Skip to main content

World's unfriendliest nations for tourists?

By Frances Cha, CNN
updated 4:06 AM EDT, Thu March 14, 2013
Bolivia was ranked the unfriendliest country for travelers in the World Economic Forum report. The category 'Attitude of population toward foreign visitors' is just one of many used to rank countries in the new Travel and Tourism Competitive Index. Bolivia ranked 110th out of 140 countries in the overall index results. On the positive side, it performed well in price competitiveness due mainly to low hotel accommodation costs. Bolivia was ranked the unfriendliest country for travelers in the World Economic Forum report. The category 'Attitude of population toward foreign visitors' is just one of many used to rank countries in the new Travel and Tourism Competitive Index. Bolivia ranked 110th out of 140 countries in the overall index results. On the positive side, it performed well in price competitiveness due mainly to low hotel accommodation costs.
HIDE CAPTION
World's unfriendliest nation is...?
Less welcome here
The friendlier nations
Topping the tourism index...
Spain on the up
Best performer in the Americas
Seychelles leads Africa
And in Asia...
Building a 'cultural resource base'
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World's unfriendliest country towards tourists is Bolivia
  • Foreign visitors feel most welcome in Iceland and New Zealand
  • Rankings part of WEF's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013
  • Switzerland again the most competitive country

(CNN) -- When traveling, some countries just don't like you. Or at least, it can certainly feel that way.

A new report, put out earlier this month by the World Economic Forum, has ranked which countries roll out the welcome mat to travelers and which give the cold shoulder.

The "Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013" ranked 140 countries according to attractiveness and competitiveness in the travel and tourism industries.

Unwelcoming

Among the extensive analyses, one of the most interesting rankings was how welcome tourists are in each country, under the category "Attitude of population toward foreign visitors."

And the world's most unfriendly country, according to the data?

Bolivia took the dubious honor, scoring a 4.1 out of seven on a scale of "very unwelcome" (0) to "very welcome" (7).

Venezuela and the Russian Federation were next.

Interestingly, despite their huge tourist arrivals, South Korea and China tied with four other countries for the eighth least friendly spot.

At the other end of the scale, Iceland and New Zealand were ranked the world's most welcoming nations for visitors.

You can see a top 10 for friendliest and unfriendliest at the bottom of this article.

Strengths and weaknesses

The "friendly" ranking was just one aspect of the report, analyzing each country's competitiveness in travel and tourism. That competitiveness is "based on the extent to which they are putting in place the factors and policies to make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism sector."

In the overall Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Europe was the top region with the first five positions all held by European countries. Switzerland, Germany and Austria were the top three in that order. Switzerland has headed the ranking since the index began five years ago.

Excellent tourism infrastructure and facilities, business travel appeal, sustainable development of natural resources and rich cultural resources were among the key factors in landing the highest positions in the rankings.

Safety/security, underdeveloped infrastructure and concerns about sustainable development were among the factors bringing down countries' competitiveness.

Haiti scored the lowest on the competitiveness index.

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.

The report emphasized the need for continued development in the travel and tourism sector particularly for its role in job creation in a relatively stagnant global economy. The industry currently accounts for one in 11 jobs in the world.

The report used data compiled from the World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey and hard data from private sources and national and international agencies and organizations such as the ICAO, IATA, UNWTO, World Bank/International Finance Corporation, IUCN, WHO and UNESCO.

Who are the world's best tourists?

The world's coolest nationalities: Where do you rank?

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

How do your travel experiences compare with this ranking?

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:26 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Take a trip to the Chinese town that has more relics than people.
updated 12:42 PM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
You know about reggae and Usain Bolt -- but you probably aren't aware of these other Jamaican superlatives.
updated 6:52 AM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
Artist creates brilliant tribute to Dutch impressionist painter -- a cycle route that glows in the dark
updated 1:33 AM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
European airlines beware: These 320kph trains are upping the travel game with roomy seats and onboard wi-fi.
updated 5:53 AM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
For such a relatively small collection of islands, the UK packs in an phenomenal range of beautiful scenery.
updated 5:37 PM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
Animals run behind the Rovos Rail train's observation balcony in Africa.
Rovos Rail's epic trips out of South Africa pamper passengers with fine dining, vintage comfort and even a bathtub.
updated 8:37 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
Nasir al-mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran
Self-taught Iranian photographer gains rare access to shoot religious buildings as they've never been seen.
updated 10:45 PM EST, Mon November 10, 2014
The subject of erotica has a way of making people uncomfortable.
updated 7:37 PM EST, Thu November 6, 2014
A
UK's Heathrow Airport pairs destinations with fragrances to evoke long distance travel. We do too.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Thu November 6, 2014
Bumper cars, a freefall simulator and robot bartenders are just a few of the cool features on Royal Caribbean's new Quantum of the Seas.
updated 5:58 PM EST, Sun November 2, 2014
Up in the mountains and across deep chasms, these bridges are both spectacular and terrifying.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT