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Friendliest Travel Countries

A CNN article on the friendliest places to travel lists number one as...
6 years ago, March 20th 2013 No: 1 Msg: #167596  
B Posts: 5,187
CNN Article


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


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

That's the results of "Attitude of population toward foreign visitors." -- would you agree? Reply to this

6 years ago, March 20th 2013 No: 2 Msg: #167598  
That's going to attract a lot of comments....hopefully...

Been only in 7 out of the first 10....and 4 out of the last 10....so not specially an expert...

Since when people in Bolivia are unfriendly...ask anybody who has been around the country and they love it...and I don't only thing it's because it's cheap.

Iceland and New Zealand...well, I would have put NZ on top of the list...but...

Morocco...well...friendly as in business friendly? Very nice people, I even worked there for 3 months while at University....but so high on the list...not sure either...is ripping you off with a big smile being friendly. Oh I know, not going to make many friends here.

Ok, I haven't been to Macedonia...but honestly, is that country well known for the high number of tourists visiting???

Ok...I know, not going to make friends... Reply to this

6 years ago, March 21st 2013 No: 3 Msg: #167602  
This list has a narrow western-centric view of the world. I've not been to Iran, but everyone I know who has visited ranks it as one of the friendliest in the world, so its ranking here is mystifying.

Any country where strangers invite me to their home, or for dinner (which they pay), or offer to show me around (for no charge), or offers me advice on the best things to see in the country is always going to rank highly with me, and this occurs in the less developed Middle East countries far more frequently than anywhere else. I have never been invited to a stranger's home anywhere in Europe, nor had a stranger offer me a meal, so I cannot understand why they Europe ranks so highly.

My personal list would be as follows with the top three well ahead of the rest:
1) Iraq
2) Syria
3) Yemen
4) Bangladesh
5) South Korea
6) India
7) Ethiopia
8) Vietnam
9) Turkey
10) Malaysia Reply to this

6 years ago, March 21st 2013 No: 4 Msg: #167603  
We can see why Bolivia is there but we don't necessary agree. People are miserable and they hardly smile but would not say they are unfriendly!

we are really surprised by Mongolia and Slovak republic - we found them more than welcoming:-) Reply to this

6 years ago, March 21st 2013 No: 5 Msg: #167605  
B Posts: 580

I saw the original Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 from The World Economic Forum a few days ago and was tempted to post something on a forum about it, purely as a conversational piece. But felt it would be too academic dry and techincal, since this is basically a research methods type question, and this type of reductionist quantitative crap...mind my French. But it seems now the mass media have picked it up and added their own spin to it.

I've been to most countries on the "friendliest" and "unfriendliest" and to be honest many of those on the unfriendiest would probably make it onto the friendliest and vica versa. But then of course that is me being hegemonically sucked into the folly of such a notion. Indeed the original listing lists countries in terms of "Attitude of population toward foreign visitors". Does attitude denote friendliness? And what denotes friendliness anyhoo?

But whatever, of course this idea is subjective to the tourist, their own cultural background, expectations, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, the region of the country they are visiting, the time of year, the domestic situation economically, politically, the price of eggs, was the sun shining and ultimately who they meet...did that nice man steal my camera...is she after the contents of my pants or my wallet?

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6 years ago, March 21st 2013 No: 6 Msg: #167606  
Agree 100% re the subjectiveness. I do think people can sometimes confuse such things as weather, costs, and security with the attitude of the people.

One commenter (odst1027) on that CNN article said:

"It all depends on your attitude when visiting any country.. If you see your self superior than the locals, then you face an unfriendly people, but when you exchange the respect, then you expect the best.. I had great times vacationing all over the globe.. ENJOY.."

If you approach all countries in this manner, you would receive a more balanced analysis.

Reply to this

6 years ago, March 21st 2013 No: 7 Msg: #167618  
I agree about New Zealand! Especially on the South Island I have met the friendliest people in the world.
Although Nepal was great too. I am surprised it is not on the list. Reply to this

6 years ago, March 21st 2013 No: 8 Msg: #167633  
There's a saying in cable news media: It's not news-worthy if it doesn't misrepresent data the public will never access or understand.

I haven't read the report, but even what little is reported here suggests the title of the article should be: "Perceptions by (a specific demographic of) tourists of a country's convenience and accessibility based-upon infrastructure, facilities and appeal."

This type of data has very little meaning to the public as a whole, as expectations abroad will differ greatly across segments of the global traveling population.

[Edited: 2013 Mar 21 13:43 - Stephanie and Andras:35953 ]
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6 years ago, March 21st 2013 No: 9 Msg: #167635  
What 'unfriendly' means in this context:

Bolivia/Venezuela: New-age commies; not to be trusted

Russian Federation/Latvia/Slovakia/Bulgaria/Mongolia: Iron Curtain-commies; deyll neva lurn

Iran/Pakistan: Axxxis of Evil-terrororists

Kuwait: Our allies, but potential Axxxis of Evil once the oil runs dry Reply to this

6 years ago, March 21st 2013 No: 10 Msg: #167646  
B Posts: 897
LOL @ new age commies

I found the Polynesian people the friendliest ive ever met..new zealand i wasnt there long enough to make a real judgement.

I would have to agree with Vietnam and Malaysia too.

Ahh speaking of Russia Jens..my blog the russians are coming has had two rather damning but sadly misguided comments..which i found hilarious 😉

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6 years ago, March 22nd 2013 No: 11 Msg: #167675  
Yeah right, Cindy, the Polynesians were so friendly that you had to kick them in the nuts! How very Australian of you... ;D

But seriously, I find it amazing that after this rather unpleasant experience you still find them the friendliest ever. Proves that one bad apple doesn't necessarily spoil the whole bunch.

And about Russians: they definitely behave differently when they're outside of Russia, e.g. holidaying in Turkey, Montenegro, Bali, etc. However, when I was in Russia, I found them to be among the friendliest, most helpful and most polite people I'd ever come across. I probably wouldn't say this had I not been able to speak basic Russian.

I thought Morocco on no. 3 on the friendliest-list was rather puzzling. My subjective experience in that country was the worst, worst ever. It was so bad that it's probably the only country in the world I'd never go back to. To this day I still flinch when I ask somebody where they're from and they tell me 'Morocco'. So yeah, they top my unfriendliest-list. Reply to this

6 years ago, March 22nd 2013 No: 12 Msg: #167677  
On the 7th day god created the frenchies...because he found it unfair to have such a beautiful country...he had to bring some balance to it...

Or...if it hadn't be for the chinese, we would still be in paradise...why? ....because no chinese would have gone for the apple, they would have gone for the dam snake...and Adam and Eve would have been a very different story...

Oh life..... Reply to this

6 years ago, March 22nd 2013 No: 13 Msg: #167678  
B Posts: 897
LOL - and I do still feel they were friendliest and most helpful people..other than the guy who got the knee in the nuts..i dont think there is a country on earth (oh bhutan maybe) where there is no village idiot.

Interesting Bhutan isnt on the list, guess there is not enough tourism there yet to make the cut. Ive found my bhutanese students to be incredibly friendly and big huggers. Reply to this

6 years ago, March 22nd 2013 No: 14 Msg: #167682  
B Posts: 580
In response to: Msg #167646

New Zealand is actually the only Polynesian country on the list of 140.

Though I would have thought tagging the word "French" onto the word Polynesian seriously jeapordises anyone's capacity for friendliness.

Incidentally, back to the actual quantitative facts the French nation achieved 6.2 (80th) along with Italy, and just above Germany 6.1 (83rd). USA was 0.1 more unfriendlierish still at (102nd).

The full and gory details can be found on page 455 of this wonderful document:2013 World Economic Forum
[Edited: 2013 Mar 22 03:45 - aspiringnomad:90 ]
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6 years ago, March 22nd 2013 No: 15 Msg: #167683  
Interestingly, the question asked is "How welcome are foreign visitors in your country", so it is the perception of locals on how they treat tourists rather than the visitors perception. Therefore the lower ranking is attributed to locals believing that they could do more to welcome tourists, even though these tourists may already enjoy the hospitality that they are receiving.

Perhaps Bolivians think they should smile more, and thus may actually care about tourism more than a country higher in the ranking who think that they are doing enough, whereas the reality is different.

Two questions later is the following, "How well do companies in your country treat customers?" with Japan the clear winner. A more accurate impression might be to compare how well people perceive customers are treated as opposed to visitors - in other words, do we favour one group over another. I'm sure that there are other questions and methodology that could be proposed.

[Edited: 2013 Mar 22 05:18 - The Travel Camel:11053 ]
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6 years ago, March 22nd 2013 No: 16 Msg: #167685  
B Posts: 580

In response to: Msg #167683

"How welcome are foreign visitors in your country" Could easily be translated as 'how do you think foreigners see you'? And that is super interesting.

These questions are only just begining to touch on what could be garnished from the data as is, and how it could be improved upon. Though this brings us to the initial reason I thought the topic (in its un-sensationalised raw form) would be somewhat dry and academic.

There are pages and pages of interesting data in that document relating to many aspects of the tourism industry. But how and why it was collected, how it is translated, or what it is used for is something else entirely.

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6 years ago, March 22nd 2013 No: 17 Msg: #167686  
B Posts: 1,298
As much as I detest sensationist/lazy reporting of research, it irks me even more when people quote these lists at me as if it is some sort of absolute truth. If we had listened to everyone around us, we would never have visited Naples. Yes it scared the pants off us in some ways, but it was also very very interesting. I think the only way to do your research on a country is to go there yourself 😊 Reply to this

6 years ago, March 22nd 2013 No: 18 Msg: #167692  
Friendliest country, most liveable city, most popular tourist attraction - blah, blah, blah. These lists are annoying but provide us with a topic of discussion, I guess. But, when people use them as a basis for determining or formulating opinions on people and places, it is completely ridiculous. A whole populace can't be tarred with the same brush based on the survey responses of a few people. Reply to this

6 years ago, March 25th 2013 No: 19 Msg: #167795  
I actually found the whole 140 countries list on some Polish news page and Poland came 118 (140 being the worst). I wonder what people here think of our country? We have been leaving in UK for 8 years now so not really sure how tourists are treated etc. Any opinions?
B&T Reply to this

6 years ago, March 28th 2013 No: 20 Msg: #168059  
B Posts: 128
It's kind of an interesting perspective on countries, but I don't think it necessarily bears any relation to what a traveller or tourist might experience. Of the countries on the lists, I can't comment as I haven't visited enough. Of course I think NZ is very friendly but given it's home I'm always going to have a slightly biased view of that! Top of my list would be Colombia - exceptionally friendly people everywhere I went. Reply to this

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