Report Reveals World’s Tourist-Friendly and Unfriendly Nations

April 17, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. assess 
[uh-SES] (v.) – to evaluate or to consider something   
Example: The organization assessed the safety of the forest to make sure that visitors will be secured.

2. tourist-friendly [TOO R-ist FREND-lee] (adj.) – relates to a welcoming place
ExampleTourist-friendly towns get a lot of foreign visitors.

3. criteria [krahy-TEER-ee-uh] (n.) – standards used as basis for decisions
Example: Cleanliness is one of the criteria for judging the best hotel in the country.

4. respectively [ri-SPEK-tiv-lee] (adv.) – according to the order mentioned
Example: The first and second most popular tourist spots in Japan are Shinjuku and Ginza, respectively.

5. outstanding [out-STAN-ding] (adj.) – excellent or remarkable
ExampleOutstanding hotels are awarded with five stars.

Read the text below.

The World Economic Forum has assessed how tourist-friendly 140 countries are in a recent report called the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013.’

The study used a scoring scale of zero to seven; zero for ‘very unwelcoming’ and seven for ‘very welcoming.’ The report used data from the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey from organizations like IMF-WB, WHO and UNESCO.

According to the report, Iceland is the most welcoming country, while New Zealand comes in second. On the other hand, Bolivia is considered as the most unwelcoming, with a score of 4.1. Venezuela and Russia are respectively the second and third least tourist-friendly. South Korea and China are also tied as the eighth least welcoming country despite the increase in the number of tourists in both countries.

Aside from the countries’ attitude towards foreign visitors, the study also included other criteria—attractiveness and competitiveness.

With regard to the competitiveness of the countries’ travel and tourism sector, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and two other European countries scored the highest in the index. Switzerland has been the top country since the index started in 2008. The US fell in the 6th position, Singapore in the 10th, and UAE in the 28th. Haiti ranked as the least competitive.

According to the report, outstanding tourism infrastructure, business travel, rich natural and cultural resources greatly influence the countries’ rankings. On the other hand, safety, underdeveloped facilities and unsustainable development negatively affect a country’s score.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How does being labeled as ‘friendly’ or ‘unfriendly’ affect a country?
·         Do you think it is important that people in the place you want to visit are friendly? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How do people in your community treat foreign visitors? Please explain your answer.
·         How do you think tourism can help a country?


April 17, 2013