Wayne M. Gore - May 3, 2010
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Keen on adventure? Looking for inspiration? brings you the top developing countries for perfect adventure experience. The ranking is based on the Adventure Tourism Development Index published by the Adventure Travel Trade Association for 2009. Their study examined the commitment of 192 countries to sustainable adventure tourism.


The Adventure Tourism Development Index is based on 10 pillars of adventure and tourism market competitiveness: Sustainable Development Policy, Safety and Security, Tourism Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, Adventure Activity Resources, Entrepreneurship, Humanitarian, Health, and Image.

8/ Latvia


Latvia is located in North East Europe and borders with Estonia, Lithuania and Russia. The country separated from the former USSR in 1991 and in 2004 joined the EU in 2004. It lies on East European plain and is largely covered by forests. As such it is an ideal place for observing wild life – deer, moose, lynx, bear, and fox are among the animals that you can see there if you behave quietly. Hiking in the rural areas is one of the most popular activities why adventure tourists choose Latvia for their holiday.

7/ Bulgaria

The landscape of Bulgaria, a country situated in South Eastern Europe, varies from the Black Sea coast and Danube Plain with its mild climate to the Alpine snow capped peaks of Rila, Pyrin and Balkan mountains. Bulgaria offers a large variety of activities in its seaside resorts such as swimming, sailing, diving, as well as in the winter resorts. Bulgarian mountains also lure numerous hikers who enjoy here both spectacular views as well as quiet atmosphere.

6/ Chile

Thanks to its narrow shape Chile offers varied climate. The terrain ranges from the Andes to central valleys and coastal mountains. Tourism in Chile is steadily growing because of a wide range of activities including exploration tours in the Atacama Desert or hiking in Patagonia. According to the index Chile’s strength lies in sustainable development, natural resources, and image.

5/ Slovenia

Slovenia moved up considerably in this year’s Index thanks to good opinions on its safety and cultural resources. Slovenia is located in Central Europe and borders with Croatia, Hungary, Austria and Italy. It has 43 km of coastline and half of the country is forested but mostly the country is mountainous. In the Index Slovenia got positive ranking especially for its infrastructure, image, and adventure resources.

4/ Estonia

Estonia, in the Eastern Europe, gained its freedom after the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991. Today the country offers dramatic landscapes and rich wildlife. Almost half of the country is covered with forest. Estonia also has the lowest population density in Europe, which offers ideal opportunities for hiking, camping and observing wildlife in a quiet atmosphere. According to the Index, Estonia’s strengths lie especially in infrastructure, entrepreneurship and cultural resources.

3/ Czech Republic

This Central European country is famous especially for its historical capital Prague. Its regions however offer also a number of unique natural attractions including cave systems, lakes, mountain ranges, low hills, plains, and rivers. Among the most popular adventure activities are cycling, various water sports, fishing and hiking. In the Index the Czech Republic got very positive ranking in sustainable development, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure.

2/ Israel

The reputation of Israel as a tourism hotspot is despite political unrest constantly growing. Besides 273 km long coast the country boasts deserts, plains, highlands as well as mountains. Among the popular travel activities are scuba diving, hang gliding, camel safaris and skiing. In the Index Israel got highest rating in infrastructure, sustainable development and cultural resources.

1/ Slovak Republic

Slovakia is the number one in adventure tourism among the developing countries for 2009. The country is famous for its mountainous landscape. The Tatra Mountains offer excellent travel resources and are known by the tourists for its beautiful valleys and lakes. Slovakia got high rankings especially in the category of image, infrastructure, natural resources, and entrepreneurship.

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  1. Adventure Tourism Development Index

    This is a great summary of the 2009 ATDI. The article should however provide attribution for the research. The Adventure Tourism Development Index is compiled each year by The George Washington University and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. The 10 pillars of market competitiveness were first recommended by Xola Consulting, Inc.

    christina heyniger (USA)
  2. Why not listed Vietnam

    There are many activities in Vietnam that can offer for tourists.From sea kayaking on the UNESCO heritage site to rafting in Chay river. From light trek to Mt Fansipan Hiking and Climbing..From Bike Safari along the country from Saigon to Hanoi to experience the culinary adventure to savor the best of the world's cuisine delights. From junk cruising to river cruising along the Mekong Delta to explore the Lost of Civilization of the Khmer Kingdom...We have all to offer you....visit Signatures of Asia Co., Ltd

    Tommy (Vietnam)
  3. I am surprised at the listings. How is the food in the top ten. Can a gourmet meal be found.

    Travel Tips News Letter (USA)
  4. Top 10 countries for Adventure Tourism

    Congrats to the top 10's ! Other countries should view the interesting criteria and try to be at the top of the ladder - or rather the top of the mountain.

    Dorothy Purge (Jamaica)
  5. Adventure Travel in Israel

    We are thrilled to be in the top 10 - what is great about this country is that you can combine adventure with accommodations & F&B from 5* super deluxe, spas to camping and outdoor facilities throughout the country - For the adventurous there are also motorbike tours, bicycle tours, scuba diving, camel riding - the whole gamut of adventure. We'd be happy to assist anyone interested in any adventure or otherwise. Thanks for the objective review!

    Ella from Boutique Travel, Israel (Israel)
  6. Why is India missing in the list

    Surprisingly country like India which has rich environmental herigate including almighty Himalayas, fast flowing rivers, Thar deserts, Coastal line and number of national parks and sancturies offering vide range of fauna and flora. North of India offers high Mountain ranges and South of India offers beautiful beaches and coast line. Similarly Western India is know for Thar Deserts and East for Tribes and beautiful Himalanyan ranges. And central India is know for National Parks here one can spot Bengal tigers and lot other animals and bird species.

    Lokesh Bagga (India)
  7. Lithuania - worth to be at this list

    Lithuania is worth to be at this list not less than Latvia. What is more, Lithuania has a Curonian Lagoon, which is the 2nd best beach in to whole World. Don`t believe?

    Baltic countries (Lithuania)

    If you are looking for a wide range of adventure tourism activities, a diverse landscape, excellent tourism infrastructure and a truly beautiful country, South Africa is hard to beat.

    Mark Brown (South Africa)
  9. Mahipal Rawat

    Why not our India which has virtually everything to offer to everyone....

    Mahipal Rawat (India)

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