40 Least-Welcoming Countries in the World

A recent study by the World Economic Forum measured the openness of countries to foreign tourists and the tourism industry in general. It uses three major component rankings: Tourist Service Infrastructure, International Openness, and Prioritization of Travel & Tourism. It's important to note that these "welcomeness rankings" say more about government policies than the personalities of local residents.

To rank highly for "openness," a country must necessarily have the required infrastructure to support all the international travelers that may come. This component goes hand-in-hand with Prioritization of Travel & Tourism, which measures things like government subsidies and policies that promote international tourism. The most contributing factor to ranking poorly is that some countries do whatever they can to deter tourists from visiting for a multitude of reasons.

One of the most popular is that tourists often destroy landmarks or make too much noise, but that isn’t always the case. In many countries, cities outside of major capitals just don't have the infrastructure for tourists to get around. This includes places like the Sierra Leone and Burundi. People in the capital cities are more likely to know a second language (or third) and there are ample public transportation options. But in poorer outlining cities, tourists may struggle if they don't rent a car and know at least some of the local language.

In places like Mongolia, there just aren't many people in general. Because they are the least densely populated country in the world, anyone who is new to the area easily sticks out because the locals typically know who everyone is. Since there isn't a large tourism industry, they are rightfully wary, or at least curious, as to the reason why newcomers are hanging around.

We know that everyone in these countries doesn’t hate tourists. There are nice people anywhere you go, but in general, these nation's governmental policies would rather you stay at home or go somewhere else for your holiday. Here are 30 other countries the study found to be unwelcoming to foreign visitors for one reason or another.

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