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Japan and Singapore top 2019 list of world’s most powerful passports

Euan McKirdy and Maureen O’Hare at CNN write »

Japan and Singapore have held onto their position as the world’s most travel-friendly passports.

That’s the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords.

Singapore and Japan’s passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 190 countries each.

South Korea rubs shoulders with Finland and Germany in second place, with citizens of all three countries able to access 188 jurisdictions around the world without a prior visa.

Finland has benefited from recent changes to Pakistan‘s formerly highly restrictive visa policy. Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Spain, Malta, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the United States or the UK.

Read more of this article at CNN »

The best passports in 2019 are:

1. Japan, Singapore (190 destinations)
2. Finland, Germany, South Korea (188)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (187)
4. France, Spain, Sweden (186)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal (185)
6. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland (184)
7. Malta, Czech Republic (183)
8. New Zealand (182)
9. Australia, Lithuania, Slovakia (181)
10. Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia (180)
More at the Henley Passport Index

Notes

» Canada has been ranked 6th four years in a row. They were ranked 2nd in 2014, then dropped to 4th in 2015, and have been holding steady in 6th since 2016.

» The USA been on a steady decline since 2014 when they were ranked 1st. They dropped to 2nd in 2015, 4th in 2016, 5th in 2017 and 2018, and to 6th this year.

» The UK has been on a steady decline in the rankings, dropping from 1st in 2015, to 3rd in 2016, to 4th in 2017, to 5th in 2018, to 6th this year.

World’s Most Powerful Passports as of Q3 2019

The Henley Passport Index has released its third quarter ranking of the world’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 index’s 14-year history, “to show how travel mobility has changed over the past decade, looking at which passports have gained in strength and which have fallen behind.”

Japan and Singapore hold the world’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 list’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 they’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

Riding the Aurora Borealis

Norway is a stunningly place. This video, that features pro surfer Damien Castera and pro snowboarder Mathieu Crépel highlights stunning landscapes and an inspiring message.

Continue reading

Follow Tristan Ridley on his Quest to Ride His Bike Around The World

Adventurer Tristan Ridley is on a quest to ride his bike around the world. But unlike many other riders with that same goal, Tristan isn’t in a race against time. In fact, his circumnavigation will take as much as five years, over 100,000 kms, and travel through more than 100 countries.

Videos:

Ep. 2 – Bicycle touring and bikepacking through Norway in May 2018

Ep. 3 – The Jordan Trail, from Amman to Aqaba

Ep. 4 – Surviving Ethiopia

 

Capture the North – Exploring Northern Norway

 

From the small lonely islands of Lofoten to the dancing northern lights in Senja, David Jervidal travelled with his father, Tommy Jervidal, for 10 days in the northern part of Norway – to capture some of it’s untamed wilderness.

Best Countries for Quality of Life

Through all phases of life, Canada and Scandinavian countries treat their citizens well, according to US News.

  1. Canada
  2. Sweden
  3. Denmark
  4. Norway
  5. Switzerland
  6. Finland
  7. Australia
  8. Netherlands
  9. New Zealand
  10. Germany
  11. Belgium
  12. United Kingdom
  13. Japan
  14. Luxemburg
  15. Ireland
  16. France
  17. USA
  18. Singapore
  19. Portugal
  20. China
  21. Spain
  22. Italy
  23. South Korea
  24. Poland
  25. Czech Republic

More info at US News

Reference: Living 2.0

Most Expensive Countries To Live In 2019

According to CEOWORLD Magazine:

1.🇨🇭 Switzerland
2.🇮🇸 Iceland
3.🇳🇴 Norway
4.🇧🇸 Bahamas
5.🇱🇺 Luxembourg
6.🇯🇵 Japan
7.🇩🇰 Denmark
8.🇭🇰 Hong Kong
9.🇰🇷 South Korea
10.🇮🇪 Ireland
11.🇫🇷 France
12.🇳🇱 Netherlands
13.🇮🇱 Israel
14.🇧🇪 Belgium
15.🇫🇮 Finland

More interesting world ranking stats here.

Canada and Scandinavian countries top the 2019 Quality of Life Rankings

The BAV Group, a unit of communications company VMLY&R, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, surveyed 20,300 citizens from 36 countries in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa were asked to score 80 countries on 75 different attributes.

The attributes were grouped under different categories: adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, movers, open for business, power and quality of life.

The Quality of Life ranking is based on an equally weighted average of scores from nine attributes: affordable, a good job market, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system and well-developed public health system.

2019 Quality of Life Rankings

  1. Canada (no change from 2018)
  2. Sweden (#3 in 2018)
  3. Denmark (#2 in 2018)
  4. Norway (no change from 2018)
  5. Switzerland (#6 in 2018)
  6. Finland (#7 in 2018)
  7. Australia (#5 in 2018)
  8. Netherlands (no change from 2018)
  9. New Zealand (no change in 2018)
  10. Germany (no change in 2018)

Read more

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 this 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 PlanetTraveller,  CNN

Canadians can stay in the Schengen Area beyond the 90-day limit

Did you know that under certain conditions Canadians and nationals from other countries can stay in Denmark and other Nordic countries beyond the 90-day Schengen Area limit?

More info added to the resources section.

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