The November/December issue of Traveler features our annual “Places Rated” survey of destination stewardship, and this year 340 expert panelists rated 99 coastal destinations around the world. Here on the blog, we’re going to highlight some of these coastal destinations and are interested in adding your feedback to the mix. What do you think?
Mississippi: Gulf Coast
Rating: 33 — “Catastrophic” category
A family beach destination for decades, the Mississippi coast has seen Hurricanes Camille and Katrina, the legalization of casino gambling beginning in the 1990s, and this year’s oil spill. All have transformed the struggling resort area in difficult and different ways.
Why did the place earn this score? Read representative panelist comments after the jump.
“Already a disaster before the oil spill–many years of environmental neglect and poor planning.”
“When the coast bounced back from Katrina, much of the new development was the same old stuff: strip malls, typical Walmarts, tacky casino architecture. But some areas have improved. There are now some good examples of sustainable design and development.”
“Given the recent natural and human disasters, the inexorable popularity of casinos, and more pressing priorities for locals, I have doubts that there is a glowing future in sustainable tourism. Some bright spots, however: Ocean Springs, historic renovation of parts of Biloxi located away from the casino, and the Gulf Islands National Seashore.”
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Survey scoring system:
74-84 Top Rated
65-73 Doing Well
55-64 In the Balance
48-54 Facing Trouble
34-47 In Trouble
22-34 Near Catastrophic
See all 99 ratings and representative panelist comments online and share your thoughts below.
Photo: Mike Theiss