Top 10 sober-friendly destinations

Annie Hayes Reporter, C&IT
Top 10 sober-friendly destinations

Planners designing event or incentive itineraries for teetotal delegates should take note of the top sober-friendly countries.

A survey by recovery health experts at Lantana Recovery ranks countries on several metrics, including sober-friendly activities, alcohol consumption rates, the prevalence of alcohol dependence, alcohol laws, public safety and overall health. 

The top ten sober-friendly destinations are:

  1. Iceland: head to the land of the Vikings for an orange juice or a no alcohol gin and tonic. It ranks a sober-friendly score of 84.1 out of 100 and tops the polls for sober-friendly activities with 541.45 per capita. With the Northern Lights to capture, hot springs and breathtaking landscapes it stands out as a premier destination for those that are either sober-curious or don’t drink alcohol. 

  2. Italy: the birthplace of pizza and a cultural delight boasting the Colosseum, the Vatican and Renaissance masterpieces is in second place for being a destination for sober business travellers. It ranked 74.7 in the scores with a prevalence of alcohol dependence of 0.60%.

  3. Norway: it’s back to Scandinavia for third position with Norway. The country excels in public safety and health, making it an ideal destination for sober travel. Although alcohol consumption, with 7.14 litres per capita, and prevalence of alcohol dependence are relatively higher, Norway’s stringent alcohol laws and availability of sober-friendly activities contribute to its high ranking.

  4. Denmark: while in fourth place it actually ranks second for sober-friendly activities per capita standing at 112.87. The prevalence of alcohol dependence is the highest in the group at 3.90%. The focus on outdoor and cultural activities provides a supportive environment for either recovery or the step towards an alcohol free future.

  5. Japan: tying fourth with Denmark with a sober-friendly score of 73.7, it stands out due to its excellent public safety and health scores. Alcohol consumption just like Denmark is higher at 10.09, the prevalence of alcohol dependence is relatively low however. With the iconic cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka this is a top destination for many business travellers.

  6. Switzerland: while in sixth place, Switzerland does have the highest alcohol consumption per capita at 11.23 and the highest prevalence of alcohol dependence at 4.30%, yet it is in the top ten and business travellers can enjoy the delights of Lake Geneva to Zermatt. A picture-perfect destination there is much of the outdoors for sober business travellers to enjoy.

  7. Australia: this ties with Switzerland for a total joint score of 63.1 but has a higher score of 88.73 for sober-friendly activities per capita at 88.73. It ranks in the middle for alcohol consumption per capita at 10.36. Home to the iconic Opera House and Uluru rock – there is much to see and do for any business traveller and for those that are flying sober it provides a supportive environment too. 

  8. Singapore: despite ranking in ninth place, Singapore polls bottom of the league for sober-friendly activities per capita at 24.88 yet has the highest prevalence of alcohol dependence at 0.50%. With its world class airport at Changi and its culinary delights, Singapore is a great destination for sober business travellers that are looking for a hangover free trip. Alcohol consumption per capita is the lowest at just 2.00.

  9. New Zealand: land of the fjords, glaciers, lakes, kiwifruit and indigenous Maori culture, New Zealand ranks ninth but polls highly for sober-friendly activities per capita at 90.67.  For business travellers it is a safe destination for sober professionals.

  10. Netherlands: with a slightly louder reputation for partying, the Netherlands still ranks tenth in the list for being sober-friendly. The number of activities per capita that are more welcoming for those that don’t drink alcohol is the lowest on the list at 43.87 per 100,000 yet public safety is relatively high at 90.70.