The latest report on competitiveness in tourism reveals that the US ranks fourth in the world and that Brazil tops the listing in South America. In addition, Brazil has risen 23 places in the table and tipped as one of the strongest emerging markets for international tourism expenditure.
The World Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF) covers 141 countries. The comprehensive study, released at the beginning of June this year, looks at four main categories – Enabling Environment, Travel and Tourism Policy, Infrastructure and National and Cultural Resources – and divides each of these categories into sub sections to cover every aspect within the tourism industry.
At the top of the list is Spain, the world’s most competitive nation for travel and tourism for the first time, followed by France and Germany. The European domination is broken by the US in fourth position while Brazil ranks third in the Americas (after the US and Canada) and at the top of the South American countries. In global terms, Brazilian tourism features in 28th place, up 23 from last year.
Strengths in US Tourism
One of the world giants in the travel and tourism industry, the US received 74 million international visitors in 2014, confirming the country’s trend as an increasingly popular tourist destination. Since 1996, both visitor figures and spending have risen considerably, particularly since 2009.
As a holiday and business travel destination, the US stands out against other countries for numerous reasons. In transport infrastructure, it’s especially strong. For example, the US ranks second in the world for the number of airlines. The American tourist service infrastructure also compares favourably with the other 140 countries and stands in 7th position.
Famed for its scenery, the US ranks third in the world for natural resources and when it comes to the number of world heritage sites, it has the second highest number in the world. In the cultural section, the US also does well, taking the top slot for both number of large sports stadiums and national association meetings.
In terms of business, the US offers a highly competitive labour market and ranks 6th in the world. This figure may rise in next year’s report given that hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created over the last year in the US. For pay and productivity, the US occupies tenth place.
Strengths of Brazil Tourism
In terms of world tourism, Brazil is considered an emerging market, although its competitiveness goes from strength to strength. The country’s 28th position in the most recent WEF report is 23 higher than the 2014 report.
The World Travel and Tourism Council estimate that Brazil received 6.4 million international visitors in 2014, a figure that is expected to more than double by 2024. The WEF reports that Brazil is the world’s tenth largest market for international tourism expenditure, an indication of the Brazilians’ enthusiasm for travel.
The WEF report does not include figures for the FIFA World Cup held throughout Brazil last year, an event responsible for a huge boost to both visitor figures and tourist spending in Brazil. Brazilian tourism authorities calculate over 1 million foreigners went to Brazil during the World Cup. However, the WEF underlines the steady increase in both visitor figures and spending in Brazil, particularly since 2009.
The aspects of Brazilian tourism highlighted in the report include transport infrastructure. Brazil has the highest presence in the world of car rental companies and a favourable ranking for airport infrastructure.
Brazil’s stunning natural beauty puts the country at the top of the world ranking in the natural resources category, a position Brazil also occupies for total known species. Brazil is also home to a huge number of world heritage sites and ranks sixth in the world for these. Along with its abundance of natural beauty sites, Brazil ranks eighth in the world for cultural resources and is number 16 in terms of world heritage cultural sites.
Source: World Economic Forum