Turks and Caicos Islands of Last Resort Its beaches have been voted best in the world; its motto is "Beautiful by Nature"; and until recent years, it was a global diving mecca. But a tourism boom has turned Provo into a condo complex, Grand Turk into a cruise ship port, and North Caicos into a victim of resort spillover. The fait is not yet accompli: Most of the 40 islands and small cays remain uninhabited, and Premier Michael Misick is pushing for more sustainable development.
VERDICT: Immediate eco-action is required.
Greece Rocking the Cradle of Civilization Homer's "wine-dark sea" is nearly fished out, and mega-hotels have invaded the islands, siphoning off limited fresh water to fill lavish swimming pools. Yet the mass tourism tide may be turning. "Young Greeks who used to abandon their villages for the city are now staying behind," says Yiannis Skevis, president of Aegea Adventures. "They're farming organically, restoring stone houses, and supporting tourism that respects Greece's ecology and traditional culture."
VERDICT: With government participation, the birthplace of Western civilization has a chance to be reborn.