Destination Ratings & News

This section:

  • Gathers in one place links to the results of all seven of National Geographic Traveler’s landmark Destination Scorecard surveys, including survey panelist comments on hundreds of world destinations from top-rated to bottom. No other surveys of this type have been conducted before or since. A unique report card on how well destinations are taking care of themselves.
  • Will provide summation letter scores for several hundred of the destinations surveyed and invite your responses for an update.
  • Will be monitoring stewardship of destinations worldwide by means of blogs and news aggregation. You can read and contribute reports about successes and threats to the places we love. See the associated Destination Monitor page for examples.

NOTE: You can send people directly to this section with the URL .

National Geographic Traveler’s landmark Destination Scorecard surveys:

Nat Geo Stewardship survey on 99 Coastal Destinations (2010)
Nat Geo Stewardship survey on 133 Iconic Global Destinations (2009)
Nat Geo Stewardship survey on 109 Historic Destinations (2008)
Nat Geo Stewardship survey on 111 Island Destinations (2007)
Nat Geo Stewardship survey on 94 World Heritage Destinations (2006)
Browse National Geographic Destination Stewardship surveys 2004 through 2009

For a taste of survey content, read sample panelist comments at Nat Geo:

BRAZIL: Parati—Score 72 (high) in 2008. Sample comment:”Lovely and well-preserved colonial town; nearby coastline spectacular; despite proximity to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, this feels authentic and non-touristy.”

RUSSIA: St. Petersburg—Score 67 (in the balance) in 2006. Sample comment:
“Leaders in St. Pete are doing a very good job of maintaining the site’s integrity in the face of crass Russian commercialism. Many restoration projects have been completed, and slowly the central city is receiving a facelift.”

USA: Great Smoky Mountains—Score 49 (low) in 2009. Sample comment:
“Heavily visited region of natural beauty that has been degraded by visual pollution. But the worst excesses of mass tourist development are apparent just outside the national park…”

To see hundreds more destination-by-destination comments that explain the ratings, go to one of the survey links above. We hope to load all comments and ratings into a single database for easier reference. Suggestions welcome.

Should these surveys continue?
Funding for these surveys stopped in 2011. Some people have asked for them to resume, possibly under sponsorship. Do you agree? Why? Please comment with any examples of how a survey score did, or could, make a difference at the destination level. Contact us concerning potential survey sponsorship.