While the Philippines’ ranking in the biennial World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report climbed up from 82nd place in 2013 to 74th this year, many of the country’s indicators were ranked even higher. The 2015 report underscored the Philippines’ strength in price competitiveness, government support, tourism marketing, human capital, and natural attractions.
The biggest improvement seen was on the indicator called “effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists”, leaping from 85th place to 29th and most likely a result of the Department of Tourism’s It’s More Fun in the Philippines campaign.
Interestingly, online searches for the Philippines’ natural and cultural attractions were better than most countries in the world, according to the report. The country’s “natural tourism digital demand” — or total online search volume on nature-related brandtags like beaches and adventure — was No. 44, while its cultural/entertainment counterpart was No. 45.
In general, the country did well in indicators that describe how travel and tourism has been prioritized such as government support of the industry, government expenditure and tourism marketing.
The Philippines was also seen as one of the most open countries in the world for travel. In visa requirements, it ranked No. 2, only second to Haiti.
Price competitiveness ranked No. 24, while human resources and labor market reached No. 62. Note, however, that staff training, treatment of customers, and pay and productivity indicators were within the No. 25-27 ranks.
Meanwhile, the Philippines’ natural resources were seen as ahead of most countries, too, because of the number of World Heritage natural sites and total known species.
Despite these strengths, the country fell behind in the areas of ICT readiness, environmental sustainability, infrastructure, health and hygiene, and indicators on business environment (doing business, taxes, etc.)
In the Philippines, the World Economic Forum, which produced the report, collaborated with the Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines for the study. The results of many indicators came from an executive opinion survey.