Bobcat's interpretation fits the term better. But it is what it is, soooo many things have weird names (and seemingly incorrect or backwards), most we use so often we get used to them.
"26-country area" should be hyphenated. It took a few moments to digest what was being asked. It was unnecessarily challenging because of the missing hyphen, which is used when 2 words are used as a single adjective. What type of area? A 26-country area. Crystal clear.
What type of glasses? Rose-colored glasses.
What type of voyage? Ill-fated voyage.
What type of area? 26-country area.