A tropical paradise with "unsurpassed aesthetic appeal," the Seychelles currently enjoys an "appropriate" level of tourism-related development. That said, "vigilance is key as pressure builds to allow for more construction."
Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:
"Currently well preserved, but tourism facilities are increasing and it is very possible that problems will be visible in a short time. Another negative is that it is extremely expensive. The natural environment is amazing, however, and the destination could develop into an example of an ecotourism success."
"In an effort to increase tourism revenues, the islands are attracting overseas investors. This is turning their formerly sustainable small-scale approach to tourism upside down. Could become just another mass tourism destination in a few years."
"Invasive species remain a major problem, but there are good conservation efforts aimed at some of the threatened species. The level of tourism development is acceptable."
"The stunning beaches are susceptible to the impact of climate change. Tourism development, while sympathetic to the environment, is sometimes inappropriately situated. This causes erosion and undermines the resource on which the industry is based. Thankfully, new policies have recently been put in place to deal with this issue."
2015 Traveler Photo Contest
Explore the submissions, share your favorites, and check back for the winning images.