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Ranked: African countries that are the most welcoming to tourists

Africa’s people are often cited as being one of the best things about the continent. In fact, I would say that at least 80% of Western expats and local business leaders interviewed by How we made it in Africa say that the best thing about the African country in which they operate is the people, along with its geographical beauty of course.

Morocco has been ranked as the African country whose population has the best attitude towards foreign tourists.

Morocco has been ranked as the African country whose population has the best attitude towards foreign tourists.

The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 ranked 140 countries according to the attractiveness and competitiveness of their travel and tourism industries, and this year 35 African countries were included in the report. One of the indicators used to determine these rankings looked at how welcome tourists feel in each country.

Under the category ‘Attitude of population toward foreign visitors’, 140 nations across the world were rated according to how friendly local people are towards tourists. Three African countries made the top 10 list. In addition, the majority of the African countries made the top half of the global rankings in this category.

Morocco is the country in Africa that is considered to be the friendliest to its tourists, followed by Senegal and then Burkina Faso. Below is a list of the African countries that made the top 50 in the global rankings.

Top friendliest/welcoming African nations for tourists
Africa RankingCountryWorld Ranking
3Burkina Faso10
9Sierra Leone39
11South Africa42
12The Gambia44

Kenya is next in 51st place out of 140 countries, with Cameroon (54th), Côte d’Ivoire (58th) and Egypt (61st) closely behind.

The world’s most friendly nation to tourists, according to this report, is Iceland.

However, not all African countries fared well in this category. Of the 35 African countries surveyed, Chad (124th) features in the last position.

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  • Have only been to Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Ghana and South Africa. We found Ghana the friendliest of all but I guess it depends on your experience.

  • Senegal welcoming??? They can’t have gone to Dakar, I’ve been to nearly 20 African countries and never found so many rude, threatening and obnoxious people as there. Can only assume they only went to Cassemance which was a delight.

  • Angela

    This list must have been generated by someone French…. How do Senegal and Burkina Faso beat Kenya in tourism…. they dont even speak English…. come on! South Africa….at the bottom of Mali really….where they also drunk while writing it?

      • Stan

        Senegal don’t welcome people, i believe Kenya and Ethiopia do welcome and these are a very good tourist country in Africa

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