MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines slid five notches lower in the 2009 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) yesterday.
The Philippines, which ranked 81st in last year’s T&T competitiveness report, dropped to 86th this year.
The Philippines was overtaken by Syria which soared from last year’s ranking of 94 to this year’s 85. Its Asian neighbors likewise surpassed the Philippines in tourism competitiveness, with Singapore at 10th spot, Hong Kong 12th, Malaysia 32nd, Taiwan 43rd, Sri Lanka 78th, and Indonesia 81st.
This year’s report, titled “Managing in a Time of Turbulence,” reflects the many difficulties the industry currently faces which must be overcome to ensure strong sectoral growth in the future, the WEF said.
Switzerland, Austria and Germany have the most attractive environments for developing the travel and tourism industry, the report also said.
France, Canada, Spain, Sweden, the United States, Australia and Singapore complete the top ten.
“Our study aims to measure the factors that make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism industry of individual countries. The top rankings of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France and Canada demonstrate the importance of supportive business and regulatory frameworks, coupled with world-class transport and tourism infrastructure, and a focus on nurturing human and natural resources for fostering an environment that is attractive for developing the travel and tourism sector,” Jennifer Blanke, senior economist of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Network, said of the report.
The rankings are based on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) covering 133 countries around the world.
The TTCI uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, international travel and tourism institutions and experts, as well as the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the WEF, together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the report.
“This Index will help governments and the industry identify areas where support in the sector can show big gains in the response to both the recession and climate change. Tourism competitiveness is a major element to be included in economic stimulation packages and the Green New Deal. Tourism is one of the largest employers in most countries,” said Geoffrey Lipman, assistant secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization.
According to the WEF, the T&T sector remains a critical economic sector worldwide and one that provides significant potential for economic growth and development internationally.
“The economic downturn forces a new view on a country’s T&T policy by the local government and the industry to preserve the competitiveness of its destination. Competition between destinations will heat up, as many customers will manage their travel budget more tightly for some time,” it said. – Philippine Star