Greece dropped five places in the fourth Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2011 as it ranked 29th among 139 countries. The report was released by the World Economic Forum at the Global Tourism Forum 2011 held in Andorra last month.
According to the report, Switzerland, Germany and France have the most attractive environments for developing the travel and tourism industry. Austria, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Spain and Singapore complete the top 10.
In regards to Greece -which ranked 21st in Europe, down three places from the last report in 2009- the report said the country benefits from rich cultural resources (ranked 25th), excellent health and hygiene (ranked 20th overall), and a top-notch tourism infrastructure (5th).
“Further, there is a strong national affinity for tourism compared with many other European countries, including a generally open and positive attitude toward tourists (ranked 26th),” the report said.
However, the report underlined that Greece’s decline in rank can be traced to factors such as a weaker policy environment and increased concerns about safety and security, as well as a lower prioritization of travel and tourism within the country. “Perhaps not surprising given the country’s recent more general economic travails,” the report commented.
Meanwhile, Greece received an extremely low ranking in regards to price competitiveness as it was ranked 123rd. The report highlighted that travelers are now “more price sensitive” and are used to seeking the best bargain when it comes to private consumption of any kind. Thus during the downturn, travelers became less engaged with the traditional sun and sea destination brands and looked instead for the best value in a two-hour flight range.
“This has fueled growth along the cheaper Mediterranean countries and left euro zone countries such as Spain, Greece, and Portugal coping with declining tourism traffic,” the report noted.
In the “Crisis winners and losers” section, the report included Turkey among the winners of the crisis. “Turkey has turned the economic crisis into an opportunity for its travel sector by offering attractive prices on sun and sea products similar to those of competitors in the Mediterranean such as Spain, Italy, and Greece,” the report said.
The report added that Turkey started to direct its destination-marketing efforts toward more diversified travel segments such as winter sports, cultural experience, health tourism, and sailing tourism.
This year’s report was published under the theme “Beyond the downturn” and explored issues such as the impact of the recent economic and financial crisis on the tourism industry, the importance of price competitiveness for attracting tourists, and the important role to be played by travel and tourism in the emerging green economy.
The report was produced in close collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index Greece
(out of 139)
|T&T regulatory framework||34|
|Policy rules and regulations||
|Safety and security||73|
|Health and hygiene||20|
|Prioritization of Travel & Tourism||
|T&T business environment and infrastructure||
|Air transport infrastructure||
|Ground transport infrastructure||
|Price competitiveness in the T&T industry||
|T&T human, cultural, and natural resources||
|Education and training||62|
|Availability of qualified labor||
|Affinity for Travel & Tourism||47|