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Singapore, Australia, Chile, Japan, and New Zealand best tourism countries

Staff Writer |
Destinations in the Asia Pacific and South America are among the most welcoming places on earth in terms of visa policies, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Singapore, Australia, Chile, Japan and New Zealand have been ranked in the top ten for “international openness” in the foundation’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, published this month.

These destinations have earned the highest scores in terms of their willingness or ability to provide visa exemptions, visa on arrival or electronic visa to foreign visitors.

The UAE, which welcomed 14.4 million foreign guests in 2016, has not appeared in the top ten, but is ranked number one in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and 75th globally in the report.

The report is released every two years and rates the travel and tourism competitiveness of 136 countries.

West African destinations aren’t as friendly, as their visa policies are still considered very restrictive in many respects.

The report, however, noted that there is a growing number of countries that have loosened their visa policies, making it now easier for travellers to visit destinations and stimulating global tourism and trade in the process.

Among the countries monitored, the Republic of Korea is among those that have made remarkable progress in “international openness,” jumping 39 positions to the 14th place.

India is likewise making a strong improvement, with its international openness ranked 55th globally, up 14 places, thanks to its implementation of visas on arrival and e-visas.

Indonesia is showing great promise as well, ranking 17th globally, up 38 positions.

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