Pakistan remains the least competitive country in South Asia when it comes to travel and tourism, according to the Travel and Tourism Competitive Report published by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.
The report placed Pakistan at the bottom of the Asia-Pacific Travel and Tourism (T&T) Competitive Index 2019 rankings. Pakistan ranked 121 this year out of 140 countries against 124 in 2017.
The report emphasised that Pakistan still required substantial improvement in competitiveness to move up in rank and out of the bottom quartile.
In its pillar snapshot for Asia-Pacific region, the report said Pakistan was the most improved country in terms of human resources and labour market, whereas Singapore was the top scorer in this area.
Japan remains Asia’s most competitive travel and tourism economy, ranking fourth globally, recently witnessing a boom in international tourist arrivals and receipts. China is by far the largest travel and tourism economy in Asia-Pacific and 13th most competitive globally. The Philippines has shown improvement, moving up four places to rank 75 globally.
S. Asia is the only sub-region in Asia-Pacific to score below the global average for T&T competitiveness. Its strongest advantage relative to the global average comes from its price competitiveness and natural and cultural resources.
According to the report, S. Asia ranks low for infrastructure, with underdeveloped tourist service infrastructure representing its greatest relative disadvantage. Low ICT readiness, international openness, safety and security and health and hygiene are other key weaknesses.
However, S. Asia also experienced one of the fastest rates of improvement since the last edition of the report, including the greatest sub-region percentage jump in scores on ICT readiness.