Costa Rica and Panama Are among the 10 Most Competitive Tourist Destinations in Latin America

The WEF Takes into Account Tourism and Transportation Infrastructures, Security, and International Opening

Spain and Mexico are established as the most competitive tourist destinations in the world and in Latin America, respectively. Both reappear featured in the report “Competitiveness of Travel and Tourism” that the World Economic Forum (WEF) published every 2 years, and whose 2019 edition was presented this Wednesday.

One of the most attractive tourist destinations in Spain

The ranking, made up of a total of 140 countries analyzed, takes into account factors such as its tourism and transport infrastructure, security, international openness, price competitiveness, technological capabilities, environmental sustainability, and natural and cultural resources, among others.

For the 3rd time in a row, Spain is distinguished as a world leader in tourism competitiveness, followed by France and Germany. “Spain is the 2nd most visited country in the world and has developed an economy focused on tourism, in which around half of the internal expenses of the sector come from international visitors”, said the WEF report.

Angola, Mauritania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Liberia, Chad, and Yemen occupy the last positions of the world ranking of the WEF.

What about the Latin American countries?

In 19th place on the global list (3 places higher than in 2017), Mexico is the Latin American country best valued for “its natural attractions, its wide wildlife and wildlife and the many protected sites,” underlines the report.

It also highlights that Mexico, like Brazil and India, are countries with “economies with exceptional natural and cultural resources, which effectively combine” prices and competitiveness.

In Brazil, 2nd best ranked in the region, the WEF highlights its many sports stadiums, its digital cultural entertainment or its ability to host meetings of international organizations, among other factors.

Costa Rica stands out for its improvement inland and port infrastructure, while Panama suffered one of the biggest falls compared to the last ranking, after falling from 35 to 47.

Panama City

Peru, on the other hand, is among the 20 countries with the highest number of natural and cultural resources along with Argentina and Colombia, among others.

Issues to be improved

The Americas region (which includes all the countries of the continent) is the 3rd best valued in the world according to the report, behind Europe and Asia-Pacific. The report highlights South America as the sub-region with the highest growth since the last ranking published in 2017.

The United States leads this regional classification. Bolivia also stands out as the country with the highest number of positions in the table (from 99 to 90) with respect to the report 2 years ago.

The WEF ensures that “the countries of the Americas often depend on their natural resources to generate tourism, but are challenged by lower scores in terms of creating appropriate environments” for tourism.

Specifically, the report highlights how the region continues among the last positions in terms of air and land infrastructure and environmental sustainability.

Throughout the region, improvements were made in the latter area through ratifications of environmental treaties. “However, habitat destruction, evidenced by increasing deforestation and numbers of threatened species, continues to endanger the natural resources” of these countries, the report highlights.

However, the region’s biggest obstacle to competitiveness is, according to the WEF, its low qualifications in the adequacy of the environment, especially its business environment and security.

High taxes, bureaucratic procedures, and inefficient legal systems have continued to worsen in many countries, which could hamper investment in travel and tourism, warns the WEF.

Regarding security in the region, although the report concludes that it has improved in general terms, it affirms that “exceptionally high-homicide rates and unreliable police services are maintained, which determines many potential tourists”.

The most valued resource in the region

On the positive side of the Americas, it stands out that it is more competitive than the world average due to its numerous natural and cultural resources, as well as its improvement in new technologies.

However, in the region, price competitiveness is the most valued characteristic (an average grade of 5.3) with Colombia at the top.

More than half of the regional indicators are led by the United States and Canada. However, Argentina heads the health and hygiene; Chile the international opening; Mexico the natural resources; and Brazil the cultural resources.

The report recalls, of course, that it is important to keep in mind that the performance and valuation of indicators varies greatly between different sub-regions and countries, given the great inequality in the region.

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