China rises to 15th in global tourism competitiveness ranking

Apr 08, 2017, 07:23
China rises to 15th in global tourism competitiveness ranking

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has placed Malaysia in the 26th spot in its Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, the bi-annual benchmarking index measuring the relative health of 136 countries' tourism sectors.

Traditionally strong travel and tourism destinations, including Japan (4th), the United Kingdom (5th), the United States (6th), Australia (7th), Italy (8th), Canada (9th) and Switzerland (10th), have also made it to the top 10.

"To further enhance its competitiveness, the government could further prioritise the travel and tourism industry, and invest in the development of its cultural resources and business travel, while addressing environmental sustainability and preserving its attractive natural environment", it said.

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China had the highest score on cultural resources and business travel and ranked fifth on natural resources. The global travel and tourism sector accounts for 10% of global GDP, grows faster than other sectors and provides one in 10 jobs.

"India continues to enrich its cultural resources, protecting more cultural sites and intangible expressions through UNESCO World Heritage lists, and via a greater digital presence", WEF said in its Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017.

Sharma noted that Japan improved by five positions as compared to its last ranking and China gained two ranks, while the USA fell by two positions and Switzerland by four. Except Japan, Hong Kong (11th), China, Korea (19th) and Malaysia (26th) also made it to the top 30, while India made the largest leap in the top 50, up 12 places, to land in 40th place.

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While advanced economies still hold the top spots in the ranking, 12 of the top 15 most improved countries are emerging markets, with Asia's as exponents. "The index takes into consideration various tourism parameters like infrastructure and safety", Sharma said.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: "I am really pleased to see that Ireland has moved up to third position in the world for tourism marketing and branding, out of 136 countries". "The capacity of countries to respond to and embrace these structural shifts will determine the future success of destinations".

WEF's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index is composed of 14 pillars.

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