Published on Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Most and least tourist-friendly countries named by global body

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:

Friendliest countries

1. Iceland  
2. New Zealand  
3. Morocco  
4. Macedonia, FYR  
5. Austria  
6. Senegal  
7. Portugal  
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina  
9. Ireland  
10. Burkina Faso  

Unfriendliest countries

1. Bolivia  
2. Venezuela  
3. Russian Federation  
4. Kuwait  
5. Latvia  
6. Iran  
7. Pakistan  
8. Slovak Republic  
9. Bulgaria  
10. Mongolia  

By Cheryl Rosen

Story Image

Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:

Email other comments made to this story
Code Request a new picture 5 characters

NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
  • Pointless survey

    Waste of time in my opinion.Two countries where I expericenced the worst welcome for tourists are both favourites here - Iceland and Austria but I'm sure other travellers would say the opposite of these two countries have, surveys like this prove very little.

    By Keith Standen, Wednesday, March 27, 2013

  • I am always very suspicious...

    ...of these kinds of surveys. How many people are in a position to compare, say, Burkina Faso with Mongolia and judge the relative friendliness of the locals in each place? This is akin to those airport surveys where passengers denigrate, say, LHR when their only experience is a couple of trips from T3. Comparisons can only be valid when the sample size and experience is adequate - which I suspect is not the case here.

    By Richard English, Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mole Poll
Drinking limitation at UK airports - Good idea ?
YES 69.78 %
NO 30.22 %

Thank you for your vote

Move scroll bar (above) left to right for more videos!

Sponsored features

Delivering a seamless customer experience

Great Customer Experience can have a huge impact on a company's bottom line, and it starts with understanding your customer's expectations at each stage of the buying process.