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The World Economic Forum’s First Ever Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report

Geneva, Switzerland, 1 March 2007 – Switzerland, Austria and Germany have the most attractive environments for developing the travel and tourism industry, according to the very first ranking of its kind in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007, released today by the World Economic Forum. Iceland, the United States, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom complete the top ten list.

"Our study is not a ‘beauty contest’, or a statement about the attractiveness of a country. On the contrary, we aim to measure the factors that make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism industry of individual countries. The top rankings of Switzerland, Austria and Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore 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 & tourism (T&T) sector," said Jennifer Blanke, Senior Economist of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Network.

This cross-country analysis of the drivers of competitiveness in travel and tourism provides useful comparative information for making business decisions and additional value to governments wishing to improve their travel and tourism environments.

The rankings are based on the first-ever Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) covering 124 countries around the world. The TTCI uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, international T&T institutions and T&T experts, as well as the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the Report. The Survey provides unique data on many qualitative institutional and business environment issues. Further, for the purposes of this study and this specific report, a number of new questions related to T&T competitiveness were added to the Survey on issues such as the quality of destination marketing and the government’s prioritization of the T&T industry. These questions provide entirely new data related to T&T competitiveness.

The TTCI measures the factors and policies that make it attractive to develop the T&T sector in different countries. It is composed of a number of "pillars" of travel and tourism competitiveness, of which there are 13 in all. These are:

1. Policy rules and regulations

2. Environmental regulation

3. Safety and security

4. Health and hygiene

5. Prioritization of travel and tourism

6. Air transport infrastructure

7. Ground transport infrastructure

8. Tourism infrastructure

9. Information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure

10. Price competitiveness

11. Human capital

12. National tourism perception

13. Natural and cultural resources

Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index

Country/economy

Rank

Score

Switzerland

1

5.66

Austria

2

5.54

Germany

3

5.48

Iceland

4

5.45

United States

5

5.43

Hong Kong SAR

6

5.33

Canada

7

5.31

Singapore

8

5.31

Luxembourg

9

5.31

United Kingdom

10

5.28

Denmark

11

5.27

France

12

5.23

Australia

13

5.21

New Zealand

14

5.2

Spain

15

5.18

Finland

16

5.16

Sweden

17

5.13

United Arab Emirates

18

5.09

Netherlands

19

5.08

Cyprus

20

5.07



Download the full Travel & Tourism Index Rankings and read the highlights here.

Click here to visualize the results in world maps.

"Showing the full economic impact of the sector in the Index will enhance travel & tourism’s relevance for policy-makers. The Index makes clear that, although industrialized states currently dominate, poorer countries have a massive potential to be the leading force in international tourism," said Geoffrey Lipman, Assistant Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

"The Index will encourage governments to understand the importance of travel & tourism and create an economic environment, which will help this economic activity to create entrepreneurs, jobs and careers. It will also stimulate the public and private sectors to play leading roles in the issues the world is facing in terms of environmental, social and cultural challenges," said Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

 

"The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007 is designed for any executive looking to grow in global markets – with a specific focus on emerging markets. Learnings from this report will allow industry to effectively and efficiently engage governments in creating blueprints for sustainable and viable travel & tourism industry development," said Thea Chiesa, Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism at the World Economic Forum.

"Adopting a balanced regulatory framework that attracts private investors, facilitates access for domestic and international travelers, and encourages competition in the market is a key factor of driving competitiveness in the travel and tourism industry," said Jurgen Ringbeck, Partner and Senior Vice-President of Booz Allen Hamilton. "These factors improve operational efficiency, services and price levels."

"The World Economic Forum has been actively engaged in studying issues related to national competitiveness for nearly three decades. Given the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the world economy, the objective of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007 is to explore the factors driving travel and tourism competitiveness worldwide. The World Economic Forum has engaged a number of industry and thought leaders, through its Industry Partnership Programme, with the goal of constructing a platform for multistakeholder dialogue to ensure the development of strong and sustainable national travel and tourism industries capable of contributing effectively to international economic development," noted Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The report also features a number of essays on key T&T issues, ranging from an analysis of how air transport connectivity boosts national productivity and economic growth to the role of electronic payments and destination marketing in driving T&T competitiveness. The last part of the report contains detailed country profiles for the 124 economies featured in the study, providing a comprehensive summary of the overall position in the Index rankings as well as a guide to what are considered to be the most prominent T&T competitive advantages and disadvantages of each. Also included is an extensive section of data tables including each indicator used in the Index’s computation.

The report was produced by the World Economic Forum in close collaboration with our Strategic Design Partner, Booz Allen Hamilton, and our Data Partners: the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). We have also received important feedback from a number of key companies that are industry partners in the effort, namely Bombardier, Carlson, Emirates Group, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Silversea Cruises, Swiss International Airlines, and Visa International. Several thought leaders from these companies and organizations have also contributed insightful papers addressing various aspects of travel & tourism competitiveness.

 

Notes to Editors

The World Economic Forum will present the findings of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report during a panel discussion at the ITB Convention in Berlin on Thursday 8 March 2007 from 13.30 – 15.00 in Hall 15.2.

Click here to see the highlights of the report and download the full Travel & Tourism Index Rankings.

Click here to read the Contents, the Executive Summary and the country profiles which you can also visualize in world maps.

Should you require more specific information, please contact tourism@weforum.org.

For more information you can watch video interviews with the authors of the Report on our website at www.weforum.org/tourism.

For contact details of any of our Partner Institutes go to http://www.weforum.org/PartnerInstitutes

Feel free to download print-quality high resolution photographs of the cover and the authors of the Report at www.pbase.com/forumweb/tourism.

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