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 11:38 PM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
Whether filled with electric blue sulfur flames or hissing lava, these mega mountains offer incredible vistas
updated 8:40 PM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
This once-a-year luxury cruise visits untouched islands and never-snorkeled reefs.
updated 9:05 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Peter J. Goutiere was just shy of 30 years old when he piloted a Douglas C-47 from Miami to Kolkata, India.
updated 6:47 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Breathtaking scenery, championship design -- many of the courses dropped into the Canadian Rockies are among the most memorable in the world.
updated 9:06 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
A floating hippo in the Thames river designed by artist Florentijn Hofman
Why Florentijn Hofman is sending a giant beast into London's River Thames.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Scrap all those other bucket lists you've been compiling and start saving -- these memorable-for-a-lifetime trips don't come cheap, or easy.
updated 8:42 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
A squabble over a device that limits how far a seat can recline has brought inflight etiquette into the spotlight again.
updated 6:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Thirst for victory competes with thirst for booze in event where competitors raise their glasses long before they cross the finish line.
updated 5:57 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
At these fun Los Angeles bars, the the drinks come with a chaser of kitsch.
updated 4:41 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
From dining next to massive predators to drinking atop a rock in the middle of the ocean, Africa boasts some of the most interesting places to eat.
updated 5:21 AM EDT, Sun September 7, 2014
Just weeks after Bill HIllman, known as a veteran, expert bull runner, was badly gored in Pamplona, he's back at other smaller bull runnings in Spain, but walking with a cane.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Why not create your own, as many people have done. We uncover the parallel world of "micronationalism."
updated 9:24 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
A CNN producer experiences China's poor on-time flight record firsthand as his plane takes off eight hours late.
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
New Yorker Kerrin Rousset's exploration of Swiss city aims to lure cocoa fans over to the dark side.
updated 11:47 PM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Some things are just better after dark. These experiences around the world prove it.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT