BD up in world travel, tourism index


Within a span of two years, Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in the world travel and tourism sector. During the period, the country has achieved the highest score in the security and safety sector. Bangladesh has moved up 10 places to rank 125 on the world travel and tourism (T&T) competitiveness index, driven by rich natural and cultural resources and strong price competitiveness, a World Economic Forum (WEF) report said on Wednesday.

The report showed that Bangladesh has moved five step up in the ranking list and was at the 120th position. Pakistan (121st) remains the least competitive country in South Asia when it comes to T&T, including the region's least favorable safety and security (134th) conditions.
The report suggests that Bangladesh needs to implement its development project faster to stay competitive in the South Asian region.

Compared to other Asian countries, the report further suggests that the country’s construction and business environment is not favorable. Removing obstacles to investment, the country can develop itself by creating proper human resources and labor market. The report also states engagement of women in the country's labor market and increased quality of its labor market.

Due to weakness in implementing environmental protection policy, nature-based Bangladesh tourism is lagging behind. Due to lack of air pollution and waste treatment systems, the tourist attraction of Bangladesh as a whole is not increasing, added the report. The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) that covered 140 economies, measures the set of factors and policies that enable sustainable development of travel and tourism sector which contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.

Spain held on to the top spot in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (TTCR), which ranked 140 countries on their relative strengths in global tourism and travel. Spain was followed by France, Germany and Japan, with the United States replacing the UK in the top five.

Others in the top 10 list include the United Kingdom in the 6th place, Australia (7th), Italy (8th), Canada (9th) and Switzerland (10th). The report further added that Asia-Pacific was one of the fastest-growing travel and tourism regions in this year's ranking. Japan remains Asia's most competitive travel and tourism economy, ranking 4th globally, while China is by far the largest travel and tourism economy in Asia-Pacific and 13th most competitive globally (up two spots).

The Philippines has shown improvement, moving up four places to rank 75 globally. The biennial study showed resilient growth in travel and tourism sector, with scores rising in most countries, but also warned of an approaching 'tipping point', where factors like less expensive travel and fewer tourist barriers increase demand to unsustainable levels.

"Countries must look beyond their short-term gains from travel and tourism to ensure a positive future for their economies. Travel and tourism can drive economies, but only if policy-makers ensure proper management of their tourism assets, which requires a holistic, multi-stakeholder approach," said Lauren Uppink, Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism at WEF.

The 140 economies were ranked in four sub-indexes: enabling environment, travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions, infrastructure, and natural and cultural resources. Together, these four sub-indexes include a total of 14 pillars, which are used to score a country's overall travel and tourism competitiveness.