Spain Tops League of Most Tourist-Friendly Countries

Published
06 May 2015
2015
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Oliver Cann, Director, Media Relations, Tel.: +41 79 799 3405; Email: Oliver.Cann@weforum.org

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  • Spain heads the World Economic Forum’s global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) ranking for the first time ever, thanks to its cultural resources, infrastructure and adaptation to digital consumption habits
  • New middle classes from countries like China, senior travellers from the West and the millennial generation are increasingly shaping travel and tourism industry
  • Emerging markets such as Brazil, China, Mexico, Singapore and the UAE appear in the top 30, indicating the opportunities for countries from around the world to reap economic and societal benefits from tourism
  • Download the full report, highlights, summary, profiles and rankings here

Geneva, Switzerland, 6 May 2015 – Spain leads the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. It is the first time the country has ranked top of the biennial report – published today under the theme Growing through Shocks – and is a positive sign for the country’s nascent recovery.

Global Top 10

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report ranks 141 countries across 14 separate dimensions, revealing how well countries could deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits through their travel and tourism sector. Spain’s leadership position is helped by a world class ranking in cultural resources (1st globally), its ability to support online searches for entertainment (4th) – a measure of how well the country has adapted to consumption habits brought on by the digital revolution – as well as excellent infrastructure (4th).

Traditional strong travel and tourism destinations such as France, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan and Canada complete the top 10. Of the large emerging markets, China (17th) and Brazil (28th) made it into the top 30, whereas Russia, South Africa and India ranked 45th, 48th and 52nd, respectively. While this made Brazil and South Africa the best placed in their region, Singapore (11th) came up top in South-East Asia, and the United Arab Emirates (24th) was the highest placed nation in the Middle East and North Africa.

“The diversity in the top 30 shows that a country does not have to be wealthy to have a flourishing tourism sector,” said Roberto Crotti, Economist at the World Economic Forum. “But many countries should still do more to tackle travel and tourism challenges, including visa policies, better promotion of cultural heritage, environmental protection and ICT readiness. This in turn would drive economic growth and the creation of jobs.”

The report also identifies areas where tourism-oriented economies could do better in adapting to changing global trends as well as growing market segments. These include a growing number of middle class travellers from emerging and developing countries, senior consumers and millennials. It also finds a need for travel-reliant economies to adapt faster to online services and marketing, as mobile internet continues to define the way travellers select, plan and review their trips.

The global travel and tourism sector, which already accounts for almost one-tenth of global GDP, grew at an average of 3.4% per year over the past four. This compares favourably with the global economy, which grew at only 2.3% per year, indicating the sector’s resilience to economic shocks. In the coming five years, growth in the sector could accelerate to 5.2% per year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

The report contains detailed country profiles for the 141 economies featured in the study, including a comprehensive summary of their overall positions in the index and a guide to the most prominent travel and tourism competitive advantages and disadvantages of each. Also included is an extensive section of data tables that cover each indicator used in the index’s computation.

The World Economic Forum produced the report in collaboration with Strategy& and data partners Bloom consulting, Deloitte, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the UNWTO and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Notes to Editors

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Author: Media Team
All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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