World's Most Controversial Vacations
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determined that rampant, unregulated tourism was harming the area’s unique
plant and animal life, UNESCO’s World Heritage
Committee placed the Galápagos on its list of endangered sites in 2007.
The good news is, just three years later, Ecuador’s most famous tourist
attraction is off that list. It’s too soon to
celebrate. Environmentalist Brian Merchant says, “If anything...the problems
have only grown more complex and fundamental.” Some tour operators are accused
of “greenwashing” (overstating or misrepresenting their eco-friendly
practices), and invasive species still threaten local animal populations.