In 1988 in recognition of the Summer Olympics in the Republic of Korea, known as South Korea, started issuing passports to their citizens and at the same time opened the floodgate for a new tourist outbound market and Korean visitors were seen in more and more countries around the world.

The ongoing PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games is the time South Korean citizenship and the South Korean passport is the most recognized and accepted passport in the world, when it comes to visa free travel.

Ranking with an impressive visa-free score of 162, South Korea joins Singapore at the top of The Passport Index ranking for the first time, ever.

Used by governments from around the world to monitor and increase the power of their passports, The Passport Index is the most recognized and trusted service with over 12 million users and counting.

Although European countries historically dominated the charts, with Germany at the top, 2017 saw the rise of Asia. In late 2017 Singapore took the lead as the first Asian country ever to top the world’s most powerful passports. By December 2017, Germany caught up but it wasn’t for too long.

“We are currently seeing not one but two Asian countries with the most powerful passports in the world,” shared Armand Artonfounder and president of Arton Capital. “This is a testament to the increased global respect and trust Asian countries are commanding,” added Arton.

Recent changes were mainly driven by Uzbekistan granting visa-free access to South Korea and Singapore, as well as recent adjustments to visa policies in Somalia. With South Korea’s visa-free score of 162, South Korean passport holders have access to many European, North American and Asian countries, including The United States of America, Canada, Russia.

Japan quietly moved up to number two place in the Global Passport Power ranking with a visa-free score of 161. Although tied with Germany, Japan has fewer visa-free waivers than Germany which puts it fourth in the Individual Passport Power Ranking. The Passport Index gives equal scores to both visa-free and visa on arrival conditions that add up to make the country’s visa-free score.

Thanks to The Passport Index’ first-ever and unique real-time ranking, we are able to witness the volatility of the passport power trends,” shared Arton. Daily changes affect the positions of most passports but it is important to note that overall the world is opening up. According to Arton, “People don’t like imaginary borders that set boundaries to their opportunities in life.” “Having multiple passports has become the new norm and people who haven’t invested in this privilege feel anxious and left out,” added Arton.

The World Openness Score as measured by The Passport Index has never been higher and has passed the 19,000 mark for the first time. The World Openness Score monitors how frictionless global travel is and since its inception in 2014, it has gained over 1,000 points.

Between South Korea’s charming countryside dotted with cherry trees, century-old Buddhist temples, iconic sub-tropical islands, and ambitiously diverse cities such as Seoul, it is its moment to boost its 5000+ years of history and culture for the world to admire.

“Passion. Connected.” is the official slogan for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics hosted in South Korea. “The new slogan embodies our vision to expand winter sports participation to a truly global audience and encourage people to create and share their once-in-a-lifetime experiences at PyeongChang,” said PyeongChang Organizing Committee President, Yang-ho Cho