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July 24, 2022

The World's Most Powerful Passports have the Least Travel Freedom.

Global Passport Index

Global Passport Index

LONDON, July 22, 2022 — Passport holders with the most extraordinary global access are currently the most restricted and reluctant to enjoy their travel freedom, according to the latest results from the Henley Passport Index. Japan holds the number one spot on the index. The index comprises the actual ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations they can access without a prior visa. Japan has a record-high visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 193, while Singapore and South Korea come in joint-2nd place, with a score of 192.

But despite the record-breaking worldwide access afforded to citizens of these three nations over the index’s 17-year history, international passenger demand in the Asia-Pacific region has only reached 17% of pre-Covid levels, hovering below 10% for most of the past two years. This figure is far behind the global trend, where markets in Europe and North America have recovered to around 60% of pre-crisis travel mobility levels. However, Dr. Marie Owens Thomsen, Chief Economist at IATA (International Air Transport Association), says passenger numbers should reach 83% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022. “By next year, many markets should see traffic reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels, while we expect this to be the case for the industry in 2024.”

EU member states dominate the remaining top 10 ten spots on the latest ranking, with Germany and Spain in joint-3rd place, with access to 190 destinations visa-free. Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg follow closely behind in joint-4th place with 189 goals. Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden share 5th place with their passport holders able to travel to 188 destinations worldwide without a visa. The UK and US have dropped down a rank to 6th and 7th place, respectively. Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with its nationals only able to access 27 destinations worldwide visa-free. The global mobility gap between the world’s most and least powerful passports now sits at an unprecedented 166 destinations.

Russian passport holders are more cut off from the rest of the world than ever, as sanctions imposed ban travel and airspace closures limit Russian citizens from accessing all but a few destinations in Central Asia and the Middle East. The Russian passport currently sits at 50th place on the index, with a visa-free or visa-free on arrival score of 119. However, due to airspace closures in EU member nations, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the US, and the UK, Russian citizens are effectively barred from traveling most of the world. Notable exceptions are Istanbul and Dubai, which have become focal transit points.

Conversely, the Ukrainian passport is in 35th place on the index, with holders able to access 144 destinations worldwide without needing a visa in advance.

• UAE is the clear pandemic winner.

Throughout the turmoil of the past two years, one thing has remained constant: the growing strength of the UAE passport, which now sits at 15th place on the ranking. It has a visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 176.

• Peaceful countries have more powerful passports.

Unique research conducted by Henley & Partners comparing a country’s visa-free access with its Global Peace Index score shows a strong correlation between a nation’s passport power and peacefulness. Any country in the top ten of the Henley Passport Index is also in the top ten of the Global Peace Index. So is the case for the bottom-ranking nations.

Commenting on the results in the Henley Global Mobility Report 2022 Q3, Stephen Klimczuk-Massion, Quondam Fellow of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, says: “Your passport is more than ever a calling card, which, depending on which passport you carry and where you are going, will have an impact on the kind of welcome you will receive, where you can go and how safe you will be when you get there. Now more than ever, it’s a mistake to think of a passport as merely a travel document that allows you to get from A to B. On the contrary, the relative strength or weakness of a particular national passport directly affects the quality of life of the passport holder.”

Source: Henley & Partners

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:10 AM | Link to this Post

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