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World’s Most Powerful Passports: Greece Ranks 8th

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Greece lost one place on the Henley Passport Index, released during the summer, but still has one of the strongest passports in the world ranking eighth, offering its holders visa-free access to 185 countries.

The Greek passport held the same position on the Henley Index in April 2021, January 2021 as well as in the beginning of 2020.

Japan holds the number one spot on the index with a record-high visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 193, while Singapore and South Korea come in joint-second place, with a score of 192.

EU member states dominate the rest of the top ten spots on the latest ranking, with Germany and Spain in joint-third place, with access to 190 destinations visa-free. Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg follow closely behind in fourth place with 189 destinations, and Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden share fifth place with their passport holders able to travel to 188 destinations worldwide without a visa.

Both the UK and US have dropped down a rank, to sixth and seventh place, respectively, while Greece shares eighth place with Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic and Malta.

Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with its nationals only able to access 27 destinations worldwide visa-free.

Most powerful passports have the least travel freedom

In its recent research for the Passport Index, Henly indicates that passport holders with the greatest global access are currently the most restricted and reluctant to enjoy their travel freedom.

Despite the unmatched and unprecedented worldwide access afforded to the citizens of Japan, Singapore and South Korea over the index’s 17-year history, international passenger demand in the Asia-Pacific region has only reached 17 percent of pre-Covid levels, according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) latest statistics, having hovered below 10 percent for most of the past two years.

This figure is far behind the global trend where markets in Europe and North America have recovered to around 60 percent of pre-crisis travel mobility levels.

Commenting on the Henley Global Mobility Report 2022 Q3, Marie Owens Thomsen, chief economist at IATA, said passenger numbers should reach 83 percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

“By next year, many markets should see traffic reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels, while we expect this to be the case for the industry as a whole in 2024,” she said.

Russia increasingly isolated

Meanwhile, Russian passport holders are more cut off from the rest of the world than ever before, as sanctions, travel bans, and airspace closures limit Russian citizens from accessing all but a few destinations in Asia and the Middle East.

The Russian passport currently sits at 50th place on the index, with a visa-free or visa-free on arrival score of 119.

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