- 1. Portugal
- 2. Taiwan
- 3. Mexico
- 4. Cambodia
- 5. Bahrain
- 6. Costa Rica
- 7. Oman
- 8. Colombia
- 9. Vietnam
- 10. Canada
Despite the coronavirus crisis, life goes on, the epidemic is declining and some countries are opening their borders to tourists, which means that soon millions of people will have to make a choice where to go on vacation. Expat Insider has been conducting a survey for 20 years to find out which countries treat foreigners best.
According to survey respondents, Portugal, Taiwan and Mexico top the list of friendliness, while Switzerland, Austria and Kuwait can expect the coldest welcome for expats.
Also, foreigners can count on a warm welcome in Cambodia, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Oman, Colombia, Vietnam and Canada: from 81% (Canada) to 94% (Portugal) of tourists approve of the attitude of the indigenous population towards foreign visitors, which is higher than the world average in 67%.
There is a strong connection between friendliness and general satisfaction with life in the country: all participants in our rating, except Cambodia, are in the top 15 most satisfied countries with their lives (Cambodia is ranked 27th).
The country of Camões has climbed the tourist friendliness Olympus four times, most recently in 2016. Compared to 2019, the country has risen by 9 positions and again took first place. 36% of survey participants said they immediately felt at home here, which is almost double the world average, and 57% say they would like to stay here forever.
Four out of five visitors to the westernmost European country believe the Portuguese are hospitable, and nearly a third of migrants say locals make up the majority of their social circle (also above the world average of 19%).
Despite the fact that the island has left the top position of the rating, it still remains an excellent place for both tourists and expats who are going to move here for permanent residence. Two thirds of tourists (69%) and about three quarters of migrants (73%) consider the owners of the island hospitable, and 74% - one more - would like to stay here forever.
Like Taiwan, Mexico has stepped down one notch from the previous 2019 ranking, finishing only in third place this year (a repeat of 2016). 93% of tourists and 82% of immigrants agree that Mexicans are a friendly people. As for the life of expats in Mexico, 80% believe that the local culture is easy to digest and it will not be difficult for them to stay here forever.
From 2015 to 2017 and in 2018, Cambodia did not participate in the survey at all, but the return to the rating was triumphant: immediately fourth. 96% of foreigners rated the general friendliness of local residents positively (with a global average of 70%). In addition, the country is very open to both tourists and migrants: 83% are convinced that it is easy to settle here, 29% would like to stay here forever, and 39% - that they feel at home here.
Bahrain's position in the middle of the top 10 best countries for foreigners is traditional: this small Gulf state hovers around the fifth line for the tenth year in a row. 86% of foreigners with a tourist visa said that the locals are friendly to them, and 85% - that they are satisfied with the way they live in the country. Another reason for high marks is internationalism; 91% say that for a comfortable life there is no need to learn Arabic, it is enough to speak English. The positions of the Chinese and Russian languages are strong.
6. Costa Rica
A third of migrants who came to the country in search of a better life are fascinated by this place, 52% of tourists share the same opinion. The respondents assess the excellent attitude towards foreigners (77% and 64%, respectively). 9/10 are satisfied with their new life or travel experience, and 81% feel at home in the local environment. 48% are ready to stay here forever and forget the past: this is one and a half times higher than the world average.
Oman, like the diamond of the East, shines with a benevolent attitude towards foreign residents, ranking seventh in the top friendly countries in the world. Foreigners in Oman appreciate the general friendliness of the local population and especially towards foreign residents (83% and 86% assess this positively, respectively). With an outstanding overall life satisfaction score of 83%, expats seem to be very happy with their lives in Oman. Perhaps that is why 67% feel at home in the local culture - seven percentage points more than the world average (60%). But only 12% want to stay here forever, which is below the world average. This is not surprising: the climate in the country is harsh.
Another South American country is among our ten most foreign-friendly countries, ranking eighth in 2020 (up from fifth in the past). An impressive 87% of respondents agree that Colombia is generally friendly towards expats. Whether there is a connection with coca leaves is unclear. But four out of five expats (81%) think it's easy to settle in Colombia, and 62% think it's easy to make friends here with locals (compared to 59% and 42% globally, respectively). Tourists in Colombia are also often friends with locals (34%).
Since Vietnam ranks ninth on the list, it is obvious that foreigners are more than welcome here. The friendliness towards foreign residents, which received a positive rating of 83%, allows the country to take a very high position in the list, despite the skepticism of residents towards tourists. Only four out of ten emigrants (43%) and 62% of tourists would call the local population sociable. And 58% of tourists and 56% of expats would prefer to return home to life here.
Hospitality, untypical for northern peoples, has become a proverb, and Canada's tenth place is surprising. But 82% of tourists and 79% of people who emigrated here from other countries consider the country of the maple leaf, mounted police and hockey the friendliest place in the world. Almost half of the respondents said they could stay indefinitely and intend to build life in Canada (45%). This may be due, among other things, to the friendly attitude of Canadians towards foreigners, which is positively assessed by 81% of expats and well above the world average (67%).