Islamabad, March 7: (PR) Pakistan has shown slight improvement on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013. The biennial report, published under the theme, Reducing Barriers to Economic Growth and Job Creation, sees considerable movement in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index’s 14 pillars in terms of Pakistan’s performance according to the fifth Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, released today by the World Economic Forum.
Amongst the areas, where Pakistan showed poor performance are policy rules and regulations dropping ranking from 106 in 2011 to 120 this year and prioritizing of travel & tourism, which secured 131 in 2013 as compared to 121 in 2011.
Pakistan showed improvements in the areas of human resources, where the indices on education and training have improved to the rank of 125 this year to 134 in 2011, similarly availability of qualified labor showed an improvement of 79 in 2013 as compared to 100 in 2011, an indication of a return of skilled labour force from middle east and other countries.
Other area where policy, rules & regulations impacted Pakistan was the business impact of rules on FDI ranking, which deteriorated from 73 in 2011 to 94 in 2013
The war on terror has impacted the countries travel and tourism competitiveness, in terms of the safety and security pillar; Pakistan was ranked at business costs of crime and violence (128), road traffic accidents/100,000 population (101) and business costs of terrorism (139).
Pakistan showed lack of attention and prioritization of the travel and tourism in 2011/12, ranking 131 out of 140. The poor performance of railways and the quality of railroad infrastructure also deteriorated in the last two years where Pakistan scored 65 this year as compared to 55 in 2011.
Government’s policy on the information technology and telecommunications also showed lack of focus as the Report signifies that the ICT use for business-to-business has dropped from 103 to 115 from 211 to 2013 respectively. The performance of the regulatory body for ICT also showed an alarming figure, where Pakistan’s lost 20 ranks in 2013 as of 119 as compared to 99 two years ago.
In an effort to improve the revenue stream, governments in Pakistan have also the mid-to-long term interest of the travel and tourism industry, the price competitiveness in terms of the extent and effect of taxation the country lost 23 ranks in the last two years and ranking on 68 now.
The quality of education system showed an improvement by ranking 74 this year as compared to 87 in 2011 among 140 countries globally. The country also showed flexibility in hiring and firing practices, thus showing a competitiveness advantage by securing the ranking of 21.
On the cultural resources pillar, although Pakistan still maintains its competitiveness advantage, Pakistan lost its ranking of 29 to 39 in 2011 and 2013 respectively on the no. of world heritage sites. Similarly Pakistan’s position on number of international fairs and exhibitions at 88 in 2011 has been dropped to 117.
Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, the country partner institute of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Performance, World Economic Forum said, that “the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index covers 140 countries and uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, international travel and tourism institutions and experts”. It also incorporates the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum and its network of partner institutes. Mishal being the country partner institute of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Performance of the World Economic Forum works closely with the Forum for data on Pakistan. The survey provides data on many qualitative institutional and business environment issues.
As well as providing insight into how countries are fostering the development of their travel & tourism industry, the report also offers a snapshot on the health of the industry and its role in driving global economic growth. With travel and tourism accounting for one in 11 jobs globally, the report highlights that the industry has proven resilient during the global economic downturn and can be a key factor in paving the way for developing and emerging markets to diversify into higher value economic activities.
Switzerland, Germany and Austria lead the world in terms of their travel and tourism industry competitiveness with Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Canada, Sweden and Singapore completing the top 10.
Among developed economies, New Zealand and Japan improved strongly; the former climbing to12th from 19th and the latter moving up eight positions to 14th. Emerging market economies reported mixed levels of progress, with India being the only BRIC nation to move up in the rankings. In this category, rising stars include Panama, climbing from 56th to 37th, and the Philippines, which climbed from 94th to 82nd on the back of policy improvements supporting the industry.
“Industry resilience has been driven by the growth of the middle class in emerging markets, although advanced economies too are displaying positive momentum. Better policies, harnessing technology and facilitating the movement of people over borders will allow the industry to capitalize on this tailwind and support rising prosperity into the future,” said Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist and Head of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network at the World Economic Forum.
“The travel and tourism industry has weathered the global downturn and is now playing an important role in helping tackle serious global challenges, including youth unemployment, economic development and environmental sustainability. The challenge for the industry and its stakeholders today is to maintain this powerful contribution to economic growth and employment, while continuing to proactively pursue the shared goals of facilitating global travel and tourism and protecting host cultures, identities and environments,” said Thea Chiesa, Director, Head of Aviation, Travel & Tourism Industries, World Economic Forum.
The report’s cross-country analysis of the drivers of competitiveness in travel and tourism provides comparative information that is useful in business decision-making and supporting policies of governments wishing to improve their travel and tourism environments.
In addition, the report includes contributions from industry experts. Several chapters explore issues such as how visa facilitation can play a role in stimulating economic growth; the importance for policy-makers to leverage local competitive advantages to thrive in a volatile environment; the impact of the tourism sector on employment creation; and how the connectivity that aviation sector creates sustains economic development.
The report also contains detailed country profiles for the 140 economies featured in the study, including a comprehensive summary of their overall positions in the Index and a guide to the most prominent travel and tourism competitive advantages and disadvantages of each. Also included is an extensive section of data tables covering each indicator used in the Index’s computation.
The World Economic Forum produced the report in close collaboration with its Strategic Design Partner, Booz & Company, and its Data Partners, which include Deloitte, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mishal Pakistan and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The Forum also received important feedback from Industry Partners in the effort, namely Airbus/EADS, BAE Systems, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Bombardier, Delta, Deutsche Lufthansa/Swiss, Embraer, Etihad Airways, Jet Airways, Hilton, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, Safran, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and VISA.
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (www.weforum.org).