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Wales Ranks #7 in National Geographic Traveler Survey of World’s Great Places



Destination Authenticity and Sustainable Stewardship are Keys


New York, NY – November 3, 2009 - In the November / December 2009 edition of National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Wales is ranked 7th among 133 destinations in the sixth annual survey of destination authenticity and stewardship.  The survey is carried out by the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations.


The survey is not a popularity contest.  Rather, it examines how development, mass tourism, pollution and globalization have affected some of the world’s iconic destinations. The result is a “Stewardship Index” that includes the likes of Machu Picchu (#27) and the Taj Mahal (#30).


In its first appearance on the list, Wales jumped in at #7, as one of the best rated destinations, said to be in excellent shape: relatively unspoiled and likely to remain so.  Tied for seventh position were The Berkshires, Massachusetts; Douro Valley in Portugal and the Engadine Region, Switzerland.  The Fjords, Norway came top of the survey.


One panelist remarked: “I was gobsmacked by the beauty of the Welsh countryside,” while another said that it was: “extraordinarily verdant with 500,000 Welsh speakers.” 


Wales’ Sustainable Tourism Framework acknowledges that the potential of the environment will always be a key priority in the development of tourism.  It recognizes that for tourism to prosper, it is essential that Wales safeguards and enhances its unique assets, which visitors travel to Wales to enjoy.” In addition to this, continues Heritage Minister, Alun Fred Jones, “We believe that tourism development considers the needs and quality of life of local communities, enhances and respects culture and local traditions, contributes to local economic prosperity and minimizes damage to the environment. By staying true to Wales’ core values we can develop tourism in a sustainable manner which won’t degrade our natural assets.”


To find out why Wales offers a truer, richer, deeper, experience, where visitors can get involved in the local history and culture and landscape, visit  Wales is host nation of golf’s Ryder Cup 2010. Log on to

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