Sunday, March 10, 2013

Philippines Up by 12 in tourism competitiveness index rankings

The Philippines climbed by 12 and  now ranked 82 in tourism competitiveness index rankings according to a report released Thursday by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Switzerland was ranked first in terms of the travel and tourism industry competitiveness, followed by Germany, Austria, Spain and Britain.

The Philippines is the most improved country in the region, ranking 16th regionally and 82nd overall, up
12 places since the last edition. Among the country’s comparative strengths are its natural resources (44th), its price competitiveness (24th), and a very strong—and improving—prioritization of the Travel & Tourism industry (this indicator ranks 15th, as government spending on the sector as a percentage of GDP is now 1st in the world, and tourism marketing and branding campaigns are seen to be increasingly effective).

In addition, the country has been ensuring that several aspects of its policy rules and regulations regime are conducive to the development of the T&T sector. Among these are better protection of property rights, more openness toward foreign investments, and few visa requirements for foreign visitors (ranked 7th). However, other areas—such as the difficulty of starting a business in the country, in both cost and length of the process (ranked 94th and 117th, respectively)—remain a challenge. Moreover, safety and security concerns (ranked 103rd); inadequate health and hygiene (94th); and underdeveloped ground transport, tourism, and ICT infrastructure are all holding back the potential of the economy’s T&T competitiveness.

Tourism competitiveness is an important economic indicator. It is a major element in economic stimulation packages. Tourism is among the largest employers in most countries and also a fast-lane vehicle into the workforce for young people and women. Encouraging travel boosts consumer and business confidence, it strengthens two-way trade and promotes export income.


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