WEF ranking upgrade boosts tourism
Cambodia has improved its ranking in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.
The nation was ranked 101 of 136 countries in the 2017 report, thanks to performance improvements that drove an overall score increase from 3.2 points in 2015 to 3.3 points this year.
The report grades countries on a scale of one to seven, based on natural and cultural resources, the local environment and infrastructure, among other factors.
According to the report, Cambodia ranked 29th on its prioritization of travel and tourism development, 51st on price competitiveness, 62nd on natural resources and 76th on cultural resources and business travel.
The report, which is released every two years, said Cambodia’s strong performance was attributed to its air transport infrastructure, international openness and value for money.
However, it said there was more to be done on improving the labor market, ICT readiness, environmental sustainability, ground and port infrastructure and tourism service infrastructure.
Cambodia ranked bottom among the countries in the region. Singapore topped the Asean list, followed by Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodia National Tourism Alliance, said the rating will help boost the country’s tourism sector.
“We know the tourism sector is improving, but some points still need to be addressed, such as infrastructure for tourists and unfair pricing,” Mr. Vandy said. “The rating is like a mirror to show where we need to develop. All relevant parties, including the private sector and government, have to get involved. The report shows our strengths and weaknesses. If we can turn the negatives into positives then our rank will improve next time.”
The index measures the factors and policies enabling the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn contribute to the development and competitiveness of a country.
“In 2017, the travel and tourism industry continues to make a real difference to the lives of millions of people by driving growth, creating jobs, reducing poverty and fostering development and tolerance,” said the WEF report.
“For the sixth consecutive year, industry growth outperforms that of the global economy, showcasing the industry’s resilience in the face of global geopolitical uncertainty and economic volatility.”
The WEF report pointed out that according to its research for every 30 new tourists to a destination one new job is created.
However, it warned that the global travel and tourism industry’s potential could be hindered – and 14 million jobs could be at risk – if governments and the private sector do not address the talent shortage in the industry.
Around five million overseas tourists visited Cambodia last year generating $3.2 billion, a 5 percent increase on the previous year, according to a Tourism Ministry report.
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