The pandemic has certainly brought in some drastic changes in how we travel, and those changes may remain in place for years to come.
Even though multiple travel plans were shelved in the year 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Henley Passport Index has released its list of top-ranking passports.
Making it to the top of the list is Japan that has been declared the world’s friendliest passport for travelling. Japan has acquired the top position for offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 191 destinations around the world.
Japan is followed by Singapore with a score of 190.
The third place is shared by South Korea and Germany since both have a score of 189 on the index.
Countries from Asia Pacific have maintained their dominance in the recently released ranking as they have been quite successful in curbing the spread of coronavirus. In its press release, Henley Passport Index said that the latest ranking marks the third consecutive year that Japan has held the top spot, either alone or jointly with Singapore.
Meanwhile, Indian passport is ranked at 85th spot in the 2021 index, with 58 destinations who have visa-free access to the country.
Henley & Partners is a leading residence and citizenship advisory firm. Henley chairman Dr Christian H Kaelin said the latest passport rankings gives an opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary circumstances that characterized the year 2020.
The Swiss lawyer said that it was just a year ago when all indications suggested that the rates of global mobility would continue to rise, and travel freedom would increase. It was also predicted that holders of powerful passports would enjoy more access than ever before.
However, Dr Kaelin said that the global lockdown that was necessitated by the Covid-19 outbreak completely nullified these projections. As the travel restrictions began to relax gradually around the world, results from the latest index are a reminder of what passport power really means in a world upended by the pandemic.
Explaining how it decides on the ranking of various countries, the Henley Passport Index said that it is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information. This data is enhanced by research conducted by the citizenhip advisory company.
The Henley Passport Index is one of the original rankings of all the world’s passports which is created according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.