Singapore's Passport Tops the 2023 Henley Passport Index - Travel News
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Singapore Passport
20 Jul

Singapore’s Passport Tops the 2023 Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index for 2023 has recently been released by Henley & Partners, ranking the world’s passports based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa. Notably, Singapore’s passport has claimed the top spot, surpassing Japan, which had held the rank for the past five years. Singapore’s passport holders enjoy visa-free access to an impressive 192 out of 227 destinations worldwide. Meanwhile, Japan now shares the third position with Germany, Italy, and Spain, granting visa-free access to 190 destinations.

India Ranks 80th, jumps 5 place above

Trailing closely behind, Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Sweden share the third spot, with their passport holders enjoying visa-free access to 189 destinations. On the other end of the spectrum, India’s passport has shown improvement, climbing five spots to rank 80th this year.

Singapore's Passport Tops the 2023 Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index compares 199 different passports and their visa-free access to 227 travel destinations globally. Unsurprisingly, Afghanistan retains its position at the bottom of the index, with a visa-free access score of just 27. Iraq and Syria also rank among the weakest passports in the world, with scores of 29 and 30, respectively.

Interestingly, the United Kingdom has seen a positive turn of events, breaking a six-year decline to claim the 4th position, which it last held in 2017. On the contrary, the United States continues its decade-long descent on the index, now ranking 8th with access to only 184 destinations without a visa. A decade ago, both the UK and the US jointly held the 1st position on the index but have since experienced a downward trajectory.

This week, the UN High-Level Forum is set to focus on the role of the tourism sector in accelerating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN headquarters. The forum is of particular significance for India’s Ministry of Tourism, as it will involve discussions on the Goa Roadmap for Tourism. Notable participants include ministers and leaders from the public and private sectors, with India’s Union Tourism Minister GK Reddy among them.

Dr. Christian H Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners and inventor of the passport index concept, commented on the rankings. He highlighted that only eight countries worldwide have less visa-free access today than they did a decade ago, while others have successfully secured greater travel freedom for their citizens. Dr. Kaelin pointed out the impressive progress of the United Arab Emirates, which has added 107 destinations to its visa-free score since 2013, resulting in a remarkable leap of 44 places in the ranking. Colombia also made notable strides, climbing 28 places to sit at 37th position.

Furthermore, the index identifies the “most open” countries, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to all 198 passports globally (excluding their own). These countries include Burundi, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Micronesia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, Timor-Leste, and Tuvalu.

However, India ranks lower in the Henley Openness Index, with visa-free access to fewer than five other nationalities, indicating room for improvement in this aspect.