Survey Ranks ‘World’s Most Unfriendliest’ Countries

Have you ever been to a country that just seems to give tourists the cold shoulder? Now, there are some figures behind those unwelcome feelings; the World Economic Forum has put together a report that ranks countries based on how friendly they are to tourists.

The extensive analyses ranks 140 countries according to attractiveness and competitiveness in the travel and tourism industries. But one category, “attitude of population toward foreign visitors,” stands out.

According the data, Bolivia (pictured above) ranked as the most unfriendly country, scoring a 4.1 out of seven on a scale of “very unwelcome” (0) to “very welcome” (7).

Next on the list were Venezuela and the Russian Federation, followed by Kuwait, Latvia and Iran (perhaps when visiting one of these countries, you should try your best to not look like a tourist?).

On the opposite side of the scale were Iceland, New Zealand and Morocco, which were ranked the world’s most welcoming nations for visitors.

Tourism infrastructure, business travel appeal, sustainable development of natural resources and cultural resources were some of the key factors in the rankings. Data was compiled from an opinion survey, as well as hard data from private sources and national and international agencies and organizations such as the World Bank/International Finance Corporation and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), among others.

The report also emphasized the need for continued development in the travel and tourism sector, pointing out that the industry currently accounts for one in 11 jobs worldwide.

All of the results of the survey can be found after the jump.

Attitude of population toward foreign visitors
(1 = very unwelcome; 7 = very welcome)

Friendliest

1. Iceland 6.8
2. New Zealand 6.8
3. Morocco 6.7
4. Macedonia, FYR 6.7
5. Austria 6.7
6. Senegal 6.7
7. Portugal 6.6
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina 6.6
9. Ireland 6.6
10. Burkina Faso 6.6

Unfriendliest

1. Bolivia 4.1
2. Venezuela 4.5
3. Russian Federation 5.0
4. Kuwait 5.2
5. Latvia 5.2
6. Iran 5.2
7. Pakistan 5.3
8. Slovak Republic 5.5
9. Bulgaria 5.5
10. Mongolia 5.5

Have you ever visited somewhere where they didn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat? Alternatively, have you visited somewhere on the “unfriendly” list and had a great, welcoming experience? Let us know how your travel experiences compare with the survey’s ranking in the comments below.

[via CNN]

[Photo credit: Phil Whitehouse, Wikimedia Commons]

Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report: Top 10 tourism industries

If you’re curious as to what countries have the most conducive environments for tourism, you might want to check out the second annual World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2008. Basically it’s a report full of a lot of economic figures used to measure how good tourism industries are in countries around the world. This year’s report put a special emphasis on economic development and environmental sustainability. Here are the top ten:

1. Switzerland
2. Austria
3. Germany
4. Australia
5. Spain
6. United Kingdom
7. United States
8. Sweden
9. Canada
10. France

I’ve been to 7 out of the top 10, meaning that the tourism boards are probably doing their job — or I’m just visiting popular destinations. Surprisingly, popular backpacker destinations like Cambodia, Vietnam, and Nepal are at the bottom of the list. For the complete PDF of rankings go here.

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report Ranks How Attractive Countries Are For Travel Investment

T&TCR 2007The World Economic Forum recently released its Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. According to Jennifer Blanke, Senior Economist of the Forum, the Index is “not a ‘beauty contest’, or a statement about the attractiveness of a country.” Rather, the Index measures factors that make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism industry of individual countries.

Of course, as many travel destinations are location-specific — you can’t have an attraction centered around Iguazu Falls if you live in Lichtenstein — but if you’ve got loads of money to invest in a new resort, you probably don’t want to put it in a dangerous or un-business-friendly location. Duh.

Anyway, according to the report, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany took the top 3 spots, for a variety of reasons, while the rest of the Top 10 included:

Top 10

Personally, I found it interesting that the UAE, home to the future Louvre expansion, ranked 18.

The bottom spots are held almost exclusively held by African nations:

bottom 11

Of course, this isn’t very surprising, but I was amused by the fact that Malawi ranked so low. A few years ago, I toyed with the idea of opening a dive shop on Lake Malawi. The area is absolutely beautiful, the air temperature is comfortable year-round, and the water temperature is also very nice. Moreover, labor is virtually free. Anyway, my point is you should probably weigh everything before investing. Just because something ranks low on this list, doesn’t mean it isn’t the *perfect* spot for you and your needs.