Singapore offers the most attractive environment among ASEAN countries for developing the travel and tourism (T&T) sector, according to the ASEAN Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2012 released today at the Travel, Trade & Tourism Summit held in Bangkok prior to the World Economic Forum on East Asia.
Followed by Malaysia and Thailand and steps ahead of Cambodia and the Philippines, Singapore, the highest placed nation in ASEAN, ranks 10th out of the 139 countries, ranked accordingly to their performance in areas that make investment in developing the T&T sector attractive.
The report analyzes the relative strengths of the travel and tourism sector in ASEAN countries and makes recommendations on how to further unleash the potential of T&T in the region. The analysis is underpinned by the World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI).
ASEAN member countries span the entire rankings. While Singapore is ranked the 10th, Malaysia is at the 35th place and Thailand 41st, which do well despite some weaknesses. A third group, consisting of Brunei Darussalam (67th), Indonesia (74th) and Vietnam (80th), demonstrate clear strengths counterbalanced by weaknesses. Finally, both the Philippines (94th) and Cambodia (109th) present shortcomings in most dimensions.
The report stresses the critical role of T&T in accelerating the establishment of the ASEAN community. It reviews the efforts and initiatives by ASEAN member countries to collectively develop the sector.
âTravel and tourism is not only a critical driver of economic development and social progress. It also represents a formidable factor of regional integration,â said Borge Brende, managing director of the World Economic Forum. âBy improving connectivity and mobility, travel and tourism contributes to creating a regional identity, a sense of ASEANness' among citizens.â
The rankings are based on data covering 14 areas: policy rules and regulations; environmental sustainability; safety and security; health and hygiene; prioritisation of T&T; air transport infrastructure; ground transport infrastructure; tourism infrastructure; ICT infrastructure; price competitiveness in the T&T industry; human resources; affinity for T&T; natural resources; and cultural resources.