Cambodia “least tourism-friendly country” in Southeast Asia: WEF

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Cambodia scores lowest in Southeast Asia as per most indicators in the newly released, biannual Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF), while Thailand and the Philippines have been ranked particularly unsafe for tourists.

The report ranks 136 countries worldwide based on a range of policies they undertake (or do not undertake) to enable the sustainable development of the tourism sector. It looks at factors such as how easy it is to do business in a country, specific travel and tourism policies, infrastructure, safety and security, natural and cultural resources and other categories.

Singapore leads the list in Southeast Asia, while ranking 13th globally out of the 136 reviewed countries as it excels in eight of the 14 pillars thanks to its strong business environment, high safety and security, capable human resources and world-class air transport infrastructure . Singapore is also the most open economy in the world, which is supported by extremely strong travel and tourism policies.

At the lower end in the region, Cambodia – which ranks 101th globally – has particular low rankings in ICT readiness and business environment, air connectivity and ground infrastructure, and ranks not much better in the categories health and hygiene and human resources, but its safety and security environment is remarkably better than in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The report lauds Malaysia, which ranks second in Southeast Asia and 26th globally for its price competitiveness, its strong air connectivity and its beautiful natural resources. The country also has made big improvements in its ICT readiness and tourism service infrastructure.

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Thailand, which has the highest visitor numbers in the region, ranks third in Southeast Asia and 34th worldwide. The country seems to have issues with safety and security, a category where Thailand ranks significantly low, ranking second to last in Southeast Asia ahead of the Philippines and behind Indonesia, but just 118th worldwide, which makes Thailand one of the 20 most dangerous countries in the world for tourists, owing to high rates of crime and violence and low reliability of police services, the report says.

Interestingly, Thailand’s global safety and security ranking is lower than the one of the Democratic Republic of Congo and just closely below Jamaica’s.

The Thai Foreign Ministry rejected the poor security rating and said that the WEF report was “outdated and biased.”

However, globally, Thailand’s overall tourism performance has barely improved, as it was 34th with a 4.4 score in 2017 from 35th with 4.3 in 2015, according to the WEF. Thailand’s other problems are low environmental sustainability, as well as poor ground infrastructure and business travel.

The Philippines is ranked 126th when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of tourists as “security concerns remain high” in the country, the report says. Overall, the Philippines is ranked 79th among 136 countries based on all indicators of the report owing to the country’s rich natural resources and high price competitiveness. However, there remain issues with infrastructure and the efficiency of ground transport.

In turn, the report says that Vietnam made significant progress, rising eight places in the global rankings to 67th. The country significantly benefited from improvements to its human resources and labour market. Vietnam has also made exceptional improvement to its ICT capacity and usage (up 17 positions).

Globally, the top five tourism-friendly countries are Spain, France, Germany, Japan and UK, while the most unfriendly nations are Mauritania, DR Congo, Burundi, Chad and Yemen, which comes last. Syria and Afghanistan are not on the list.

The US dropped two ranks to 6th over the previous report.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cambodia scores lowest in Southeast Asia as per most indicators in the newly released, biannual Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF), while Thailand and the Philippines have been ranked particularly unsafe for tourists.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cambodia scores lowest in Southeast Asia as per most indicators in the newly released, biannual Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF), while Thailand and the Philippines have been ranked particularly unsafe for tourists.

The report ranks 136 countries worldwide based on a range of policies they undertake (or do not undertake) to enable the sustainable development of the tourism sector. It looks at factors such as how easy it is to do business in a country, specific travel and tourism policies, infrastructure, safety and security, natural and cultural resources and other categories.

Singapore leads the list in Southeast Asia, while ranking 13th globally out of the 136 reviewed countries as it excels in eight of the 14 pillars thanks to its strong business environment, high safety and security, capable human resources and world-class air transport infrastructure . Singapore is also the most open economy in the world, which is supported by extremely strong travel and tourism policies.

At the lower end in the region, Cambodia – which ranks 101th globally – has particular low rankings in ICT readiness and business environment, air connectivity and ground infrastructure, and ranks not much better in the categories health and hygiene and human resources, but its safety and security environment is remarkably better than in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The report lauds Malaysia, which ranks second in Southeast Asia and 26th globally for its price competitiveness, its strong air connectivity and its beautiful natural resources. The country also has made big improvements in its ICT readiness and tourism service infrastructure.

Click to enlarge

Thailand, which has the highest visitor numbers in the region, ranks third in Southeast Asia and 34th worldwide. The country seems to have issues with safety and security, a category where Thailand ranks significantly low, ranking second to last in Southeast Asia ahead of the Philippines and behind Indonesia, but just 118th worldwide, which makes Thailand one of the 20 most dangerous countries in the world for tourists, owing to high rates of crime and violence and low reliability of police services, the report says.

Interestingly, Thailand’s global safety and security ranking is lower than the one of the Democratic Republic of Congo and just closely below Jamaica’s.

The Thai Foreign Ministry rejected the poor security rating and said that the WEF report was “outdated and biased.”

However, globally, Thailand’s overall tourism performance has barely improved, as it was 34th with a 4.4 score in 2017 from 35th with 4.3 in 2015, according to the WEF. Thailand’s other problems are low environmental sustainability, as well as poor ground infrastructure and business travel.

The Philippines is ranked 126th when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of tourists as “security concerns remain high” in the country, the report says. Overall, the Philippines is ranked 79th among 136 countries based on all indicators of the report owing to the country’s rich natural resources and high price competitiveness. However, there remain issues with infrastructure and the efficiency of ground transport.

In turn, the report says that Vietnam made significant progress, rising eight places in the global rankings to 67th. The country significantly benefited from improvements to its human resources and labour market. Vietnam has also made exceptional improvement to its ICT capacity and usage (up 17 positions).

Globally, the top five tourism-friendly countries are Spain, France, Germany, Japan and UK, while the most unfriendly nations are Mauritania, DR Congo, Burundi, Chad and Yemen, which comes last. Syria and Afghanistan are not on the list.

The US dropped two ranks to 6th over the previous report.

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