Iceland Named Friendliest Nation For Tourists, US Ranks 102
Want to make sure you receive a proper greeting on your next vacation? The World Economic Forum just released a new report ranking the world’s friendliest nations, and you may be surprised by some of the results. The report examines 140 nations based on their attractiveness and competitiveness in the travel and tourism industry. One factor examined in the 500-page report is the local attitude toward tourists. Nations were scored from one—locals made foreign visitors feel “very unwelcome”—to seven for “very welcome.” But the rankings weren’t just based off of local citizens’ attitudes. They also included factors such as tourism infrastructure, including transportation and attractions; preservation and development of natural resources; business travel appeal and safety.
1: Iceland was rated the friendliest nation in the world to travelers. And it better be friendly if it wants to attract any tourists. With frigid temperatures and active volcanos, the glacier-covered nation must overcompensate with its natural beauty and bubbly attitudes if anyone is going to dare visit the tiny nation of just 318,000 people.
2: The island nation of New Zealand ranked No. 2 on the list. The Maori culture welcomes visitors to the nation with its unique species and distinctive arts. Plus, a mild and temperate climate is welcoming to travelers all year long.
3: The Kingdom of Morocco is the most welcoming African nation. With its Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, and rugged mountain interior, Morocco offers a beautiful landscape for tourists to explore. Home to Casablanca, travelers shouldn’t be frightened off by Morocco’s 98-percent Muslim population. After all, its name translates literally to “The West.”
4: Macedonia, located in Europe’s Balkan peninsula, was voted the fourth-friendliest nation in the world. Formerly a part of Yugoslavia, residents are probably thankful to be out from behind the Iron Curtain. But it also has some bright spots to visit. With 1,100 sources of water, Macedonia’s many rivers flow into the Aegean, Adriatic and Black Seas. In fact, the country has nine spa towns and resorts. The nation also boasts a rich cultural heritage in art, architecture, poetry and music, as well as many ancient, protected religious sites.
5: Home to many famous composers, Austria is apparently a very friendly place to visit. Located amongst the Alps, Austria has made tremendous contributions to the arts, and its citizens are probably still thankful they got out from under Hitler. You’d be friendly, too.
US citizens should be ashamed of themselves. We ranked 102nd out of the 140 nations on the list. Apparently we aren’t very kind to tourists. The stigma we’ve applied to immigrants probably doesn’t help our attitudes much. We’d better watch it, or natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful won’t be enough to entice tourists into our nation.
For every friendly nation, there’s got to be one that’s full of assholes. The most Unfriendly nation in the world is Bolivia, followed by Venezuela and the Russian Federation. Of the top 10 most unfriendly nations, in fact, two are in South America, four are former members of the Soviet Union, three are in the Middle East and then there’s Mongolia—and who really wants to go there, anyway.
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