For all wanderlust fans out there, InterNation just gave out some crucial information for when you’re hunting for your next vacation spot. Turns out Taiwan — not Canada — that is the “Friendliest Country in the World.”
InterNations’ Expat Insider 2016 Index compiles a list of the countries most likely to greet you with a smile, and most likely to brush you off when asking for directions. Taking friendliness into consideration when booking travel is not necessarily something we take into consideration before a trip but ends up being what we remember most when the vacation is over. When we’re travelling, friendliness matters. It helps turn unfortunate situations into good ones, and compels us to return to that friendly spot again in the future.
Canada didn’t even make InterNations’ Top 10 friendliest places to travel which means we have some explaining to do. Aren’t we supposed to be a national made up of the world’s friendliest, and most polite, people?
Norway, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are the world’s least friendly places to travel but, maybe the people aren’t to blame. It could be their surroundings that cause these countries to have such a cold (literal and figurative) shoulder. We can all agree that it’s tough to be happy when you’re freezing to death, including on vacation.
Through a survey of more than 14,000 respondents from 67 countries, InterNations found that countries in the Southern Hemisphere are generally perceived as friendlier, and more open than those in the North. “The weather certainly plays a role. [If you’re] living under constant cold and freezing rain, you are probably going to be less outgoing,” says InterNations CEO Malte Zeeck.
It’s not weather, however, that makes Taiwan not only the friendliest country in the world to visit. It’s that, as InterNations stated, Taiwan steers clear of conflict and has a cultural history of greeting guests with kindness. It doesn’t hurt that Taiwan is a beautifully lust island, either.