The World Economic Forum commented a few days ago that Spain has the world’s fourth most competitive travel and tourism sector. In these crisis ridden times, this is extremely encouraging news and it makes the sector of tourism one of the few that is continuing to grow and create jobs. Spain is also the country that is in the top 10 for creating the biggest improvement since 2011. It is now ranked fourth on the list, moving up four places since the last assessment.

A further piece of encouraging news is that the country continues to lead in cultural resources. This is due mainly to the country ranking first this year in this area because of the numerous World Heritage sites recorded. Also, its large number of international fairs and exhibitions held where it ranks third and finally its significant sports stadium capacity. Added to this, its legendary tourism infrastructure, providing another strength with its many hotel rooms, professional car rental organisations and the number of ATMs. Finally, of course, the country’s air transport infrastructure is highly developed and accordingly ranks amongst the top 10 worldwide.

It is interesting that The World Bank has noted that starting a business in Spain has become less costly and that hotel prices have decreased that, combined together, provide the reasons for the countries rise in the rankings. The government too, has been recognised in helping to keep tourism high on its agenda. Along with its development programme, making Spain the top 10 economy for prioritisation of the industry which is commendable during current financial climes. Alongside this, Spain has maintained its tremendous efforts on the marketing activity and on the industrial development.

Tourist on the up

“The tourism industry is extremely important for Spain and traditionally is a great source of work for young people. Its success could be a viable solution to the country’s unemployment problem”, World Economic Forum director for tourism and aviation Thea Chiesa told Spanish news agency Efe.

In a biannual 140 country ranking of competitiveness within the world’s travel and tourism trade, The World Economic Forum stated that overall Switzerland had retained the top slot, that it had indeed held in all five previous reports. Overall, Europe was the world’s most competitive region with Germany, Austria, Spain and the UK close behind the Swiss. The balance of the top 10 list was made up by the united states, France, Canada, Sweden and then Singapore. The forum reported that travel and tourism had retained its resilient status against the downgraded economic picture globally. “The sector has benefited from the continuing globalisation process. Travel has been increasing individual markets and has particularly been driven by the rising purchasing power of the growing middle class from many of the developing countries”, it commented.

Seven out of every ten Europeans undertook travelling in 2012 and of the European Union holidaymakers, as many as 88% spent their vacations somewhere in the EU, either in their own country or another Member State. Out of the developing countries, Russia figured strongly with many of its people wanting to enjoy the pleasure of Spain’s beaches and cultural experiences in ever greater numbers. These are proving to be big spenders, thus providing a much needed boost to the country’s key tourism sector. Overall, the office attractions for them are the excellent weather, beaches, historic venues and the easy-going nature of the Spanish themselves.

Therefore, with Russia alone totalling over 1 million visitors last year, representing an increase of almost 40% over the previous year, indicates that the country can be encouraged to send more visitors by the continuing excellent service that they are receiving in Spain currently.


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