It’s official. The UK is the fifth most tourism friendly country in the world. How do we know this? Because the World Economic Forum has just published this year’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index and we held on to our position from last year. Although we haven’t been able to dislodge Spain, France and Germany, which retain the top spots.
The Index Index ranks the “tourism friendliness” of 136 countries across 14 areas, including accessibility, affordability, infrastructure, security, sustainability, regulation and taxation. Not exactly exciting stuff but we guess they all help tourists decide where to go.
(And there was us thinking it was things like the weather, food and drink. But what would we know?)
The US tourism industry has probably sat up and taken notice of the new index as the US fell two places to sixth having been replaced by Japan which rose five places to fourth.
Japan’s leapfrogging abilities showed just how fast the Asian countries have come in exploiting their tourism potential. In fact, the Index found: “Asia’s largest economies show the greatest rise in tourism-friendliness.”
Almost all the leading Asian countries improved their ranking; Hong Kong was up two places to 11th, China up two to 15th, the Republic of Korea up 10 to 19th and India up 12 places to 40th.
India managed an even greater leap than Japan and we have no doubt that, by this time next year, it will have moved even further up the rankings.
The top ten rankings were completed by Australia (seventh), Italy (eighth), Canada (ninth) and Switzerland (tenth).