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Here are the world's most powerful passports for 2021

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 08, 2021 6:56 am

Overseas leisure travel remains a pipe dream for now, but once things clear, fingers crossed, here is a ranking of the power of different passports, which offers a sneak peek into the evolving balance of power after the recovery from the pandemic.

Without taking temporary restrictions into account, Japan ranks at the top of the Henley Passport Index as it offers 191 visa-free destinations.

This is the third consecutive year that Japan held the top spot in the ranking, either alone or with Singapore.

Singapore came in second with 190 countries visa-free entry followed by Germany and South Korea at 189 destinations.

Henley & Partners noted in a release that the ascendance of Asia-Pacific countries in the list “is a relatively new phenomenon.”

The London-based firm said that for over the 16-year history of the index, which is based on data from the International Air Transport Association, it was either the US or the UK that took the top spots.

“Experts suggest that the APAC region’s position of strength will continue as it includes some of the first countries to begin the process of recovering from the pandemic,” the company said. “With the US and the UK still facing significant challenges related to the virus, and the passport strength of both countries continuing to steadily erode, the balance of power is shifting.”

The Philippines, by the way, was ranked 77th together with Cape Verde Islands and the Dominican Republic, with visa-free access to 66 destinations.