Study reveals the world's sustainable adventure hotspots

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A report released February 16 has identified the Slovak Republic and Iceland as having the world's best approach to sustainable adventure tourism.

The Adventure Tourism Development Index ranked 192 countries based on their ability to be safe and welcoming, their readiness to host adventure tourism and the adventures available. The Slovak Republic topped the list of developing countries, whilst Iceland came top in the rank of developed nations.

Israel and the Czech Republic took second and third place respectively amongst developing countries, whilst Switzerland and New Zealand were the runners up amongst developed countries.

Categories included sustainable development, health, security, cultural and natural resources, infrastructure and entrepreneurship, as well as adventure activity resources. Compared to last year, Israel and Slovenia jumped nine and ten places respectively in the developing countries top ten list, whilst Hungary and Uruguay dropped out of the top ten. Overall, Bhutan rose the most, from 78th place to 22nd.

Despite the recession, adventure tourism is a rapidly growing industry. A 2009 report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association found that adventure tourism to South America, North America, Southern Africa were experiencing the largest growth.

Top ten developed countries

1 Iceland
2 Switzerland
3 New Zealand
4 Finland
5 Australia
6 United Kingdom
7 Luxembourg
8 Germany
9 Ireland
10 Spain

Top ten developing countries

1. Slovak Republic
2. Israel
3. Czech Republic
4. Estonia
5. Slovenia
6. Chile
7. Bulgaria
8. Latvia
9. Botswana
10. Lithuania

Data from Adventure Tourism Development Index