[Solved] TSQL efficiency - INNER JOIN replaced by EXISTS

How to optimize this SQL query?

In case you have your own slow SQL query, you can optimize it automatically here.

For the query above, the following recommendations will be helpful as part of the SQL tuning process.
You'll find 3 sections below:

  1. Description of the steps you can take to speed up the query.
  2. The optimal indexes for this query, which you can copy and create in your database.
  3. An automatically re-written query you can copy and execute in your database.
The optimization process and recommendations:
  1. Create Optimal Indexes (modified query below): The recommended indexes are an integral part of this optimization effort and should be created before testing the execution duration of the optimized query.
Optimal indexes for this query:
ALTER TABLE `Cities` ADD INDEX `cities_idx_cityid` (`CityID`);
ALTER TABLE `Countries` ADD INDEX `countries_idx_countryid` (`CountryID`);
ALTER TABLE `Listings` ADD INDEX `listings_idx_isactive_isapproved` (`IsActive`,`IsApproved`);
ALTER TABLE `provinces` ADD INDEX `provinces_idx_provinceid` (`ProvinceID`);
The optimized query:
        DISTINCT p.ProvinceID,
        p.Abbv AS RegionCode,
        p.name AS RegionName,
        cn.Code AS CountryCode,
        cn.Name AS CountryName 
        dbo.provinces AS p 
        dbo.Countries AS cn 
            ON p.CountryID = cn.CountryID 
        dbo.Cities c 
            ON c.ProvinceID = p.ProvinceID 
        dbo.Listings AS l 
            ON l.CityID = c.CityID 
        l.IsActive = 1 
        AND l.IsApproved = 1

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* original question posted on StackOverflow here.