The global travel and tourism sector, which accounts for almost one-tenth of global GDP, grew at an average of 3.4 percent annually; the global economy grew at only 2.3
An unprecedented 332,000 passengers will travel this summer on international flights, according to a travel forecast from Airlines for America, the industry’s trade organization. If you plan to be among them, but haven’t picked your destination, you might consider Spain, which, for the first, time, has been named the world’s most tourism-friendly country in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index.
The biennial report ranks 141 countries according to factors and policies that “deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits through their travel and tourism sector.”
Spain, which attracts approximately 60.6 million annual visits from international tourists, owes its No. 1 ranking to its “world class ranking in cultural resources (ranked 1st globally), its ability to support online searches for entertainment (4th) as well as excellent infrastructure (4th),” the World Economic Forum said in a statement.
The TTCI’s top 10 most tourist-friendly countries are:
- The United States
- United Kingdom
The global travel and tourism sector, which already accounts for almost one-tenth of global GDP, grew at an average of 3.4 percent annually over the past four, the World Economic Forum reports. This compares favorably with the global economy, which grew at only 2.3 percent per year. The World Travel & Tourism Council forecasts growth in this sector to grow to 5.2 percent per year in the coming five years.
Other highlights from the report:
- Europe dominates the TTCI with six economies in the top 10
- The top five performers in the Asia-Pacific region are among the area’s more advanced
economies: Australia, Japan, Singapore (11th), Hong Kong (13th) and New Zealand (16th). But price-competitiveness and the rapid expansion of its middle class has driven significant growth in international tourism in South-East Asia
- The United States ranks No. 1 in the Americas, followed by Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Panama.
- For safety, Finland is tops, followed by: Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iceland, Australia, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Oman, and Portugal.
The United States ranks 73rd.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.