SINGAPORE, 6 September 2019: Spain, France and Germany are the top three travel powers according to the 2019 World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism Competitive Report released last week.
But five Asian destinations are making their mark in the report that is released every two years. Japan remained in fourth place in the top 20, followed by China (13), Hong Kong (14), South Korea (16) and Singapore (17)
At a glance, there are not many changes in the tourism powerhouse listing other than the UK slipping one place from fifth to sixth and the USA rising one place to the fifth spot.
Of the Asian tourism giants, Singapore slipped four places to 18th and Hong Kong down three places to 14th. China rose through the ranking by two places to 13th.
The report published biennially measures the competitiveness of 140 nations in the context of travel and tourism. The benchmarks are a country’s delivery of natural and cultural resources to the tourism platform coupled with adequate infrastructure. It also measures a country’s travel competitiveness, business environment, safety and security, sustainability and even the degree of international openness.
WEF recognises that tourism is on the rise and estimates it contributed USD8.8 trillion to the global economy in 2018, around 10% of GDP. Its report identifies the countries that are gaining the most benefits.
After Europe, the Asia-Pacific region is the second most competitive region with Japan, China and South Korea powering regional tourism growth. The region scores high marks for its natural and cultural resources and impressive air transport infrastructure.
India in 34th place improved its standing by six places representing one of the strongest moves up the ranks. Thailand in 31st place gained three places, while Malaysia (29) dropped three places. Indonesia ranked 40th improved two spots.
The report identifies the travel & tourism performance rankings of 22 nations in the Asia-Pacific region. On that sub-list, Japan is top followed by Australia in second place, China (3) and Hong Kong (4) South Korea (5), Singapore (6), New Zealand (7) and Malaysia (8).
Thailand ranked ninth on the Asia Pacific list ahead of India in 10th place.
Vietnam placed 63 on the global list was 13th on the Asia-Pacific sub-list. It improved four places on the global ranking, which meets the country’s tourism objective that identifies the need to improve its ranking in future WEF reports. If it can reach the top 10 listed destinations in Asia-Pacific over the next two reports (2021 and 2023), it will join Thailand and Malaysia and Singapore, the three travel and tourism powerhouses of ASEAN.