Israel was ranked the top country for adventure tourism in 2010, according to a joint study recently published by George Washington University, the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and Vital Wave Consulting

The Slovak Republic and Chile were runners-up to Israel in the study that graded places with the Adventure Travel Development Index (ATDI).

The ATDI ranks countries in two categories: developed and developing, based on the countries’ UN designation. Israel features in the ‘developing’ grouping.

The ATDI rates countries based on principles of sustainable adventure tourism. They use a combination of expert survey and quantitative data collected from international indexes that rank whether a country is safe and welcoming, adventurous and its culture’s infrastructure, image, and readiness.

“When we first developed the technical method for scoring countries in 2008, we didn’t know how it would be received,” said Kristin Lamoureux, visiting assistant professor of tourism and hospitality management at George Washington University. “Three years later, countries are using the Index to argue for sustainable tourism over less favorable types of tourism development.”

The Top 10 developed countries for adventure tourism, according to the survey, are Switzerland, Iceland, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Finland, and Austria. The Top 10 developing countries are Israel, Slovak Republic, Chile, Estonia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Jordan, Romania, and Latvia.