A new study has revealed that destinations in Eastern Europe are rising to the top of the world’s adventure travel sector. The report, published by George Washington University (GWU) in Washington DC, along with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Vital Wave Consulting, revealed that seven of the top 10 developing countries for adventure travel were located in Eastern Europe, led by Slovakia.
The Adventure Tourism Development Index (ATDI), now in its third year, offers a ranking of countries around the world based on principles of sustainable adventure tourism. The scores are not a reflection of a country’s current popularity or visitor numbers, but a set of criteria including sustainable development, safety, natural resources, adventure activity resources, infrastructure, and image.
For 2010 the top 10 developed countries were: Switzerland, Iceland, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Finland and Austria. The developing countries sector however, was dominated by Eastern Europe, featuring: Israel, Slovakia, Chile, Estonia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Jordan, Romania and Latvia.
“The ATDI ranks countries based on key touristic value pillars including sustainable development policy and entrepreneurship, putting importance on these issues which we now know are crucial not only for communities and the environment but also for business success,” explained Christina Heyniger of Vital Wave Consulting. “Looking at this year’s rankings we see Eastern European countries again dominating the emerging-market rankings, and also the appearance of Canada in the top 10 for developed countries.”