NZ ranked second, Aussie 27th

Last updated 12:18 07/04/2013

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Kiwis really are friendly according to overseas visitors with New Zealand ranked second in a new study.

However, Australia placed only 27th on a list ranking countries' friendliness towards overseas visitors.

In the list of 140 countries ranked by the World Economic Forum, Australia was beaten by countries such as Yemen, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Despite its cold weather, visitors to Iceland will not receive a chilly reception - the country was named the world's friendliest, followed by New Zealand and Morocco.

Australia's low ranking could be blamed on a spate of violence against Indians in Melbourne in 2009 and recent cases of racist taunts on public transport in Sydney and Melbourne.

The least friendly countries were, in descending order, Latvia, Kuwait, Russia, Venezuela and Bolivia coming in last.

The countries were rated by the WEF on a score of one to seven, measuring the extent to which a country and society were open to tourism and foreign visitors.

Top-ranked Iceland scored 6.8, while Australia scored 6.5 and bottom-of-the-list Bolivia 4.1.

TOP 10 FRIENDLY COUNTRIES

1. Iceland
2. New Zealand
3. Morocco
4. Macedonia
5. Austria
6. Senegal
7. Portugal
8. Bosnia & Herzegovina
9. Ireland
10. Burkina Faso

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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