Which is the World’s Least Friendly Country?


Photograph of a typical scene of Iceland, the friendliest country in the world towards international tourism. Credit: Gadling.com

Tourism is a wonderful conduit to bring a steady flow of currency into a nation’s economy.  Countries like France, Greece, Spain, Monaco among other, depend of the flow of tourism to augment their economy.  For this to happen, it is imperative that the visitors feel at home in a foreign country.  It’s up to the people of these countries to make tourist comfortable; and that requires friendliness and a lot of warm human touch.

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 survey, Bolivia, in South America, ranked as the most unfriendly country, scoring a 4.1 out of seven on a scale of “very unwelcome” (0) to “very welcome” (7).  Haiti scored the lowest on the competitiveness index.

Next on the list were Venezuela and the Russian Federation, followed by Kuwait, Latvia and Iran. On the opposite side of the scale were Iceland, New Zealand and Morocco, which were ranked the world’s most welcoming nations for visitors.

The United States (6th) topped the combined Americas, Singapore (10th) just pushed out Australia and New Zealand to lead the Asia-Pacific region, the United Arab Emirates (28th) was the highest performer in the Middle East and the Seychelles (38th) overtook Mauritius to head Africa.

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 now accounts for one in 11 jobs worldwide.

Friendliest:

  1. Iceland  6.8
  2. New Zealand 6.8
  3. Morocco  6.7
  4. Macedonia 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

Least Friendly:

  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  5.5have

The Panama Bureau of Tourism is working very hard to consolidate its tourism industry and we have come a long way since the Noriega days.  We still  to work on it.  Sometimes when I go out to a restaurant, drugstore, or a theater, I feel that we are not as friendly towards the customer as we should be.  I was impressed with the friendliness of the people in Colombia and Costa Rica when I visited these two countries several years ago.  I really felt at home when I was there.  Good Day.

Source:  World’s unfriendliest nations for tourists?—By Frances Cha, CNN

5 thoughts on “Which is the World’s Least Friendly Country?”

  1. Interesting post, Omar.
    If I may add, not out of patriotism, that my country isn’t only one of the friendliest in Asia – but is inhabited by the warmest and most hospitable citizens, too. We do get bad press every now and then, brought about by the fact we aren’t a wealthy nation, and by the continual complications of having a large Muslim-based community. But the Philippines also has a lot to offer tourism-wise – just like your wonderful country and all the others.
    Have a good Sunday!
    Best to you, Marj

  2. Hello Marj:

    I’ve heard positive comments about the Philippine islands and their warmth towards outsiders. There is thing that worries me, and that is the penetration of Islamic militants in some islands. This has been going on for quite some time. At least that is what we read in the media. Your comments would be most appreciated. Terrorism is the worst plague for healthy tourism. Extremist Islamism is extremely dangerous.

    Warm Regards,

    Omar.-

    1. Precisely my point, Omar. That’s what has been affecting Philippine tourism for more than a decade. Suspected links to terrorist groups can be found mainly in the Mindanao region, though, which is so far away from where I live. Thankfully.:-)

      That’s a very lovely image of Iceland, by the way. Such a dream destination.

  3. Hi Marj:

    Terrorism is like a cancer, it spreads rapidly destroying everything in its path. I pray that it is eradicated soon from your country. Too many innocent lives are lost. At the end of day, there are no winners. I’m sick and tired of wars, yet they keep sprouting like mushrooms in the forest.

    I agree, Iceland is a dream country to visit.

    Take Care,

    Omaar.-

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