Australia is 2022’s top hiking destination, with 9,653 listed hiking routes to explore, or 1,095 per one million tourists, the most per person.
By considering the hiking routes in the world’s 50 most visited countries, Gymcatch, a fitness software system, has found the top hiking 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 recommend the best spots for the ultimate winter-sport holiday.
Coming 2nd in the study for hikers is the US, with 83,188. This is an impressive number, but when normalised, the US offers 1,081 routes per one million tourists, slightly less than Australia. In third position with 19,058 routes is Canada which works out at 916 per one million tourists – plenty of room to ramble away from the crowds.
Completing the top five were Switzerland in 4th place, with 904 trails per one million tourists and Germany in 5th position, with 795 per one million tourists.
The study also examined Google search volumes to find the trending destinations. Out of all the 50 countries in the study, ‘hiking in Spain’ had the highest search volume, perhaps thanks to its rugged coastlines and mountainous trails. The next trendiest locations were ‘hiking in Singapore’ and ‘hiking in Georgia’, the trails in the Caucasus region being especially popular.
When considering water sport facilities, yoga retreats, cycling routes, hiking trails and ski slopes, 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 retreats. Coming 2nd in the study, Brazil scored particularly well for cycling; with the 4th most routes per tourist. Norway ranked 3rd. 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).
The study can also reveal the best destinations for an active holiday in each continent. Norway is the top destination in Europe. South Africa in Africa, India in Asia, the US in North America and Brazil in South America.