Cecilia Garland - May 11, 2015
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The World Economic Forum has released the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report for the year 2015, which lists the most competitive tourism destinations in the world. The report ranks the tourism competitiveness of 141 different countries across the globe.

Various factors such as health standards, cleanliness, cultural resources and affordability were used, which determined the ability of a country to offer social and economic benefits in its tourism sector.

Europe and North America were among the best performers, with several countries in these regions making it to the top. Europe has six countries in the top 10 list. According to the report, this can be attributed to the excellent tourism infrastructure, high hygienic and health standards, and a higher level of cultural acceptance and international integration.

Spain is the most competitive travel destination in the world according to WEF, mainly due to its abundant cultural resources, excellent infrastructure for the tourism sector, adaptability to new consumption habits and increased support for online entertainment spots search. It is followed by Germany and France. Other European countries in the top 10 include the United Kingdom at position 5, Switzerland in 6, Australia 7, and Italy 8. The United States, Japan and Canada complete the top 10 list at position 5, 9 and 10 respectively.

Most Competitive Countries

1. Spain
2. France
3. Germany
4. The United States
5. The United Kingdom
6. Switzerland
7. Australia
8. Italy
9. Japan
10. Canada

When it comes to the emerging tourism markets, China ranked 17th globally, with Brazil at 28th. Other emerging tourism economies that performed admirably include India and South Africa, which ranked 45th an 48th respectively.

Region-wise, Brazil topped the list in South America, South Africa in Sub-Saharan Africa, Singapore in South East Asia (11th), and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East at Position 24.

Overall, the tourism market, which currently contributes about 10% of the GDP globally, has grown at an average rate of 3.4% annually over the past four years. This is a favorable rate, when compared to the global economy, which has only grown at 2.3% annually. The growth rate for the sector is expected to increase in the coming five years, with the World Travel and Tourism Council predicting this number to go as high as 5.2%.

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