24 April 2017

Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 - the Southern/Eastern African countries

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released the biennial Travel &Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017. The report, which features the latest iteration of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), measures "the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country" [src.]. The 2017 TTCI benchmarks the T&T competitiveness of 136 economies. It comprises four subindexes, 14 pillars and 90 individual indicators.

Spain tops the 2017 edition of the TTCI global rankings for the second time, followed by France (#2) and Germany (#3). Japan (gaining five places compared to 2015), the United Kingdom, the USA (loosing two places), Australia, Italy, Canada (up one) and Switzerland (loosing four places) complete this year's top 10.

South Africa is the highest-ranked Sub-Sharan African country in the Index on position #53 (regional rank #1; loosing five places on global level), followed by Mauritius (#55 | #2), Kenya (#80 | #3) and Namibia (#82| #4).

The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index measures "the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country".
South Africa (global #53 | regional #1)


  • continues to rely on cultural resources (19th), strong natural resources (23rd), and a conducive business environment (21st), characterized by minimal red tape and modest administrative burden
  • labour market remains inefficient (118th), but there has been some progress in this area: it ranked 135th two years ago
  • improved price competitiveness (43rd) by reducing tickets charges, taxes and hotel prices
  • tourism competitiveness has deteriorated on two elements — safety and security (120th) and environmental sustainability (117th)
  • Fears of terrorism and an increased sense of insecurity related to crime make tourists less light-hearted about travelling in the country
  • With 33 homicides per 100,000 people, South Africa has one of the worst homicide rates in the index, ranking 131st
  • deforestation and loss of habitat have proceeded at a rapid rate since 2000. The global interest and demand for South Africa’s natural resources is increasing, but insufficient habitat preservation could prevent the country from benefitting from this growing source of tourist attraction
  • reduced efforts made by the government to support the tourism sector (59th)
Although spending has remained unchanged, marketing campaigns have been perceived as effective (40th).
To foster its tourism sector,
South Africa could also implement more open visa policies (71st) and service trade agreements (91st).

Namibia (#82 | #3)

Namibia loses 12 positions this year, resulting partially from statistical adjustments such as the inclusion of previously unavailable deforestation figures, which have significantly reduced the sustainability performance of the country.


  • natural resources (40th), its business environment (38th), air transportation (58th) and price competitiveness (30th) sustain Namibia's competitiveness as the country slowly continues to increase international arrivals
  • Namibia has lost a considerable portion of its forest since the early 2000s (127th) and its water resources have deteriorated
  • re-assessment of car rental services (72nd) and the diffusion of ATMs have resulted in a lower performance of Namibia's tourism service infrastructure (73rd).
Namibia still needs to improve its health and hygiene (117th) and under-appreciated cultural resources (127th), and renew focus on its inadequately qualified human resources (106th), which remain the main bottlenecks toward a faster development of the T&T sector in the country.

Tanzania (#91 | #6)


  • home to one of the most impressive concentration of natural resources (8th) and wildlife globally, with its rich variety of landscapes, ranging from Mt. Kilimanjaro to its coastline and Zanzibar
  • price-competitive destination (34th) where the government plays an active role in promoting the T&T sector (45th)
  • enormous untapped potential
  • Cultural resources (86th) could be nurtured to better complement the natural and safari tourism offer.  progress in the country’s infrastructure, particularly air (106th, up 10 places) and ground transport (102nd, up 18 places)
  • international arrivals have flattened since 2012, when the country welcomed 1 million international visitors
  • remains largely underdeveloped
  • tourism service infrastructure (103rd) and, specifically, the hotel reception capacity, remain low (119th). Tanzania's business environment (102nd) is still characterized by slow and costly processes to start a business or obtain construction permits
  • Health and hygiene conditions (125th) are also improving very slowly
  • the uptake of ICTs technologies is proceeding at a slower pace than in other countries (121st)
  • particularly low increase in mobile broadband subscriptions.
Despite its immense potential, Tanzania still has important gaps to fill to fully leverage the T&T sector as a mean to increase its living conditions.

Southern & Eastern African countries in the Travel &Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017*:

  1. South Africa (global #53)
  2. Mauritius (#55)
  3. Kenya (#80)
  4. Namibia (#82)
  5. Botswana (#85)
  6. Tanzania (#91)
  7. Rwanda (#97)
  8. Uganda (#106)
  9. Zambia (#108)
  10. Zimbabwe (#114)
  11. Ethiopia (#116)
  12. Madagascar (#121)
  13. Mozambique (#122)
  14. Malawi (#123)
  15. Lesotho (#128)
  16. DR Congo (#133)
  17. Burundi (#134)
*Angola, Seychelles and Swaziland are not covered this time due to insufficient data.

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