UPDATED May 10, 2015 — The World Economic Forum’s latest travel and tourism competitiveness index has ranked the Philippines 74th among 141 economies — eight places higher from the latest study in 2013.
From 82nd place in the last edition, the country improved further as a result mainly of strong government prioritization of the travel and tourism industry, price competitiveness, and international openness, areas in which Philippine scores were high.
The WEF Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report is published every two years. It examines not only a country’s tourism industry but also other sectors that affect travel such as safety and security, health, business environment, trade, and infrastructure.
The country was ranked 82nd in 2013 (out of 140 economies) and 94th in 2011 (out of 139 economies).
This visualization made by the World Economic Forum shows travel and tourism competitiveness ranking around the world:
Results of the 2013 and 2015 editions, however, cannot be fully compared against each other. The World Economic Forum added more indicators — from 79 to now 90 — after a year-long review. The researchers also expanded the framework of the study and added an economy in the ranking. But WEF noted that “the main drivers (the 14 pillars) of T&T competitiveness remain conceptually unchanged.”
Among the indicators present in 2013, the Philippines significantly improved its ranking in many areas including the following:
- Government prioritization of the industry (46th in 2013 to 28th in 2015)
- Effectiveness of marketing to attract tourists (85th to 29th)
- No. of world heritage natural sites (25th to 18th)
- Extent of staff training (32nd to 27th)
- Business costs of crime and violence (103rd to 77th)
Meanwhile, its ranking fell behind in a number of areas including the following:
- No. of days to start a business (117th in 2013 to 119th in 2015)
- Reliability of police services (97th to 101st)
In general, the country lagged behind in the areas of ICT readiness, environmental sustainability, infrastructure, health and hygiene, and indicators on business environment (doing business, taxes, etc.)
In Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines has advanced to 14th place, up by two places from 16th. Southeast Asian neighbors Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore were ahead, while Vietnam closed in at 15th place regionally and 75th place globally.
Australia led the Asia-Pacific region’s most competitive economies in travel and tourism, followed by Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, China, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Globally, Spain has been ranked as the most competitive, followed by France, Germany, U.S., U.K., Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan, and Canada.
In the Philippines, WEF collaborated with the Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines for the study.
Erratum: A previous version misstated that the Philippines’ rank under “Business cost of terrorism” indicator worsened in the 2015 report. To the contrary, its standing improved from 122nd in 2013 to 109th.