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Published on : Thursday, July 16, 2015
Europe remains the region with the most international arrivals per year, thanks in part to its rich cultural resources, world-class tourism service infrastructure, strong health and hygiene conditions, and—notably with the Schengen Area—high degree of international openness and integration.
Nonetheless, the TTCI mentions three main divides. First, although Europe’s outstanding cultural attractions and monuments are not evenly distributed across countries, this does not fully explain the large gaps between the top and bottom performers in terms of cultural resources. While all European countries have a long history, some have made more progress than others in promoting cultural attractions to the level necessary to become a magnet for tourists. Sports and entertainment events, as well as conferences, fairs and exhibitions, also play an important role.
Second, not all countries give the same amount of priority to developing the T&T sector. For example, both Spain and Italy have outstanding attractions for tourists, but Spain has more pro-actively built on these strengths while Italy exhibits a less strategic approach. Meanwhile, other countries, such as Iceland, are investing significant resources in building a stronger tourism brand and leveraging specific niches.
Third, the business environment varies tremendously—it is generally lean and effective in Northern and Central Europe, but less sound in Southern and Eastern Europe. Challenges in building a conducive business environment are often related to a country’s institutional set up and the process of change is long, but success is key to competitiveness and prosperity well beyond the T&T sector.
Tags: World Economic Forum