Oman has moved eight places to 58 among a survey of 140 nations according to World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2019 released recently.
The survey, which is conducted biennially, also found that Oman is the safest country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and is the third safest in the world. The Sultanate finds itself in the third spot on the back of lower homicides rates (19th in the world), a reliable police force (5th), and low costs of terrorism (7th) and crime (3rd).
The report adds that the country has also seen the quickest improvement in its human resources and labour markets (103rd to 65thfor the region) and has also seen the most advancements in international openness (116th to 97th), environmental sustainability (109th to 57th) and overall infrastructure (60th to 52nd).
According to the report, the MENA region has vastly improved its T&T competitiveness since the last edition of the TTCI. The report said, “With 12 of the 15 MENA economies covered by this year’s index increasing their score compared to 2017, the region was able to slightly outpace the global average in competitiveness growth. This is particularly important given that, in the aggregate, T&T accounts for a greater share of regional GDP than in any of the other four regions.”
While eight out of 11 Middle East members did well on their score card since 2017, UAE saw the sharpest decline (from 29thto 33rd), including the biggest fall in safety and security (falling from 2nd to 7th) and ground and port infrastructure (19th to 31st) It also the only one in the Middle East region to drop the ball on environmental sustainability (40th to 41st). However, the country remained top TTCI scorer in the Middle East with a lead on ICT readiness (4th), air transport (4th) and tourist service infrastructure (22nd).
The top 10 scorers this year include Spain, France, Germany, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Canada and Switzerland.