The United States is the 5th best destination for an active holiday
, scoring particularly well for hikers and skiers.
By considering the number of yoga and wellness retreats, water-sport facilities, cycling routes, ski-slopes, hiking routes and ski-slopes in the world’s 50 most visited countries, Gymcatch
, a fitness software system, has found the top active holiday destinations. The study then normalised this by the number of tourists per year, and took into account the average cost per tourist per week, to find the world’s best sporty-vacation spots.
How the United States ranked for every factor
The US is the second best destination for hikers, with 83,188 hiking trails (or 1,081 per one million tourists, only beaten by Australia). The US also has 326,727 cycling routes for cyclists to explore, and when looking at search terms for cycling in all countries, ‘cycling in the USA’ is the most searched for destination.
The US also boasts 11,271 km of ski-slopes (or 732 km per five million tourists) , the 6th most per tourist. Yoga lovers will also be happy, as the US has 255 Yoga retreats to choose from, and water enthusiasts will find over 1,000 water-sports facilities to explore.
Overall, Australia is 2022’s top active holiday destination, coming top for hiking holidays and scoring in the top 10 countries for number of water-sports facilities and yoga
Coming 2nd in the study overall, Brazil scored particularly well for cycling; with the 4th most routes per tourist. Norway ranked 3rd overall, thanks in particular to its ski facilities. An alternative to the ski-season favourites, France and Switzerland, Norway offers the 3rd best skiing option for international travellers when considering the length of ski slopes on offer.
Completing the top five were Switzerland in 4th place (which came top for skiing options per tourist) and the United States in 5th position (which came just behind Australia for hiking trails per tourist).
Continent wide, the best European destinations for an active holiday are Norway, Switzerland and Germany. Further afield, the best destinations for an active holiday in each continent are as follows: South Africa in Africa, India in Asia, the US in North America and Brazil in South America.
The study can also reveal the best destinations for enthusiasts of each category. Germany, France and Italy have the most listed cycling routes, and when considering tourist numbers, Germany is the world’s best cycling destination, with 40,051 routes per one million tourists. Next is Switzerland which has 18,253 per one million tourists, and Poland which has 17,662 per million.
Taking into account tourist numbers, Switzerland offers the best choice for skiers, with 3,603 km per five million tourists, followed by Austria with 1,234 km per five million tourists and Norway with 1,098 km.
Australia offers the best choice to hikers, with 5,475 routes per 5 mill tourists, followed by the US with 15,406 routes per five mill tourists and Canada with 4582 routes. When it comes to watersports Egypt offers the best choice, with 455 facilities per 5 million tourists, followed by Vietnam with 307 facilities per five million tourists and Indonesia with 251.
And finally for Yogis, India was the clear winner, with 256 retreats per five million tourists, Indonesia has 142 per five million tourists, and Portugal has 72 per five million.
Finally, the study can also reveal which locations are trending for each category, and active holidays in general. By using Google Search Trends analytics, we can see that, likely due to travel restrictions, the most searched for destinations for active holidays are the UK and in Europe.
Per sport, ‘skiing in Japan’ is the trendiest search term. ‘Hiking in Spain’ was most popular, as was ‘cycling in the USA’, and India had the most relevant searches for watersports and yoga.
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