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World’s Most Powerful Passports as of Q3 2019

The Henley Passport Index has released its third quarter ranking of the worldโ€™s most powerful passports in 2019.

The index is compiled from data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and measures global mobility based on visa-free access to destinations. It also uses data from the indexโ€™s 14-year history, โ€œto show how travel mobility has changed over the past decade, looking at which passports have gained in strength and which have fallen behind.โ€

Japan and Singapore hold the worldโ€™s strongest passports, with Visa-free access to 189 destinations. South Korea dropped to second place, joining Germany and Finland with Visa-free access to 187 destinations.

The United Arab Emirates entered the top 20 index for the first time in the listโ€™s 14-year-history, moving up an astonishing 41 spots. Other countries that climbed standings include Taiwan, which climbed 24 places over the past ten years and ranks 30th.

The USA and the UK each dropped to the lowest position theyโ€™ve held since 2010, sharing the sixth spot with Canada, Greece, Norway, Belgium and Ireland.

Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Malta, Spain, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the USA or the UK.

Afghanistan is once again at the other end of the rankings, with its citizens needing a prior visa for all but 25 destinations worldwide.

Most Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:
1. Japan, Singapore (189 Destinations)
2. South Korea, Germany, Finland (187)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (186)
4. France, Sweden, Spain (185)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (184)
6. Canada, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, UK, US (183)
7. Malta (182)
8. Czechia (181)
9. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Lithuania (180)
10. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (179)

The Least Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:

101. Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea (39 Destinations)
102. Nepal (38)
103. Libya, Palestinian, Sudan (37)
104. Yemen (33)
105. Somalia (31)
106. Pakistan (30)
107. Syria (29)
108. Iraq (27)
109. Afghanistan (25)

Source: Henley Passport Index

42 Landlocked Countries

Landlocked countries shown in Green. Double landlocked are shown in Purple

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The Worlds Most Powerful Passports, as of January 2019

  1. Japan (190 countries can be visited without a visa)
  2. Singapore, South Korea (189)
  3. Germany, France (188)
  4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden (187)
  5. Luxembourg, Spain (186)
  6. Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, U.K., U.S. (185)
  7. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland (184)
  8. Czech Republic (183)
  9. Malta (182)
  10. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand (181)

London-based consulting firm Henley & Partners, using data from the International Air Transport Association, compiles thisย index of passports that allow visa-free travel.

In the past, this was an annual list, released every January. The list is now being updated every few months.

Since January 2018, Germany has been knocked out of top spot, while both the U,K. and U.S. passports have dropped one place in the rankings.

More at Lonely Planet,ย Traveller, ย CNN

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)

10 great long-distance cycle routes in Europe

There are others. These were suggested by readers of The Guardian.

  1. Passau, Germany, to Vienna, Austria.
  2. The pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome.
  3. Theย River Loire, France.
  4. The Romantic Road, southern Germany.
  5. From Rotterdam, take theย Eurovelo 2cycle trail, also called the Capitals Route, across the Netherlands and Germany to Berlin, then on to Moscow if you wish.
  6. Gospiฤ‡ to Karlobag, along the Croatian seaside.
  7. The Amalfi coast, in Italy.
  8. ย Milan to Sanremo, 200 km leg of theย The Giro dโ€™Italia.
  9. From Dieppe to Paris in the French countryside.
  10. Baie de Somme, Picardie, France.

More at The Guardian

The 13 most peaceful countries in the world โ€“ in honor of International Peace Day

According to the 2018 Global Peace Index:

  1. Iceland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Austria
  4. Portugal
  5. Denmark
  6. Canada
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Singapore
  9. Japan
  10. Ireland
  11. Slovenia
  12. Switzerland
  13. Australia

The Global Peace Index is developed by the Institute for Economics & Peace, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to shifting the worldโ€™s focusย to peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human wellbeing and progress.

IEP is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in New York, The Hague, Mexico City, and Brussels. It works with a wide range of partners internationally and collaborates with intergovernmental organisations on measuring and communicating the economic value of peace.

The chart is also available here.

The Economist ranks the worldโ€™s most livable cities

Each year, the Economist Intelligence Unitย release its annual Global Livability Index which measuring the most livable large cities in the world. In this yearโ€™s report, Vienna, Austria has succeeded in displacing Melbourne, Australia from the stop spot, which it previously held for a record seven consecutive years.

The Economist says:

The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 140 cities worldwide. Each city is assigned a score for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories of Stability, Healthcare, Culture and environment, Education and Infrastructure.

The 20 top rankings are populated with cities in Europe (9), Australia (4), Japan (2), New Zealand (1), and Canada (4).

Honolulu was the highest U.S. city at number 23. The next highest American city was Pittsburgh in 32nd position.ย Manchester was the highest ranked in the UK at number 35.

Here are the top 50:

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Melbourne, Australia

3. Osaka, Japan

4. Calgary, Canada

5. Sydney, Australia

6. ย Vancouver, Canada

7. (Tied) Tokyo, Japan

7. (Tied) Toronto, Canada

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

10. Adelaide, Australia

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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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