countries in the world

- Stay in a traditional Yurt

- Yak milk, butter, etc

- Horseback riding

- Gobi desert

o Dinosaur fossils

- Altai mountain range

- Trans-siberia railway

- Over half of residents are Buddhist

- Naadam festival in July – lots of traditional cultural activities.  Can also watch traditional wrestling

July 23, 2023
5 min read