Want your customers to feel at home when they travel? Send them to Iceland, New Zealand, or Morocco, the friendliest countries in the world.
But you might want to avoid Bolivia, Venezuela, and Russia, which hug the bottom of the list. In the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia also are unwelcoming and so is China.
The World Economic Forum surveyed 140 countries from late 2011 to late 2012, asking, "How welcome are foreign visitors in your country?"
The WEF says the results of its Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 are designed to "measure the extent to which a country and society are open to tourism and foreign visitors."
Other high-ranking countries include many in the Western world (Ireland, Canada, Austria, the United States), a few of the most popular tourist destinations like Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, and many countries in West Africa.
The report emphasized the importance of travel and tourism to job creation in a relatively stagnant global economy. The industry now accounts for one in 11 jobs in the world.
Here are the top and bottom 10 countries:
2. New Zealand
4. Macedonia, FYR
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
10. Burkina Faso
3. Russian Federation
8. Slovak Republic
By Cheryl Rosen
Tuesday, March 26, 2013