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IRELAND REMAINS among the friendliest and most welcoming countries in the world for foreign visitors, according to major new global research.
A study by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has found that Ireland ranks 9th on a global list of the attitude of its native population to visitors.
On a scale of 1 to 7, where 7 is ‘very welcome’, a survey commissioned by the WEF found that the average Irish response was 6.6.
Though most countries offered an average response of 6.0 or higher, Ireland’s relatively high proportion of high responses means it is behind only eight other countries – and only four other European nations – in the warmth of its welcome.
Iceland was the most welcoming country, with an average response of 6.8, marginally ahead of New Zealand.
Bolivia ranked at the bottom, with a score of only 4.1, with Venezuela scoring 4.5 and Russia coming third-from-last at 5.0.
Aggregating scores across a wide variety of factors – including the strength of the cultural sphere, transport links, accommodation and accessibility – Ireland ranks 19th in the world, with a total average score of 5.01 out of 7.
While Ireland performs highly in terms of the education of its public, and its tourism infrastructure, its score falls back on cultural resources, price competitiveness and natural resources – though the later score is based on inflexible scores like the number of total known unique species and biome protection.
Switzerland tops the poll, with a score of 5.66, ahead of Germany and Austria on 5.39, and Spain and the UK on 5.38.
A WORLDWIDE REPORT has revealed that Ireland is close to the top of the list worldwide in terms of its availability of sporting stadiums.
Figures commissioned by the World Economic Forum show that in terms of total seating capacity and population, Ireland has the second-highest number of sports stadiums in the world.
Adding up the total capacity of stadiums in Ireland means there are 243,077 seats for every one million people living in Ireland.
Only Iceland, which has a population 14 times smaller than Ireland’s, has a higher proportion of seats per person.
The WEF report cites the high proportion of seats-to-people as reflecting a strong sporting and cultural sphere, which is seen as a basis for attracting sporting tourism.
The figures were compiled by Booz & Company, based on figures from WorldStadiums.com – which doesn’t include any capacity from the hundreds of smaller pitches at GAA, soccer and rugby clubs around the country.