Destinations

The world’s most open countries to go to, turns out, are mostly remote

@rafat

Jan 31, 2013 1:10 am

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Visa-on-arrival, the new currency of the globally-connected world.

— Rafat Ali

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And why wouldn't you? Flyfishing for Bonefish in Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands. RDPixelShop / Flickr.com


Yesterday we did a story on how global travel and tourism is growing primarily on the backs of less restrictive visa regulations, just as big populations of emerging countries are traveling for the first time. We also laid out the visa restrictions by region and how they’re changing.

So which of the countries are the least restrictive and open when it comes to attracting tourists? Openness, as calculated by summing the percentage of the world population exempt from obtaining a Visa, with the percentages of Visa on arrival weighted by 0.7 and eVisa by 0.5, according to calculations done by UNWTO.

Turns out, as you can see from the chart below, most of them are remote and poor, hoping to build up tourism revenues as a big part of their economies.

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 5.49.04 PM

The change in these and other countries over the last 2 years has been rather remarkable, as UNWTO documents, with a total of 5080 visa requirements changes in countries globally over the two years, 70 percent of which were changes from “Visa required” to “Visa on arrival.”

The countries with most changes, below. Note that a bunch of them are in the most-open list above as well.

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 6.52.14 PM

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