Israel, Chile, Slovak Republic among countries with highest adventure travel potential

A new study conducted by George Washington University, Vital Wave Consulting, and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) shows that Israel, Chile, and the Slovak Republic led the way in adventure tourism in 2010. The study, which resulted in the third annual Adventure Tourism Development Index, uses a mix of quantitative data and expert surveys to rank nations from around the globe on their approach and commitment to sustainable adventure travel.

The study examines what researchers call the “ten pillars” of adventure tourism. Those pillars include such things as infrastructure, cultural resources, adventure activities, entrepreneurship, and more. When those factors were all examined and ranked accordingly, for each country, a score was calculated that resulted in rankings for both developed and developing nations.

So exactly which countries earned high marks in the latest Adventure Tourism Development Index? The top ten developing countries included the following: Israel, Slovak Republic, Chile, Estonia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Jordan, Romania and Latvia.Conversely, the top ten developed nations included: Switzerland, Iceland, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Finland and Austria.

The ATTA is quick to point out that these lists are not an indication of how well visited these countries currently are as adventure travel destinations, although some are already popular amongst travelers. Instead, it is a general rating on the climate that exists in these places that make it possible to support sustainable tourism now and into the future.

Judging from the list, it appears that Europe is well ahead of the game in terms of promoting sustainable travel. Both lists are dominated by countries from that continent, which could come as a surprise to many travelers.

To read the entire report click here.

Developing nations see huge gains in tourism revenue

According to data collected by the United Nations World Tourism Organizations (UNWTO), developing countries have seen significant gains in both the number of tourists visiting those nations and the amount of revenue generated from visitors over the past decade. In many of those countries, tourism ranks in the top three categories for economic development, demonstrating that travel can play a vital role in helping developing economies mature.

These findings were revealed at a recent United Nations conference on developing economies, with the study revealing that the 48 least developed countries saw the number of travelers rise from 6 million visitors in 2000 to over 17 million in 2010. Perhaps even more encouraging however, is that the revenue generated from those visitors rose from $3 billion to $10 billion.

The UNWTO is hoping that these findings will give developing nations the incentive they need to build a sustainable tourism industry. Tourism is already proving that it can be a driving force in creating new jobs and building a more dynamic economy. Discussions at the special conference centered around just that, with a focus on creating good governance and sustainability practices in tourism; promoting investment in a tourism based economy; nurturing poverty reduction through tourism; and developing methods for training a sustainable work force. Attendees at the conference also discussed ways of protecting their considerable natural and cultural assets as the numbers of visitors rise as well.

It is interesting that despite the harsh global economic climate over the past few years, emerging economies across the planet have continued to see a significant increase in the number of visitors and revenue generated from them. This bodes well for countries looking to improve their economy, and tourism is now seen as a very viable way of climbing out of poverty.

That is definitely something I can put my travel dollars behind.