Destination Watch

Destinations In the Balance: Grades C+ to C

[Above: Inside Passage (grade “C+”), Alaska. 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:

Download a pdf of all 440 destination grades, listed by country.


The largest category, these destinations are also the most important from a triage point of view. A mix of positive and negative factors means they have an opportunity to improve without needing a massive overhaul.


Still OK, but with issues; slightly more positive and than negative.

Country Destination
India Rajasthan as a whole
South Korea Jeju/Cheju
Sri Lanka Galle
Vietnam Hue
Australia: Victoria Ballarat
U.S.: Hawaii Kauai
Soloman Islands as a whole
Vanuatu as a whole
Hungary Budapest historic areas
United Kingdom: England Lake District
Canada: B.C./U.S.: Alaska Inside Passage
U.S.: Maine Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor
U.S.: New Jersey Cape May
U.S.: North Carolina Ocracoke, Outer Banks
U.S.: Pennsylvania Philadelphia historic areas
Peru Colonial Arequipa
India Kerala backwaters
Germany Baltic coast
Greece Medieval city of Rhodes
Ireland Dublin historic areas
Morocco Marrakech medina
U.S.: Arizona Sonora desert
U.S.: California California Napa-Sonoma wine country
U.S.: Colorado Mesa Verde NP & area
U.S.: Kansas Tallgrass Prairie National Park region
U.S.: Maryland Annapolis
U.S.: Massachusetts Nantucket
Netherlands Antilles (former)
Western Indian Ocean Mauritius
Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Indonesia Lombok
Nepal Annapurna Circuit
Australia Great Barrier Reef
Fiji As a whole
U.S.: Hawaii Maui
Czech Republic Historic Prague
France Mont-St-Michel
Greece Corfu
Italy Pompeii
U.S.: Alaska Juneau
U.S.: California Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP region
U.S.: Connecticut Mystic seaport
U.S.: Georgia Cumberland Island National Park & gateway
U.S.: New Mexico Santa Fe
U.S.: Rhode Island Newport
U.S.: Virginia Shenandoah NP region
Costa Rica as a whole
The Grenadines as a whole
Martinique as a whole
Tanzania Swahili Coast
Maldives All islands except Male
Uzbekistan Bukhara
Vietnam Hoi An
U.S.: Hawaii Hawaii (Big island)
Tonga as a whole
Italy Costa Smeralda, N. Sardinia
Portugal Madeira Islands
Portugal Porto historic center
Portugal Sintra
Israel Haifa
Tunisia Carthage
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi
U.S.: Florida St. Augustine
U.S.: South Dakota Mt Rushmore/Badlands
U.S.: Texas Texas Hill Country
U.S.: Washington Puget Sound
British Virgin Islands Tortola
Grenada as a whole
Mexico Tulum beach area (Tulum to Sian Kaan)
Mexico Sea of Cortez and its coast
Argentina/Brazil Iguazu
Bolivia Islands of Lake Titicaca, Peru/Bolivia
Brazil Salvador historic center
China Suzhou gardens and town
Greece Santorini
United Kingdom: England Stonehenge
Jordan Petra & area
Turkey Turquoise Coast (Aegean)
U.S.: California Lake Tahoe
U.S.: California Santa Catalina & Channel Islands
St. Lucia The Pitons
Indonesia  Bali as a whole


About even between positive and negative factors.

Laos Louang Prabhang
Uzbekistan Samarkhand
Italy Capri
Romania Sighisoara & Saxon Transylvania
Jamaica Port Antonio area
St Kitts-Nevis St. Kitts
Chile Valparaiso
Tanzania Kilimanjaro
India Blue City of Jodhpur historic areas
Indonesia Borobudur
Fiji Viti Levu
Spain Tenerife, Canary Islands
U.S.: Colorado Telluride valley
U.S.: Kentucky Mammoth Cave National Park & gateway
U.S.: Massachusetts Cape Cod
Belize Reef and islands of Belize
Mexico Sian Ka’an and environs
Bolivia Lake Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru)
South Africa Cape Town historic areas
Tanzania Stone Town, Zanzibar
Cape Verde Archipelago as a whole
Zambia Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls
Greece Athens Acropolis area
Spain Mallorca
Turkey Azure Coast
Curaçao as a whole
Cuba Old Havana and fortifications
Honduras North coast
St. Lucia as a whole
Vietnam Hanoi historic areas
Tanzania Ngorongoro crater
France French Riviera
Malta as a whole
Canada: Alberta Banff National Park & gateway
Costa Rica Pacific Coast
Dominican Republic Samana peninsula
Guadeloupe as a whole
Guatemala Tikal/Flores
Peru Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley
Kenya Amboseli
China Macao historic areas
Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia
Thailand Chang Mai
Greece Mykonos
United Kingdom: England Stratford upon Avon
Israel Jerusalem (Old City and Walls)
Tunisia Coastal resort region
Canada/U.S.: New York-Ontario Niagara Falls
Kenya Masai Mara
Tanzania Zanzibar
U.S.: Florida Sanibel Island & Captiva
Mexico Chichén Itzá
U.S. Virgin Islands St. Croix
Ethiopia Rock-hewn churches, Lalibela
South Africa KwaZulu-Natal coast
Zimbabwe Victoria Falls Zimbabwe side
India Agra sights – Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri
Indonesia Bali coasts
Albania Coastal regions
Greece Crete N coast
Dominican Republic Colonial Santo Domingo
Peru Nazca lines area
China Hainan
Thailand The Andaman Sea Coast
Cyprus Greek side
Italy Venice and lagoon
U.S.: New York Long Island Shore, Hamptons to Montauk
U.S.: Pennsylvania Gettysburg
Puerto Rico as a whole
U.S.: North Carolina Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras National Seashore
India Amritsar historic areas
French Polynesia Tahiti
Antigua as a whole
Ecuador Galápagos Islands


Recognized in 2014 by the Green Destinations group.

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.

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