[Billboards outside Cancún, Riviera Maya (grade “D+”). Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot]
From 2004 to 2010, National Geographic expert panelists weighed environment, cultural factors, built heritage, aesthetics, tourism management, and overall trend for each destination. These grades reflect their consensus, reported on five pages:
- Among the Best: A to B+
- Doing Well: B and B-
- In the Balance: C+ to C
- Slipping: C-
- Below: In Trouble D+ to F
Download a pdf of all 440 destination grades, listed by country.
THE LIST part 5: IN TROUBLE
These places have become dominated by serious problems.
Remedial action and changes in policy urgently needed.
|Vietnam||Ha Long Bay|
|Turks and Caicos||Providenciales|
|Mexico: Quintana Roo||Caribbean Coast, “Riviera Maya”|
|Vietnam||Nha Trang-Mui Ne area|
|U.S.: South Carolina||Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach & region)|
|Egypt||Northern Red Sea coast|
|U.S.: Maryland/Virginia||Chesapeake Bay|
|Barbados||as a whole|
|Dominican Republic||North coast|
Lowest on the current Stewardship Index, these places need a complete change in policy and direction in order to restore destination quality, distinctiveness, and sustainability.
|Egypt||Sharm el-Sheikh area|
|United Arab Emirates||Dubai|
|Mexico||Cabo San Lucas region, BCS|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||St Thomas|
|Cambodia||Phnom Penh historic areas|
|U.S.: Colorado||Central City|
|Spain||Costa del Sol|
D– to F
Based on the 2004-2010 National Geographic surveys, the only scores in this range are now out of date, such as the U.S. Gulf Coast after the BP oil rupture. Other, once acceptable scores are now obsolete. For example, based on news reports alone, we feel confident in recategorizing this war-scarred destination, which previously would have received a “B-“:
Note—These letter grades interpret some 80% of the numerical survey scores reported by National Geographic (weighted to favor the more recent scores). The Destination Stewardship Center has applied these grades independently, and we take sole responsibility for them. For the original numerical scores and panelist comments, consult the appropriate links to National Geographic. Please also read about methodology.