By Rashid Shirinov
Thanks to the rapid development of the tourism sector in today’s world, any person can visit almost any spot on the planet Earth. The only thing you will necessarily need to have is the passport. However, in international tourism, passport of one country can be valued more than that of another. Every year, the Henley & Partners company prepares a ranking of countries in terms of their citizens’ access to the visa-free regime with other states.
Azerbaijani citizens can visit 63 countries without visas, says the new ranking “Passport Index 2018.” Compared to the ranking of 2017, Azerbaijan rose two places, becoming the 72nd in the list.
Indonesia, the Philippines, Cuba and Cape Verde share the 72nd place with Azerbaijan. The index of this year is the best for Azerbaijan in recent years – in 2016 and 2017 citizens of the country could visit 62 countries without visas, while in 2015 – only 58 countries.
As for the neighbors of Azerbaijan, Russia is the 48th in the ranking, Turkey – 50th, while Georgia is 53th. Georgia has significantly improved its position in the ranking thanks to receiving the visa-free access to the Schengen area in 2017.
The leader of the ranking is Germany, which has been holding the first position during the last five years. German citizens can travel to 177 countries without a visa. The second is Singapore (176 countries), while the third place is shared by Great Britain, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Finland, France, Sweden and Japan (175 countries).
The last place in the rating is occupied by Afghanistan – its citizens are granted visa-free access to only 24 countries.
The Passport Index, formerly known as the Visa Restrictions Index, has been published since 2006 by Henley & Partners in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The annual Index analyzes the visa rules of more than 200 countries and territories of the world and ranks them by the number of countries their citizens can visit without visas.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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