This map, based on data from a new World Economic Forum report on global tourism, purports to show which of the world's countries are most welcoming to foreign visitors and which are the least. The Washington Post's World Views blog found the info, culled from survey data from 140 (of the world's 196, depending on who's counting) countries, buried several hundred pages deep into the report.
The WEF gathered the data by asking an unnamed number of respondents, “How welcome are foreign visitors in your country?” The darkest blue represents the most welcoming countries, and the dark red marks the least welcoming (click to see bigger version). Such information, if accurate, could be useful in planning your next foreign adventure. After all it's always nice to have a guide who doesn't sneer at your mispronunciations, local climbers who are happy to share beta, an innkeeper who'll share with you a bit of his country's culture after a big day of ski touring or hiking or mountain biking.
But the results here are interesting and, like all sweeping generalizations, should be taken with a grain of salt. As the Post points out, "there is no easy 'grand unifying theory'…no single variable that explains the outcomes." Why, for instance, isn't there any data on traveler-friendly Belize or climbing paradise Cuba?
While we're not surprised to see tourism-hungry Iceland (hike the 30-odd-mile Laugavegur!), wild Canada, flavorful Morocco (also a great mountain biking locale and unlikely skiing destination) and carefree, adventure-ready New Zealand atop the list, we thought it unusual that Bolivia and South Korea ranked so poorl (also, the U.S. finished 102 out of 140). It's good to know that war-torn Yemen is a welcoming place, though explorer Mikael Strandberg already affirmed that, and atop a camel, to boot.
Anyway, take a look at the map and, if you're feeling adventurous, let us know what you think in the comments.
Via The Washington Post.