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TOP 10 cele mai ospitaliere ri din lume

Publicat n 21 Mar 2013 Comentarii nchise

Etichet: for umul economic mon dia, lume, osp italiere, top 1 0 r i

La nceputul acestei luni, Forumul Economic Mondial a publicat raportul pe 2013 privind competitivitatea din domeniul turismului, raport n care sunt menionate i cele mai ospitaliere ri din lume. Clasamentul cuprinde att ri recunoscute la nivel mondial pentru serviciile turistice la cele mai nalte standarde, precum Austria, Portugalia sau Noua Zeeland, dar i cteva ri la care poate nu v ai fi ateptat s le regsii ntr-un asemenea top.

Burkina Faso. Dei n topul Competitivitii n Turism, realizat de Forumul Economic Mondial ocup abia locul 128 din 140, naiunea african este clasat de aceeai organizaie pe locul 10 n ceea ce privete ospitalitatea de care dau dovad localnicii.

Irlanda. Clasat pe locul 19 din 140 n privina competitivitii n turism, Irlanda este cotat mult mai bine la capitolul ospitalitate.

Bosnia-Herzegovina. Statul est-european ocup locul 90 n clasamentul privind competitivitatea turistic al Forumului Economic Mondial, dar asta nu-i mpiedic pe localnici s fie mult mai ospitalieri cu turitii.

Bosnia-Herzegovina. Statul est-european ocup locul 90 n clasamentul privind competitivitatea turistic al Forumului Economic Mondial, dar asta nu-i mpiedic pe localnici s fie mult mai ospitalieri cu turitii.

Senegal, situat n vestul Africii, se afl la coada clasamentului privind competitivitatea, ocupnd locul 107 din 140. Cu toate acestea, Forumul Economic Mondial laud ospitalitatea de care d dovad n privina turitilor strini.

Austria ocup locul 3 n topul celor mai competitive ri n domeniul turismului n 2013, dar la capitolul ospitalitate nu a reuit s intre n top 3.

Macedonia, situat n sud-estul Europei, se afl la un pas de podium n privina ospitalitii, ns doar pe locul 75 din 140 n privina competitivitii.

Localnicii din Maroc sunt printre cei mai ospitalieri oameni din lume, potrivit Forumului Economic Mondial, chiar dac ocup doar locul 71 n topul competitivitii turistice.

Noua Zeeland se claseaz pe locul 12 n privina competitvitii, ns ospitalitatea locuitoriilor nclin balana considerabil n favoarea acestei destinaii turistice.

Islanda i-a adjudecat anul acesta titlul de cea mai ospitalier ar din lume, iar n privina competitivitii ocup locul 16.

From country to country, manners and etiquette vary based on cultural beliefs and customs. This page will outline some of the customs of countries around the world. Africa Senegal In Senegal, greeting are ritualized and extended. Its considered rude to jump right to the main point of discussion without asking how the other person and his/her family is doing. Their conversation style is indirect and direct eye contact is usually avoided. When invited to a meal, its customary to bring a small gift. Guests should wait to be seated and should not eat until the oldest male does. People often eat from a communal bowl, using only their right hands. Its polite for a person to not eat all the food that has been offered to him/her. Kenya In Kenya, its considered polite to greet someone by their formal title or honorific, not their first name, until one is familiar enough with that person. Handshakes are the most common kind of greeting. Kenyans who are Muslim may or may not shake hands with members of the opposite sex.

When dining, its important to wash ones hands before and after a meal. Washing basins are used in certain homes. Since second helpings a re usually offered, its advisable to take a smaller first portion. Turning down the second portion could be considered rude. Its polite to eat all that is on ones plate. Libya In Libya, handshakes last longer than they do in America, as extended pleasantries are exchanged. Smiles and brief eye contact are the norm. When entering someones home, its polite to see if one should remove ones shoes. When there are multiple people in a household, its polite to greet the eldest people first. When eating at someones home, a short prayer is said before the meal. Even if one is not religious its polite to observe the custom. Libyans only eat with their right hand; guest should do the same. If offered coffee or tea, accept the beverage. Libyans will offer you more food, even if you are full. Its polite to leave a little bit. Egypt In Egypt, when invited to someones home, its polite to dress nicely, as appearances are important there. Its considered good taste to bring a small gift for the lady of the hou se and to compliment the host on their home. When dining, its polite to take a second helping, but hosts will keep putting food on ones plate if its empty; therefore, its good form to leave a little bit of food on the plate at the end of the meal. One should always eat with their right hand and applying salt to ones food implies that it wasnt prepared properly. Nigeria In Nigeria, its polite to bow ones head when meeting someone that is clearly older. Advanced age bestows upon people rank and respect. As some of the population is Muslim, men may or may not shake womens hands. If they do, they will usually wait until the woman has extended her hand first. When invited to someones home, its polite to bring a gift for the host. A gift for their chil dren is also a sign of class. If giving a gift to a woman, a man should state that it comes from his wife, mother, or sister never himself. Morocco In Morocco, there is a concept called hshuma, which means shameful. Above all, Moroccans believe in honor and respect and they equate their sense of honor to how others perceive them. As a result, there are certain acts, like blowing ones nose in public, smoking, or not removing ones shoes that are considered taboo. When dining, food is often served out of a communal bowl. Its impolite to reach into parts of the bowl that are not directly in front of you. If you are a guest, you will have choice selections of the meal placed in your part of the bowl. Washing bowls are provided at the beginning and ends of the meal; people often eat without utensils. Middle East Saudi Arabia In Saudi Arabia, natives are usually devout Muslims, and as a result pray five times a day. Since Friday is the Holy Day, businesses are closed and it is considered rude to discuss business. When invited to someones home, a small gift is acceptable, but it should never be alcohol as devout Muslims abstain from it.

When dining in Saudi Arabia, men and women eat separately. Meals are a relatively quiet affair; there is not much talking during meals. Meals have many dishes, and its polite to try a little bit of everything. Sometimes meals are eaten on the floor; in these cases, one should cross their legs while eating. Iran In Iran, when invited to a social event, its rude to show u p late. Punctuality is expected. When arriving at a hosts home greet and shake everyones hand individually. Wait to be told where to sit. Its polite to bring a gift, but its considered proper to downplay its cost or significance and apologize for its shortcomings. This is part of their tradition of taarof, which is overt politeness and humbleness. Iranians will usually feign protest over compliments and downplay their achievements. When dining, its considered taarof to first reject their offer of food; this is a formality. After further insistence on the hosts part, its acceptable to take what they offer. Second and third helpings are usually offered, because Iranians consider it taarof to be very generous to their guests. One should still be polite and refuse their offer; they will just insist further anyway. A little bit of food should be left on the plate at the end of the meal to show that one is full and that the host has offered one enough food. Iraq In Iraq, a handshake with moderate levels of eye contact and a smile is the most common form of greeting. At a small gathering, if one is a guest, one will usually be introduced individually by the host to others. At large gatherings, its acceptable to introduce oneself on a case by case basis. Iraqis like to invite other people to their homes for meals. When entering a hosts home, one should check if people remove their shoes at the home. Its considered polite to dress conservatively and in poor taste to discuss business at the dinner table. Small gifts are polite, but should be offered with two hands. Gifts arent opened right away when received and Iraqis do not consider this to be rude. Kuwait In Kuwait, greetings are usually between members of the same sex. They are rather formal and circuitous; its considered impolite to not ask about the other person and his/her family, health, business, etc. When eating at a hosts home, meals are served family style. The guest will usually be served first, followed by the oldest members of the family, working downward in age. Like many other countries, its impolite to eat with the left hand. When the host stands up or leaves the table, the meal is considered over. Lebanon In Lebanon, greetings often mix in French customs, such as three kisses alternating on both cheeks. They enjoy having guests in their home and view it as an honor. When visiting a host, its polite to bring a small gift. Flowers are always acceptable; a sweet dish or dessert is acceptable if invited over for a meal. Its considered rude to talk about business, religion, or politics at the table. Table manners are similar to European ones: knives are held in the right hand and forks are held in the left, and forks are not switched from hand to hand. Israel In Israel, greetings are usually Shalom along with a normal handshake. Orthodox Jewish men and women, however, do not usually shake hands with members of the opposite sex. It is not polite to point with the fingers; motioning with the whole hand is acceptable.

When invited to someones home, its polite to bring a modest gift such as candy or flowers. A unique gift from the guests home country is always classy, as it makes the host feel more cosmopolitan in their relationships. Asia China In China, greetings to guests usually include handshakes. Chinese society can be quite formal, so it is considered appropriate to greet the oldest person in a room first. People prefer to be addressed by their title or honorific first before being called by their first name; calling someone by their first name is a sign of a close relationship. When invited to a meal at someones home, its appropriate to bring a gift, but it should not be flowers as the Chinese associate them mostly with funerals. Four is an unlucky number in Chinese culture, so four items to the gift should be avoided. When eating, use chopsticks and hold the food dish close to your mouth to avoid spilling or splashing. In Chinese culture, slurping ones food isnt considered rude; its a sign that one is enjoying their meal. Japan In Japan, there is a concept of face, which means honor or reputation. Above all, the Japanese seek to save face and strive to never cause another person to lose face in a situation. As a result, they are very polite and formal. Direct rejections of requests are rare; to save face, a Japanese person would imply noncommittal to the request but would not directly say no. If invited to someones home, its important that one bows to the host, as this is the formal, traditional greeting in Japan. The longer and deeper the bow, the more respect one shows to ones host. Gifts are considered appropriate and need not be expensive, but should not be white flowers, as they are associated with funerals and death. Odd numbers are considered lucky, so an odd number (other than 9) of items to the gift is better than an even number. When dining, chopsticks are used, but they should always be placed back in their special rest when talking, in between bites, or when finished eating. Do not put chopsticks in an empty bowl. In Japan, there is minimal conversation while dining. Cambodia In Cambodia, the society is collectivist, meaning they value harmonious relations among the family and group above the individual. To maintain that harmony, conversation styles are indirect and utilize a lot of subtle body language. Honor and respect are important, reflected in their traditional greeting: the bow. When invited to someones home for a meal, its appropriate to bring a small gift, but it shouldnt be a knife or blade; this is symbolic of cutting ties with someone. When dining, the oldest person in the group is the first to sit and the first to eat. It is considered poor taste to discuss business matters while eating or other social situations. Russia In Russia, society is typically collectivist in nature. It is not considered rude to intervene in a conversation or ones affairs if it is done so for the benefit of the larger group. Greetings are firm handshakes or hugs for males, alternating kisses on the cheek for females. If invited to someones home, its appropriate to give a gift. If one is a male, its polite to bring flowers. Russian culture dictates that first offer of the gift be refused; this is just a sign of being polite. Further insistence of the gift will usually be accepted. When dining, its rude to put ones elbows on the table. To show that the host has offered enough food, its important to leave a little bit of food on ones plate at the end of the meal.

India In India, they traditionally used the caste system in society, which creates clear hierarchies in social relationships. Even though the caste system is not used as much today, the legacy of hierarchies still remain. Therefore, its very important to show older or more experienced individuals the pr oper amount of respect. Indians do not like to say no directly. They may give an ambiguous or uncommitted response rather than a rejection; these types of responses should be evaluated in other contexts, like body language and/or facial expressions. When invited to someones home, its polite to bring a gift, but it should not be white flowers, as they are associated with funerals. Most Indians practice Hinduism, so leather goods should be avoided; some are Muslim, so pork products and alcohol should be too. When dining, most Indians are vegetarians and may not offer or eat any meat products. If you are offered a drink, its polite to turn it down the first time, but upon further insistence, you can accept it. Indians commonly eat with their fingers and leaving a bit of food on ones plate at the end of the meal is a sign that one is full and has been given enough food by ones host. Pakistan In Pakistan, society is very hierarchal; prestige is often given because of age or rank. The oldest person in a group is usually greeted, introduced, and served first in social situations. The oldest or most experienced person is also usually expected to make decisions for the group. If invited to someones home, a gift is polite, but a man should not give a woman flo wers and alcohol should be avoided entirely; most of Pakistan is Muslims and abstains from alcohol. When dining, many people, especially in nonurban areas, eat without utensils. One should observe and emulate the behavior of others to determine what is appropriate. Hosts will commonly offer second and third helpings; they will interpret initial rejections of food as being polite. Thailand In Thailand, the common greeting is a bow with the hands joined together at the palm and raised to the chest. The greeting is called thewai. The deeper and longer the bow, the more respect one shows to another. Buddhism is the main religion there and since it preaches nonviolence and harmony, conflict and arguing are avoided at all costs. If invited to someones home, it polite to bring a small gift, although the colors blue, green, and black should be avoided; they are the colors of mourning. When entering someones home, check to see if people take off their shoes. When dining, meals are usually served buffet style and one can eat right after being served. To show one has had enough to eat, its polite to leave a little bit of food on the plate at the end of the meal. Europe France In France, the family is the most important social unit. As such, much of French tradition and interactions revolve around the importance of the family. They are also private by nature and are their friendliest and most intimate mainly with close family and friends. When dining, its important to send flowers to the host beforehand so the flow ers can be displayed at the meal. The French take pride in their wine so if bringing a bottle, it should be of the highest quality one can reasonably afford. Meals begin when the host or hostess says Bon Appetit, which means good appetite. Unlike many other cultures, one should eat all that has been put on ones plate. However, one should not finish their wine unless they want another glass, which one will most likely be offered.

Germany In Germany, they pride themselves on their careful planning and precision. Careful and deliberate use of ones time is considered to be important. As such, being late or taking too long to complete a task suggests thoughtlessness, which can be interpreted as rude. If one must be late, its important to call ahead of time. The Germans use rather formal titles, calling males Herr and females Frau. When invited to a home or meal, its polite to bring a bottle of wine or a small gift. Table manners are continental; diners do not switch forks from one hand to another while eating. Its considered rude to put ones elbows on the dinner table and one should wait until ones host has put his/her napkin on his/her lap before doing the same. Italy In Italy, the family is the most basic and most important social unit. Loyalty to and respect for the family trumps all other obligations and relationships. Italians also have a concept called bella figura, which means good image. How one dresses and presents oneself is very important in Italian culture. First impressions may be permanent ones, and people assess ones education and social standing by their appearance and manners. When dining, wait until the hostess sits to be seated. If a toast is offered by the toast, it is polite for the guest to offer another toast later, before the meal ends. Its acceptable to leave a bit of food on the plate at the end of the meal to show one is full and has been offered enough. One should leave their wine glass mostly full if they dont want another glass. England In England, greetings usually consist of brief handshakes; contact such as hugs and kisses is generally avoided. Slouching is considered poor taste and good posture is valued. British culture can be very reserved and stoic; excessive displays of emotion are not as common in other countries. When invited to someones home, its considered polite to bring a small gift. If a gentleman is wearing a hat, he should always remove it indoors. Table manners are continental; diners do not switch forks from one hand to another. Conversation can occur while dining, but it should business and controversial topics like politics and religion. Spain In Spain, people meeting each other for the first time normally shake hands. After a relationship has been established, men may pat each other on the shoulder and females may kiss one another on the cheek. Spain traditionally had a culture of machismo, or male-centered life. Although that is eroding more and more, in older generations, it is still present. If invited to someones home, its appropriate to bring a small gift, perhaps a bottle of wine. Wait to be shown to your seat and wait until the host or hostess begins eating before you do. The host may make a toast at the meal; its considered polite to return the toast later on in the meal. Unlike in oth er cultures, is not poor taste for women to make toasts. Ireland In Ireland, greetings are usually a handshake and normal levels of eye contact imply trust and truthfulness. The Irish are well known for their humor and the gift of gab, so extended, fri endly chatter is common, even with strangers. However, the Irish have a long history of conflict with religion and politics, so its best that these topics are avoided. If invited to someones home, its polite to bring a gift and it need not be expensive. If flowers are given, they should not be white, as they are associated with funerals and death. When dining, manners are

relatively informal, but its considered rude to eat with your elbows on the table. Manners are also continental; diners do not switch forks from one hand to another. Sweden In Sweden, key characteristics of society are humility, equality, and moderation. They are rather subdued in their behavior and avoid flashiness, bragging, and any behavior taken to the extreme. They are practical by nature and try to avoid overt displays of emotion, both positive and negative. They are very polite and perceive not saying thank-you or youre welcome as slightly rude. If invited to someones home, its considered rude to be early or late; punctua lity is expected. Swedes are very private in nature, so they will most likely not give tours of their home other than the dining or sitting areas. Its not polite to take the last helping of anything during a meal, and while toasts can be offered by guests, it should never be to someone older than he or she is. Holland (The Netherlands) In Holland, greetings are usually brief handshakes accompanied with a smile. The Dutch tend to be practical, conservative, and disciplined. They prefer to be prepared and pay attention to details. They are private by nature and do not disclose feelings or personal matters much, certainly never with strangers. If invited to someones home for a meal, its polite to bring a small gift. Chocolates are always acceptable, but wine is not. It implies the host or hostess hasnt chosen or supplied a wine with the meal. Guests should wait to be seated and should always clear their plate. Its not polite to leave food on your plate its considered wasteful. Greece In Greece, greetings between strangers consist of handshakes with normal eye contact. Between friend, hugs or slaps on the shoulder are common. The Greeks pride themselves on their culture and contributions to art, literature, and other areas. Because the Greek Orthodox Church plays a big role in society and Greece has endured many conflicts, its best to avoid religion or politics in conversation. If invited to a home for a meal, its common to be socially late, usually by 15 to 30 minutes; this isnt seen as rude. A gift is polite, but gift giving is often reciprocal. Presenting an expensive or ornate gift puts a burden on the receiver to return it. When dining, wait to be seated and the oldest person is usually served first. Wait to eat until after the host or hostess does. People tend to share food and eat off of one anothers plate. Its expected that you eat everything put on your plate. Norway In Norway, society is very egalitarian; people are treated as equals and humility is a virtue. Its considered poor taste to talk excessively about oneself and to boast or brag. Even individuals who are wealthy tend to dress and act plainly and avoid ostentation. Greetings are brief and firm handshakes accompanied with a smile and eye contact. If invited to someones house in Norway, its important to show up on time. Punctuality is expected and being late is considered rude. A small gift is appropriate, and flowers are usually well received, provided they are lilies or white flowers, which are associated with funerals. When dining, almost all meals, including sandwiches and finger foods are eaten with utensils. Toasts are common by the host and should be returned with a toast in turn. A guest should thank the hostess with the phrase takk for matten, which means thanks for the meal. Latin America

Brazil In Brazil, society is very diverse and made up of many different cultures and traditions. Greetings are usually handshakes with eye contact, but males should wait until females extend their hands first to be polite. There is a class system based on appearances and Brazilians do judge people by how they dress, speak, and talk. If invited to someones home, its custom to show up a little bit late; this isnt perceived as rude. Its polite to bring a gift, such as flowers, but the colors purple and black symbolize death and mourning and should be avoided. Venezuela In Venezuela, they pride themselves on being hospitable to guests. They will usually make extra efforts to make their guests happy, so guests should thank them for their hospitality. Greetings are a handshake accompanied with a salutation based on the time of day: buenos dias,bunenos noches, etc. If invited to someones home for a meal, its better to show up later than earlier. Being exactly prompt or early is interpreted as assuming or excessive. Venezuela is known for its coffee and is offered commonly; its perceived as rude to turn it down. Chile In Chile, greetings are usually a firm handshake and smile, although pats on the shoulder are common between women. People use honorifics like Senor and Senora; its not polite to use someones first name until he or she asks you to. If invited to someones home for a meal, its polite to send flowers ahead of time so they may be shown during the meal. A gift of sweets or wine is acceptable as well. One should wait to be seated and women are usually seated before me. Toasts of salud are common and one should make eye contact with the person one is toasting. If pouring wine, always use the right hand. Argentina In Argentina, greetings consist of handshakes normally, but can be quite formal. Its polite to greet the oldest people in a social situation first. Eye contact is expected during greetings, as it implies interest and respect. If invited to a meal at someones home, its appropriate to bring a gift. Since taxes and tariffs on imported liquor and spirits are high, these usually make for a classy gift. Never offer bladed presents; they symbolize the act of severing the relationship. Like much of South America, its c ustomary to show up a little late and a little rude to show up right on time. One should not drink wine or beverages until a toast has been made and in general, wine pouring is complicated with a lot of traditions and taboos. Its best to ask someone else to pour wine. Bolivia In Bolivia, the family is the most important social unit and loyalty to the family is one of the most important aspects to culture there. Greetings consist of handshakes for strangers and acquaintances, parts on the shoulder or a hug between friends. People use the surname of their mother and father, so both names should be included when addressing people. If invited to someones house for a meal alcohol, flowers, or dessert are considered polite, but gifts are not usually opened right away when received. When dining, utensils are used for almost all foods, including fruits and sandwiches. Elbows should be kept off of the table and because toasts are common, one should wait until after the first toast by the host or hostess before t aking a stop of ones drink. Columbia In Columbia, greetings consist of firm handshakes with normal levels of eye contact for people just meeting. For friends, males will pat each on the shoulder and females will kiss each other on

the cheek. Columbians use both their maternal and paternal surnames, so both should be used when addressing someone there. When dining at someones home, its impolite to begin eating until the host or hostess say buen provecho, which means have a good meal. Elbows should be kept off of the table. Its polite to bring a gift, but flowers should be sent ahead of time. If invited to a girls 15 th birthday party, the quinceanera, gold is the customary gift. Dominican Republic In the Dominican Republic, greetings are relatively informal and consist usually of handshakes accompanied with a smile. Because family is important there and households are often multi-generational its considered good taste to greet the eldest family members first and be polite to them at all times. When dining at someones home, its acceptable to be a little bit late. A small gift is polite, but should not be purple or black, the colors of mourning. Dominicans pride themselves on being good hosts, so their hospitality should be remarked upon and they should be thanked. Meals are often served family style and guests of honor will usually be served first. Its polite to leave a little bit of food on the plate to show one is full and has been offered plenty of food. Ecuador In Ecuador, handshakes are the most common greeting along with time-specific salutations like buenos dias or buenos noches. Honorifics like senor or senora are used and only close friends call each other by their first name. If invited to someones home, its not polite to show up on time or early; its considered polite to show up a little bit later than requested. Table manners are in the continental style; forks are not switched from hand to hand. One shouldnt eat until the host or hostess does and if a toast is offered to a guest, the guest should return the toast later on. If one doesnt want more beverages, one should leave a glass a little bit full. Mexico In Mexico, culture is very family oriented and centers around the males a concept called machismo. Being masculine is very important to them and anything that might call into question a males masculinity is considered an insult. Men making suggestive remarks to women based on their looks is quite common and not perceived as being as rude as it does in other cultures. If invited over for a meal, its polite to bring a small gift like wine or dessert. Gifts are opened immediately and if given a gift, thanks and effusive praise should be showered upon the person who gives it. Meals begin when the hostess starts and its customary for only men to give toasts. To show one has been properly fed, its important to leave some food on the plate at the end of the meal. Australia & New Zealand Australia In Australia, humility is a virtue and even successful or wealthy people downplay their accomplishments. Bragging and boasting are very distasteful there. For such a large land mass, populations can be quite small, so interpersonal relationships are very important there. Conflict is avoided at all costs and people are overtly polite to one another. If invited to a meal or barbie, its polite to bring beer or wine. In some cases, its polite to bring your own meat. Punctuality is expected and its appropriate to offer help setting up before the meal and cleaning up afterwards.

New Zealand In New Zealand, society is made up of the descendants of Europeans and the tribal groups that lived there before colonization, particularly the Maori. Both groups are gregarious and known to chat in a friendly manner with strangers. Society is rather egalitarian and there is no formal class structure, although in Maori culture, the oldest male is usually deferred to. Greetings are typically a handshake and a smile for non-Maoris. The Maori do have traditional protocols for greeting someone and sending him/her off. If invited to a meal, its polite to wait until the hosts seats the guest. Dining manners are relatively informal but continental in style; forks are not switched from one hand to another. Elbows should be kept off of the table and to indicate one is full, the knife and fork should be laid alongside one another on the plate.

Romania - The countryside is the heart and soul of Romania, where peasant culture remains a strong force and medieval life prevails, as it does nowhere else in Europe. A young American couple, researching ancient traditional villages in Europe for post-graduate studies, recently moved in with a host family in Northern Romania in order to document a culture unique in the world.
People are happy to meet foreign visitors, often inviting them into their homes for a meal and conversation. For a true introduction to Romania's traditional villages, consider a home stay. Rates range from $8 to $25 per person including two meals. Rooms are clean and comfortable but some do not have private baths. Most hosts do not speak English.

Customers do not buy service delivery, they buy experiences. They dont buy service quality, they buy memories. Tgey dont buy food and drink, they buy meal experiences. Todays tourist arelooking for experiences that are personal, memorable and add value to their lives. Hospitality requires the guests to feel that the host is being hospitable through feelings of generosity, a desire to please and a genuine regard for the guest as an individual. It is concerned with more than food, drink and shelter. Traditionally the most important responsibility of all was the guests safety-hospitality was a kind of sanctuary.

Number 10

Germans travel a lot themselves, so of course they're cordial to their nearly 20 million annual visitors. Tourists in Germany become connected to the country's warm and cultured atmosphere through numerous museums, classical opera houses and big-scale events like the Oktoberfest fair. One of the best ways to experience the personal side ofGermany is to pull up a chair with one of the many poet and philosopher types who are lurking in nearby cafs.

Germany is a large country with a fair amount of crime. It's on the high side among industrialized countries, with incidents of aggravated assault rising more than 30% in a seven-year period. Nevertheless, for American travelers, German's violent crime index is still lower than in the U.S., and most of its other crime rates are falling. If Germany maintains its friendliness and increases its safety, it will be that much more enjoyable.

Number 9

The Netherlands
Amsterdam receives 7 million international visitors every year. What's most appealing about Amsterdam out of all the friendly countries on this list is that this place loves to have fun. In the city on the water, one of the main hooks that brings people together is dance. Amsterdam has a host of discos and dance halls that bring out fancy footwork from tourists and locals alike. It's one of the reasons why the Amsterdam tourism board coined 2007 as the year of Amsterdam Feel the Rhythm.

Amsterdam is a friendly place for the younger guy who wants to let loose, and it's reasonably safe to visit. Violent crimes are low here, but pickpockets can be bothersome. They've been known to lurk at train stations to swipe from unsuspecting tourists. If you can deal with that and you're young enough to enjoy Amsterdam's friendly entertainment (and we don't mean the red-light district or do we?), this is the friendly spot for you.

Number 8

For the 16 million people who travel to Scotland every year, they have the pleasure of meeting a nation of well-educated locals who are rich with culture and know how to have fun. The chance to play golf at St. Andrews or some cricket in Edinburgh is also an opportunity to enjoy the company of the friendly people who live there. The festive Scottish spirit is also apparent in the regular arts and musical events, like the annual Highland Festival.

Though Scotland is ripe with culture and most of the locals welcome visitors, the ones who don't can lessen the experience. Scotland's violent-crime rates are higher than in the U.S., but most of these cases are confined to inner-city areas, which aren't exactly tourist havens. This setback doesn't take away from Scotland's friendly heart, but it's a concern that prevents us from giving it a higher ranking against the other friendly countries.

Number 7

With over $430 million of tourist dollars being funnelled into its economy each year, Fiji and its 300-plus tropical islands are dependent on visitors. It's no surprise then that the locals emphasize a culture that celebrates everyone, regardless of religion or country of origin. As a tourist, you can expect a welcome kava celebration from villagers and a sun-drenched stay at a beach hotel or with a village host family. Cultural events, like the Holi Festival of Colours in February and September's Sugar Festival, keep things lively.

Fiji is also a safe place to visit. Violent crimes (i.e. homicide, robbery) have dropped significantly, with rates that are less than half of what they are in the United States. Fiji might have been higher on our friendly countries list, but a military-led coup in 2007 brought with it a military government. Tourism's still going strong and the people are still friendly, but this conflict takes away from you having an otherwise harmonious experience.

Number 6

In addition to its existing population of 58 million, Italy attracts close to 40 million visitors annually. That number is high enough to put Italy in the top five of the most visited countries on the planet, which tells you something about Italian hospitality. If tourists are ready to embrace Italian culture, the Italians love to teach it and that's how their friendly nature shines brightly. You might be passing through Rome or staying in Florence, but most Italian cities offer workshops in everything from cooking to creating art. Hospitality is also visible in the comforts of an Italian bed & breakfast or a resort that dates back to the days of the Roman Republic.

For a large country, Italy is still safer than most industrialized nations. Pickpockets are known to annoy, but money belts can be used for protection. The biggest safety risk in Italy might be the sun. Heatstroke can be common, but should you feel ill, many folks in this friendly country will be there to help.

Number 5

The people of Switzerland are known for their hard work and honesty, but that's not why we've named this one of our favorite friendly countries. Their friendliness is visible in their organization and consideration for tourists, with carefully crafted hiking trails and neatly polished ski resorts. With four major languages (German, French, Italian, Rhaeto-Romanic), Switzerland's population is a multi-ethnic bunch that express themselves through literature, art exhibits and food. Some of the tourists who drop close to a collective $20 billion annually are more than happy to ski the scenic mountainside, while others might find something more social at one of the country's many youth hostels.

Safety in Switzerland is moderate when compared to developed countries. Though violent crime is committed at a rate that is about 50% less of what it is in the U.S., Switzerland has a higher incidence of burglaries. It sounds alarming, but statistically speaking, most people are safer exploring Switzerland than they are back at home.

Number 4

The Anholt Brand Index, which ranks countries based on culture, tourism and people, has regularly ranked Australia at, or near, the top of its World's Friendliest Country list. Five million annual visitors and more than $6 billion dollars spent shows us that the Aussies are doing something right to keep people coming back for more. It's not just the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the rugged Outback. The Australian government specifically seeks out visitors who want a true "experience" rather than a vacation. Part of that experience is to ingratiate visitors with the locals and make them feel welcome, and it definitely seems to be working.

Australia's crime rates aren't anything to be afraid of, except for car thefts, which are about double the rates of those in most developed countries. If you aren't renting a car, this won't be an issue. If you are, then the appropriate precautions will keep your car safe and allow you to enjoy the Perth Arts Festival or one of Australia's old ghost towns.

Number 3

Canada is one of our top three friendly countries after being coined the friendliest country of 2007 in the Anholt Brand Index. Canada receives over $60 billion annually from tourism, with visitors getting friendly vibes from stops in the French Canadian haven of Quebec City, the urban metropolis of Toronto and the culturally diverse Vancouver. Vancouver was chosen as Best Place to Live by The Economist, lending credence that friendly countries have friendly people who also enjoy living there.

Canadian crime is low, in part because of a tight stance on gun control. Just over 10% of the country's crimes are violent, and though homicides have risen, they remain well below their numbers of the 1970s. To put things in perspective, Canadian assaults are half the frequency of what they are in America, and Canada has a murder rate that is over 60% lower than that of its southern neighbor. We agree with Anholt that Canada is friendly, cultural and safe.

Number 2

New Zealand
New Zealand is unique for having a population close to 4 million and an average annual tourist turnout of nearly 2 million, which brings about $2 billion into its economy. The friendliness of New Zealand is evident in how people treat each other. A visit there would likely include stops at a hip nightclub, a casino or a national park, but it would also feature a communal summertime barbeque or a relaxing evening at a bar with people of all ages.

Call it foolishness or trust, but New Zealanders have a high degree of faith in their neighbors. They've been known to leave their doors unlocked and use less security in business settings than Westerners are used to (i.e. no glass between bank tellers and customers). More recently, authorities have encouraged more preventative measures against the occasional deviants, but most Kiwis will make your stay as friendly as can be.

Number 1

Ireland was chosen by Lonely Planet as the World's Friendliest Country. As Europe's fastest growing vacation choice and with annual visits from more than 6 million overseas tourists, who are we to disagree? Ireland's history is based on people working, prospering, socializing, and sometimes fighting together. Tourists can witness it firsthand by watching events like the Galway Arts Festival, complete with street performers, comedy acts and visual arts.

Based on the country's falling crime rates, the people of Ireland would rather cozy up at the pub than inflict pain on visitors. Most violent crimes occur at rate of 75% lower than the U.S., with the very scenic rural areas enjoying even less crime than that. In a place that has had its own share of tough times, the people have found comfort through socializing and welcoming newcomers. So stay safe by kicking back and enjoying a Guinness with a few Irish lasses.

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