CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Stats Gate - Ranked: The World’s Best Countries For Adventure Tourism, 2020

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Ranked: The World’s Best Countries For Adventure Tourism, 2020

There is literally no one in the world who does not like to travel. The idea of exploring an unknown nation, its rawness, and mystery triggers the soul of every wanderer. This is where adventure tourism comes into play. Not all of us are privileged enough to be born in a country filled with enormous adventure options. But there are some countries which fit the bill perfectly in this attribute.

Brazil has been recognized as the best country in the world for Adventure Tourism, according to the CEOWORLD magazine 2020 rankings, while Costa Rica and Greece placed second and third, respectively. The 2020 rankings placed Argentina in fourth ahead of Portugal into fifth; while Italy ranked sixth, and New Zealand seventh.

Overall, among the top 10 Best Countries For Adventure Tourism, the eighth, ninth, and tenth positions are held by Spain, Indonesia, and Norway.

From extreme sports to some of the most amazing hiking or relaxing sea kayaking, Brazil is like a playground for all things adventurous. In order to determine the rankings, researchers at the CEOWORLD magazine compiled analyzed and compared 44 countries’ competitiveness across 7 key categories: Adventure Resources, Safety, Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Cultural Resources, adventure Image/Brand, and Government Policies Supporting Sustainable Development.

CEOWORLD magazine’s Global Adventure Tourism Development Index is a ranking of adventure tourism potential for countries around the world based on principles of sustainable adventure tourism and countries best embody the spirit of adventure travel.

Global Adventure Tourism Development Index has also revealed that hiking has become the number one most enjoyable activity for active adventure travelers. Adventure tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the industry, worth an estimated $321 billion per year.

The research was conducted by CEOWORLD magazine in partnership with the Global Business Policy Institute. Magazine subscribers were used as a sampling frame, with a random selection of 120,000 readers, predominantly based in the U.S. Participants said the most important components of an adventure experience were being in a natural environment, learning, meaningful human experiences, and experiencing a new culture.

For 44 countries, we chose 15 of the most popular adventurous activities including rafting and kayaking; trekking and mountaineering; paragliding; water sports; motorcycle touring; Camel and Yak safaris; mountain biking; hot air ballooning; zip-lining; backpacking; skiing; scuba diving, canoeing, wildlife adventures, and of course, skydiving.

The 2020 best countries ranking throws the spotlight on some of these nations that have an advantage over others in the adrenaline department. While Brazil earns the top spot in the list there are other places which have also managed to grab equal limelight in this context.

The World’s Best Countries For Adventure Tourism, 2020

RankContryCompetitiveness Score
2Costa Rica98.39
7New Zealand93.85
11South Africa89.96
22United States83.66
26United Arab Emirates,81.01
28United Kingdom78.99
32Czech Republic78.66
39Sri Lanka76.41
42South Korea75.02

Brazil (Ranked 1st): This South-American country secures the top spot for the fifth consecutive year. One of the largest nations in the continent, Brazil hosts the “Rio Carnival” that is an adventure activity in its own right. Home to one of the largest waterfalls namely Iguazu and wetlands like Pantanal, Brazil also houses the Amazon basin which is renowned as the mighty rainforest across the world. Other top adventures to try for the adventure junkies are boating in Iguazu falls, enjoying a dune buggy ride in Natal, and snorkeling in Fernando De Noronha.

Costa Rica (Ranked 2nd): Although small in size, Costa Rice has its fair share of claim to fame due to the bounty of adventure attractions present. While the total area of the country sums up to 19,730 sq miles, people from all over the world come here to enjoy adrenaline-pumping activities. Starting from zip lining, hot air balloon ride, rushing through the rapids, paddleboarding in Lake Arenal, or climbing, through the jungle area, the country promises a bunch of activities to satisfy the souls of wanderlusts.

Greece (Ranked 3rd):  Greece is an epitome of beauty! With over 6000 islands inside its perimeter, the country boasts of a coastline that measures more than 8,000 miles approximately. Apart from the pearl-white beaches, sleepy hamlets, and gorgeous buildings take the center stage, the nation also has adventure activities lined up for the travelers. Try sliding down the waterfalls at Samothraki, climbing on Kalymnos or gear up for mountain biking in Thassos, adventure travel is incomplete without visiting Greece.

Argentina (Ranked 4th): If you are an avid lover of adventure then Argentina is a country that you should never miss. The endless landscapes change from wild tundra, snow-capped mountains, emerald lakes, to ice fields at every step. Argentina also bags the fame for many adventure activities out which range from fly-fishing in Patagonia and skiing on a private island like Francis Mallmann that take the top spot

Portugal (Ranked 5th): From being the launch-pad for explorers like Colombus, Portugal has come a long way. The country has plenty of opportunities for adventure enthusiasts due to its geographical positioning. Billed as a favorite for travelers over the world, every adventure lover can try out various activities like whale watching in the Azores, horseback riding in Alentejo to surfing at the Guincho beach.

Italy (Ranked 6th): There are very few spots in the world that possess such an intense range of beauty like Italy. From mountain peaks to winding roads of Tuscany, Italy is surrounded by nature from all around. While many people love to go for rock climbing in San Pellegrino pass other hotspots of adventures are scuba diving in San Fruttosso.

New Zealand (Ranked 7th): New Zealand is another name that takes the top spot when it comes to adventure. The island country has amazing landscapes that are filled with all sorts of adventure activities. From watching the Kiwis, slicing the rapids through rafting on the North Island, exploring the Waitomo Caves, and bungee jumping adventure in Queensland, name any adrenaline-pumping sport and you are sure to get it in the country.  First man to climb Mt Everest, the man who “invented” bungee jumping, the invention of Zorbing – don’t ask me why these crazy ideas all come from Kiwis, but if you’re into this kind of thing, New Zealand is the place to go.

Hikker in Torcal, Spain

Spain (Ranked 8th): This beautiful country in Europe is specially carved out for an adventure. With tranquil beaches and more than 10 national parks, Spain is one of the hidden treasures of the continent. Whether it is exploring the volcanoes or wondering on Canary islands, the country springs adventure-packed surprises for all wanderlusts. With varied options in their bounty, these countries have scored high in the adventure ranking for wanderlust across the world.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Stats Gate - Ranked: The World’s Best Countries For Adventure Tourism, 2020
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller is CEOWORLD magazine's executive editor of news, writing analysis, and long-form reporting. In his role, he coordinates and tracks the publication of special packages, magazine stories, and the publication’s signature lists. He's a somewhat long-suffering supporter of Manchester United F.C. and a genuinely long-suffering fan of the Los Angeles Clippers.