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The Passport Index has published its latest update today, showing that global mobility is rising, despite the eruption of conflict in Europe and growing tensions over borders. Though the world continues to feel the aftershocks of the pandemic, surprisingly, traveling has never been easier, with steady growth in passport power, a trend that is predicted to continue into 2023. Across these findings, what stands out, in particular, is that the passport of almost every single country around the world became more powerful this year.
|Country||Change in mobility score (2022)|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||+31|
Table 1: Top 10 changes in mobility score
|Country||Change in mobility score (2022)|
Table 2: Bottom 10 changes in mobility score
This may be surprising given the ongoing war in Ukraine in combination with systemic pressures on international supply chains. However, the latest data from the Passport Index indicates strong mobility growth. Whilst the removal of Covid-19 restrictions has certainly played a role, countries around the world have also been keen to reap the economic benefits offered by enabling easy movement around the world. Passport power around the world has increased by an average of 16 points this year, with just one country, Vanuatu, seeing its mobility score fall. This was due to the suspension of their visa waiver scheme with the European Union. The fact the power of their passport has fallen by just seven points despite this indicates strong growth elsewhere.
|Individual Passport Power Rank (2022)||Country||Mobility Score||Visa-Free Entry||Visa-On-Arrival||Visa Required||Percentage Visa-Free and Visa-On-Arrival|
|1||United Arab Emirates||180||121||59||18||91%|
Table 3: 10 most powerful passports (2022)
Not only are passports becoming more powerful, but countries are becoming increasingly open to visa-free arrivals. Prior to the pandemic, the average growth of the World Openness Score was 3.6% a year. After the impact of the pandemic, the score experienced a decline of 65%, falling from 21,360 to 12,944. Since then, growth has rebounded spectacularly, with an average growth rate of 18.8%. At the end of 2022, this score now stands at 21,695; the highest it's ever been.
The finding of general growth in global mobility does, however, obscure some of the winners and losers this year. The UK falls into this latter category: though it has seen its global mobility score rise again, its year-on-year gains have stagnated relative to other European states, such as France. This trend appears set to continue as the UK struggles to strike the visa agreements achieved by states within the EU. This is largely attributable to the consequences of leaving the common market.
Alongside the rise in passport power around the world, countries, in general, have become more welcoming, with a greater number of countries accepting more passports visa-free, with visa on arrival, or with electronic travel agreement. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Africa, where many countries, especially those in Central and West Africa, have continued to create a travel environment that is accessible to all, no matter the nationality on your passport. The Passport Index's Welcoming Countries Rank shows that 15 of the 23 most welcoming countries in the world are found in Africa, welcoming 198 countries out of 199.
Hrant Boghossian, Co-founder of the Passport Index, commented that "the rise in passport power that we have seen this year brings great cause for optimism. The world has surpassed the benchmark of 'openness' set prior to the pandemic, and there are strong indicators that this upward trend is here to stay. It is particularly encouraging to see such growth at a time of heightened geopolitical tension and economic turmoil, indicating that countries agree that a world with fewer borders has the potential to address some of the defining challenges of the 21st century."
Consultant, The Agency Partnership
Press Release Service by Newswire.com
Original Source: The Passport Index reveals that Despite Conflict in Europe and Global Border Anxieties, 99.5% of the World Experiences Growth in Global Mobility in 2022