Sub-Saharan Africa has lagged in the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report with continental leaders South Africa placing 53rd globally – five steps back since 2015.
The 2017 Index released on April 6 by Swiss nonprofit foundation, World Economic Forum, ranked 136 countries across 14 separate dimensions on their delivery of sustainable economic and societal benefits through the travel and tourism sector.
The top three in the ranking are Spain, France and Germany as a result of their world-class natural and cultural resources, outstanding infrastructure and hospitality services, the report said.
South Africa led Africa at 53 globally, followed by Namibia, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and Mozambique at 82nd, 91st, 109th and 122nd respectively.
“South Africa’s tourism competitiveness has deteriorated on two elements—safety and security (120th) and environmental sustainability (117th),” the report stated citing terrorism fears and increased sense of insecurity related to crime as reasons for the underperformance.
Among the top 15 most improved countries on the index are Algeria (118) – moved 5 places up, Gabon (119) – moved 5 places up, Egypt (74) – moved 9 places up, and Chad (135) moved 6 places up.
“The increasing importance of demand from emerging markets and technology are changing the travel and tourism sector’s landscape at a fast rate … The capacity of countries to respond to and embrace these structural shifts will determine the future success of destinations,” said Roberto Crotti, Economist, World Economic Forum.