Ask a traveler where you’ll find the most welcoming locals, and you’ll likely see a few nations consistently named. For example, you’re likely to hear Australia come up a few times. Same with Ireland. And possibly Italy, especially if you’re younger than 5 or a blonde.
A new report from the World Economic Forum has ranked 140 nations based on the “attitude of population toward foreign visitors.” Here’s the short version: If you’re visiting Bolivia and in need of directions, you probably won’t have as much luck as you would in, say, Iceland.
Answers to the question posed, “How welcome are foreign visitors in your country?” were given a weighted average from 1 -7, 1 = very unwelcome and 7 = very welcome. Turns out Bolivia came in last on the list with a score of 4.1, while Iceland tied for first place with New Zealand, with a 6.8, making Kiwis even friendlier than their neighbors, the Aussies (6.5 and ranking No. 27) who’ve long had a reputation for being among the world’s friendliest.
And where did the good-old USA rank? No. 102, with a score of 6.0. And those friendly Irishmen? They ranked far better: No. 9 on the list, with a score of 6.6.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
*Note that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ireland and Burkina Faso all scored a 6.6. Also scoring a 6.6: Barbados, Canada, Thailand, Mali, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Malta, Yemen, Belgium and Rwanda.
*Note that Mongolia scored a 5.5, a score also shared by China, Korean and Saudi Arabia.