Spain Tops Global Rankings for Travel and Tourism

by Ray Clancy on May 11, 2015

Expats have often visited the country where they end up living and working so it is no surprise that Spain and France top the globe in terms of being the best for visitors.

Spain comes first in the 2015 rankings from the World Economic Forum (WEF) followed by France, Germany, the United States and the UK.

aspain-thumbnailThe report ranks 141 countries according to 14 different issues and rank them according to how well they conduct their travel and tourism sectors.

It is the first time that Spain has topped the biannual rankings report and did so because of its cultural resources, infrastructure and adaptation to digital consumption habits.

The report points out that new middle classes from countries like China, senior travellers from the West and the millennial generation are increasingly shaping the travel and tourism industry.

Emerging markets such as Brazil, China, Mexico, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates appear in the top 30, indicating the opportunities for countries from around the world to reap economic and societal benefits from tourism

China ranks 17th, Brazil 28th and 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 at 11th came up top in South East Asia, and the United Arab Emirates at 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,’ he added.

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 report also warns that security and safety are becoming more of an issue. An example is France which ranks high in cultural (second) and natural (eighth) resources, but has been let down by its safety and security.

There have been concerns about the impact of the Paris terror attacks on the tourism trade as well as the ongoing high terror threat level which has resulted in armed soldiers at the city’s most popular sites such as the Eiffel Tower.

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