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The Scottish Highlands is once again in the top 10 for the National Geographic Traveler Destination Scorecard Places Rated Survey.
The survey rated the world’s most celebrated and iconic travel destinations and how well they have weathered the pressures of mass tourism and other threats. A total of 133 destinations were surveyed by a panel of 437 well-traveled experts in a variety of fields related to sustainable tourism. Norway’s fjords region took first place again with a score of 85 points. The Fjords were the best example of a destination where tourism sustains the geographical character of a place–its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.
The Scottish Highlands was not far behind scoring an honorable 77 points and was on a par with Torres del Paine, the Bavarian Alps, Columbia Gorge Region in Oregon, Washington and the Yorkshire Dales.
One of the main appeals of the Highlands was that they don’t give “the sense that they’re a tourist destination”, another attraction was the local people who seem to play an important role in the development of tourism for their own benefit. A panelist described the Highlands as “one of the most spectacular regions in the world…where the opportunities for local involvement in tourism enterprises makes this region particularly well positioned for landscape conservation and economic development.” The survey can be seen as a further indicator that Scotland is well on its way to becoming the most sustainable destination in Europe by 2015.
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