March 22, 2013

Countries most & least welcoming to foreigners

I saw this on The Washington Post and wanted to share it for my fellow travelers out there who haven't seen it yet. I found it to be quite interesting:

"A surprising map of the countries that are most and least welcoming to foreigners"

The World Economic Forum conducted a survey in 140 countries and asked participants a the question: "How welcome are foreign visitors in your country?" This survey was done in late 2011 through late 2012. The WEF conducted the survey so that the results could help “measure the extent to which a country and society are open to tourism and foreign visitors.”

The survey found that the three countries least welcoming to foreign visitors are, in order: 

Other countries that ranked poorly in the survey include:
Saudi Arabia
South Korea
The one country I found the most surprising to be on that list is South Korea. When my husband and I lived there, we didn't feel unwelcome not one time. I'm also surprised to see it ranked so poorly because there are a lot of foreigners there! I'm also bummed about Bolivia and Venezuela because I want to really see those places-- I mean, I'll probably end up going there at some point despite this survey, lol. I also noticed Ecuador is red on the map. My husband and I lived there as well and were fine.

The survey found the top three most welcoming countries to foreign visitors are, in order: 
New Zealand

Other high-ranking countries:
United Arab Emirates
Parts of West Africa
To read more about the survey, click here. The author of the article gives a lot of good and interesting insights about the trends on the map.

Do you have any insight or opinions or theories about this? 

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  1. Oh, I was sad (and surprised) to see that about Bolivia. I spent 7 weeks there last year, and overall I felt like the people were really welcoming. Though I suppose the $135 entrance fee for U.S. citizens does create a less-than-welcoming vibe.

    1. I think that would create that vibe with U.S. citizens. But the survey's respondents were locals... so I'm not too sure how I feel about trusting these results. I was pretty surprised about Bolivia, too.

  2. I was surprised both by the highest and by the lowest in rank! I think that it depends so much on every single inhabitant, not on the people of a country in general! Following you via Bloglovin.
    Stop by whenever you like and share some love!
    ps. Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin :-)

  3. super interesting! thanks for sharing! XO

  4. Very interesting - especially since it was conducted by locals. I wonder if there would be different results of a survey based on visitors' impressions?

    1. I think it would be VERY different if it were based on the visitors' impressions! That would also be a very interesting survey.

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  6. Wow, South Korea is very surprising! I wonder what criteria they are using because I can't ever imagine someone being outright discriminated against in South Korea. I've only ever heard good things about this country!

    1. I wonder about the criteria as well-- if there even was one? One thing the author of the article notes is "One thing I’m struck by, in trying to puzzle out this map, is the apparent correlation between unfriendliness to foreigners and nationalism. That would maybe help to explain the low ratings for China and South Korea (although there are other possible factors here, including race) and for Russia."

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  8. This is a very interesting find! I'll have to remember when travelling. Thanks for sharing!

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