Destination Watch

Destinations That Are Slipping: Grade C–

[Above: Surfer’s Paradise skyline, Gold Coast (“C-“), Queensland.
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.


These places have a mix of positive and negative factors, but the negatives seriously detract from destination quality.


More negative and than positive; remedial action needed.

Country Destination
China Lijiang and Three Parallel Rivers, Yunnan
Bulgaria Black sea coast
Monaco as a whole
U.S.: NC/TN Great Smoky Mountains
China Beijing historic districts
Japan Okinawa
Australia: QL Gold Coast
Egypt Luxor (Thebes; Valley of the Kings)
U.S.: Florida Everglades NP/Big Cypress
Aruba as a whole
Guatemala Atitlán
Sri Lanka Sinhalese coastal regions
Andorra as a whole
U.S.: Louisiana New Orleans historic areas
Cayman Is. Grand Cayman Island
Honduras Roatan, Bay Islands
Mexico Cozumel, Mexico
Cambodia Angkor/Siem Reap
India Golden City of Jaisalmer
Thailand Phuket
U.S.: Hawaii Oahu
U.S.: Florida Key West
U.S.: South Carolina Hilton Head
Jamaica Negril
China: Tibet Potala Palace Lhasa
U.S.: Hawaii Waikiki
Egypt Pyramids, Giza
U.S.: Maryland/VA “Hallowed Ground” US15 corridor
U.S.: Pennsylvania Lancaster County
U.S.: South Dakota Deadwood
Jamaica NW coast: Montego Bay-Ocho Rios

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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