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These passports offer the most travel freedom

The Henley Passport Indexย is a ranking of the worldโ€™s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without first obtaining a visa.

Henley & Partnersย released this press release today:

Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month. Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singaporeโ€™s total of 189. The countries have been neck and neck since they both climbed to 1st place in February, pushing Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014.

Germany has now fallen further to 3rd place, which it shares with South Korea and France. Their nationals enjoy visa-free access to 188 countries. France moved up a place last Friday when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan. Iraq and Afghanistan continues to sit at the bottom (106th) of the Henley Passport Index โ€” based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association(IATA).

The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, have slid down yet another spot โ€” from 4th to 5th place โ€” with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018. With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers, it seems unlikely they will regain the number 1 spot they jointly held in 2015 any time soon.

In general, the UAE has made the most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide currently, and looking ahead, the most dramatic climb might come from Kosovo, which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council.

Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking. The same is true of China: Chinese nationals obtained access to two new jurisdictions (St.ย Lucia and Myanmar), but the Chinese passport fell two places, to 71st overall.

Dr. Christian H. Kรคlin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs all fall within the top 50 of the Henley Passport Index. Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI program in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008. โ€œThe travel freedom that comes with a second passport is significant, while the economic and societal value that CBI programs generate for host countries can be transformative,โ€ says Dr. Kรคlin.

The top countries are:

1. Japan (190 countries)

2. Singapore (189 countries)

3. Germany (188 countries)

4. (Tied) France,ย South Korea,ย Denmark,ย Finland,ย Italy, Sweden, Spain (187 countries)

5. (Tied) Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, USA (186 countries)

6. (Tied) Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland (185 countries)

7. (Tied) Australia, Greece, Malta (183 countries)

8. (Tied) New Zealand, Czech Republic (182 countries)

9. Iceland (181 countries)

10. (Tied) Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia (180 countries)

Why you must travel the Silk Road in your lifetime

History is full of long and legendary highways but none โ€“ frankly โ€“ come close to the Silk Road. Itโ€™s not just the magnitude (at least 4,000 miles, in more than 40 countries) but the mythic potency of the project. The world was cleft into east and west in the Middle Ages.

But long before, the Silk Road โ€“ which has existed in one form or another since the fourth century BC โ€“ breached any such divide. While trade was its raison dโ€™รชtre โ€“ Chinese silk, of course, but also salt, sugar, spices, ivory, jade, fur and other luxury goods โ€“ the road forged deep social, cultural and religious links between disparate peoples.

And

The Silk Road was not a road, but a network. The central caravan tract followed the Great Wall, climbed the Pamir Mountains into Afghanistan, and crossed to the Levant. Along the way were spurs branching off to river ports, caravanserai, oases, markets and pilgrimage centres. Journeys demanded meticulous preparation: the Silk Road and its tributaries cut through some of the harshest, highest, wildest places on Earth.

 

The world’s safest countries to visit

The Gallop organization, a research firm based in the USA, asked citizens of 142 countries about their confidence in local policing, feelings of safety while walking alone and personal experiences of crime.

Gallup interviewed more than 148,000 people for the 2018 report. Gallup’s rankings are based on residents’ own sense of security.

1. Singapore

2. (tied) Finland, Iceland, andย Norway

5. (tied) Hong Kong andย Uzbekistan

7. (tied) Canada andย Switzerland

9. Indonesia

10. (tied) Denmark,ย Slovenia, Luxembourg, Austria, China, Netherlands, Egypt

More at CNN

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