The World’s Friendliest Countries: Iceland Ranks No. 1

Although we’ve got an exciting tropical island adventure planned for September, the hubs and I have been longing to return to Iceland (not the supermarket) and explore more of the country. But before we do that we have quite a few more countries to cross off our bucket list.

Daily Mail

Map from: Daily Mail

Last month, the World Economic Forum published The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013, which assesses 140 economies worldwide based on the strength of their travel and tourism sector. Not surprisingly, Iceland ranked number one as the world’s friendliest countries toward foreigner visitors.  Also not surprising, New Zealand came in second.  We loved our time down under and would love to visit Oz and New Zealand again, but if we had to choose between Iceland and New Zealand for a return trip, it would definitely be Iceland.   I’ve always thought Iceland was an underrated travel destination, and now I’m a bit worried that flocks of tourists will ruin the very reason why we fell in love with country to begin with (selfish, I know).

The top ten friendliest countries for tourists are:

  1. Iceland 
  2. New Zealand 
  3. Morocco 
  4. Macedonia 
  5. Austria
  6. Senegal
  7. Portugal
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  9. Ireland 
  10. Burkina Faso

And the winners for not so friendly:

  1. Mongolia (shame, though I’d still love to visit someday)
  2. Bulgaria 
  3. Slovak Republic 
  4. Pakistan 
  5. Iran
  6. Latvia 
  7. Kuwait 
  8. Russian Federation 
  9. Venezuela 
  10. Bolivia 

China ranked 130 on the list and the U.S. came in at 102.  The U.K. ranked 55, below Cyrpus at 48, which was surprising to me, and Finland ranked 31. Do you disagree with the WEF’s rankings? What is the friendliest country you’ve visited and what do you think is the least ideal place to go on holiday?

4 thoughts on “The World’s Friendliest Countries: Iceland Ranks No. 1

    • Haha, I found that people in China seemed friendly enough but would definitely not say more than Icelanders! Perhaps I was in the wrong company both times I visited China, but it felt like everywhere I went someone wanted to strike a deal with me. 😛 Would love to go to India someday! What part on India did you visit?

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