Journal of Economics and Finance

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 817–828 | Cite as

Do travel visa requirements impede tourist travel?

  • Robert A. LawsonEmail author
  • Saurav Roychoudhury


Yes. Using a travel visa data set developed by Lawson and Lemke (2012) and travel flow data from the World Bank and the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), we investigate the deterrent effect of travel visa requirements on travel flows. At the aggregate level, a one standard deviation more severe travel visa regime, as measured, is associated with a 30 % decrease in inbound travel. At the bilateral level, having a travel visa requirement on a particular country is associated with a 70 % reduction in inbound travel from that country. The gains associated with eliminating travel visas appear to be very large.


Travel visas Tourism Travel Globalization Economic freedom 

JEL Classification

F22 F52 F68 L83 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, Cox School of BusinessSouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  2. 2.School of Management and LeadershipCapital UniversityColumbusUSA

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