According to the Henley Passport Index, the world’s top ten most accepted passports of 2019 are from mostly white countries. At surface level, this may seem frustrating considering initiatives like the ‘Black Girls Travel Too’ movement have been boldly campaigning for greater diversity in travel and tourism.
However, not all hope is lost. With countries in Asia and the Middle East gradually gaining economic power, a more diverse top ten list of powerful passports might be just around the corner. For these citizens, planning a trip abroad with the help of a family destinations guide has never been easier; as they can now travel to many more places without the hassle of obtaining a visa beforehand.
The Henley Passport Index Explained
Published by the advisory firm, Henley & Partners, The Henley Passport Index ranks countries around the world based on the number of destinations its passport holders can enter with the least limitations; giving one point for each visa-free destination as well as a point for a destination which allows visa upon arrival.
The index currently monitors 199 different passports and 227 destinations; utilizing exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and combining it with their own research.
Family Destinations Guide: The World’s Strongest Passports
For 2019, the index has reported 32 passports as the strongest, meaning their passport holders have access to the most destinations without having to secure a visa beforehand.
Although 29 of the 32 passports are from either European countries or countries founded by Europeans, the top two countries on the list are Japan and Singapore, with citizens having access 190 destinations worldwide without needing a prior visa.
Other countries making the top ten, with access to at least 180 destinations worldwide include: Finland, Germany, South Korea, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland, Malta, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Australia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, and Slovenia.
Shifts in Power: Asia and The United Arab Emirates
Traditionally, the top countries on the list have always either been a European country or a predominantly white country. Back in 2014, both the United Kingdom and the United States were in the number one spot on the list, however both countries have dropped to the sixth spot which is the lowest position either country has held in nearly ten years.
For the United Kingdom, Brexit may be to blame for the drop in rankings and may weaken the country’s position even further due to the government’s inability to agree on a Brexit deal with the European Union. For the United States, the Trump administration’s outspoken rhetoric and its own recent travel bans have contributed to its drop in the rankings.
Non-European or Non-white countries on the rise include some Asian countries that produce high-quality consumer goods and have more inclusive diplomatic relations. This explains why Japan, Singapore, and South Korea are all at the top of the list. Another non-European country on the rise is The United Arab Emirates. Though not in the current list of top ten for 2019, the country’s passport has risen from position #55 to #15 in just 5 short years and is definitely one that could make the top ten list in the very near future.
For passport holders with passports on the rise, this is obviously exciting news – especially during vacation seasons as families will gain visa-free access to even more holiday spots recommended in a Family Destinations Guide.