Visa openness levels make travel easier

Almost 40% of the world’s population can travel visa-free
The percentage of tourists needing a visa before travelling continues to decline and is at its lowest level ever, the World Tourism Organisation says in its latest Visa Openness Report.
The UNWTO has been long advocated the need to advance travel facilitation as a means to promote tourism development and multiply its socioeconomic benefits.
So it welcomes the fact that 39% of the world’s population can now travel for tourism without obtaining a traditional visa prior to departure, compared to just 23% in 2008.
On average, 18% of the world’s population was able to travel to a destination without a visa in 2015, another 15% could get a visa on arrival and 6% was able to obtain eVisas.
Overall, emerging economies continue to be more open than advanced economies. At the regional level, South-East Asia, East Africa, the Caribbean and Oceania remain the most open areas while Central Africa, North Africa and North America were in 2015 the most restrictive sub-regions.
“Prioritising travel facilitation is central to stimulating economic growth and job creation through tourism. We are pleased to see that a growing number of governments around the world think likewise,” said UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.
Data on visa policies have been collected by the UNWTO on an annual basis since 2008.
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