Will 2022 be like 2021 for travelers? With the Omicron wave sweeping across part of the world, especially in Europe, the tourism industry is still plagued with doubts. And for the English consultancy firm Henley & Partners, which is already unveiling the most powerful passports for the coming months, the countries of the North and the South are not in the same boat. In this ranking relayed by , based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Henley & Partners does not take into account the temporary restrictions seen today in some countries. On the other hand, he notes that the obstacles due to Covid-19 have increased.

In this little game, and as for 2011 – there are also very few notable changes – it is with Japanese and Singaporean passports that we can travel to the most countries (192). The two states are still ahead of Germany and South Korea (190), Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain (189). But now in fourth place, unlike 2011, four passports allow travel to 188 countries: Austria and Denmark still, but now France, the Netherlands and Sweden (+1). Ireland and Portugal follow (187 destinations), followed by Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (186). These last two also gain a rank.

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Afghanistan always last

As last year, it is the European passports which turn out to be the most powerful in general, even if two Asians are in first place in the ranking established by Henley & Partners. In addition, this report highlights with the emergence of the Omicron variant a growing gap between rich and poor countries. The restrictions announced towards certain countries, in particular African ones, were moreover denounced by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, underlines. He called them “travel apartheid”.

However, according to the consulting firm, the freedom to travel has increased significantly in recent years. In 2006, for example, it was possible to travel to 57 countries without needing a visa; now this figure has practically doubled (107). But this mainly affects countries in Europe or Asia. In Africa, nations like Angola, Cameroon or Laos only allow their citizens to go to around 50 countries. At the back of the pack, the ranking remains unchanged. Afghanistan is credited with the least powerful passport (26 destinations). This is hardly less than Iraq (28), Syria (29), Pakistan (31) or Yemen (33). In North Korea, you can only travel to 39 countries.

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