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Iceland loves it when you come to visit. Bolivia, not so much

March 15, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Iceland scores high in its attitude toward tourists, according to a study by the World Economic Forum.
Iceland scores high in its attitude toward tourists, according to a study… (Iceland.is )

It's hard to know which countries would welcome you with open arms and which ones keep you at arm's length, but the World Economic Forum has made this evaluation somewhat easier.

Tucked inside the organization's 517-pageĀ "Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013" is a chart about how countries feel about foreign visitors. It ranks 140 countries on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being "very unwelcome" and 7 being "very welcome."

Iceland and New Zealand topped the list with scores of 6.8 each followed by:
3. Morocco
4. Macedonia
5. Austria
6. Senegal
7. Portugal
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
9. Ireland
10. Burkina Faso

And the least friendliest? Bolivia ranks at the bottom with a 4.1 ranking, followed by:

2. Venezuela
3. Russian Federation
4. Kuwait
5. Latvia
6. Iran
7. Pakistan
8. Slovak Republic
9. Bulgaria
10. Mongolia

Incidentally, the United States came in at 102nd with a score of 6.0.

There's a lot more in this report that examines economic factors rather than crowd-sourced opinions in its findings. Countries were evaluated based on a combination of statistics, travel and tourism institutions and experts.

As the title suggests, the real meat of the report focuses on how competitive countries are in developing their respective tourism industries. The overall index shows Switzerland, Germany and Austria leading the world in their "attractiveness and ability to develop their travel and tourism industries."

Spain ranked No. 4 followed by the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Canada, Sweden and Singapore. Haiti came in last along with other poor nations Chad (139th), Burundi (138th), Sierra Leone (137th), and Guinea (136th).

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com
Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.

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