On September 4 Spain made the news for positive reasons after getting the number 1 spot in the index of the bi-annual Report on Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) (2019) published by the World Economic Forum, a publication benchmarking 140 economies in that industry and measuring “the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the Travel & Tourism (T&T) sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.”
It is the third time in a row that Spain is the top performer. Other top 10 European countries in that index are France, Germany, UK, Italy and Switzerland.
The main pillars (each of them with several sub-pillars that are composed of several indicators as well) of the index are Enabling Environment, T&T Policy & Enabling conditions, Infrastructure, and Natural & Cultural Resources. Most of the data come from statistics from international organisations including the IATA
It is estimated that the T&T industry accounted for 10.4% of the world GDP and employment in 2018. In the next ten years, its contribution to GDP is forecasted to rise by around 50%. The Spanish Statistics Institute estimates that tourism industry contributed 11.7% to the GDP and 12.8% to the employment in Spain.
The report also suggests a large correlation between the strength of the T&T industry and the overall economic development of a country. For instance, this graphic shows a key variable for the state of T&T industry in an economy: the number of tourist arrivals. This figure is highly dependent on capabilities of transport infrastructures (airports, ports, highways). The report notes that improvements in air transport translate in increases on routes capacity airlines operating in airports, which makes it easier for everyone (business people, tourists or family and friends visiting their beloved ones) to get to other places, primarily when at the least the point of origin or destination has developed in its air transportation system.
For a deeper analysis on this topic, check our series of five posts on the Transport in Spain.
Related to the last two paragraphs, travel costs are another factor influencing the progress of the T&T tourism. In the last years there has been a sinking of them also attributable to lower global fuel prices and reduced taxes charges
A decisive factor to predict T&T activity increases, the number of international tourist arrivals is expected to keep growing. The United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation, an organisation that has contributed many of the Data used in this report, forecasts a 3% to 4% growth of them in 2019, in line with the historical trend.
In the next post on this topic we will dig deeper into data related to Spain, together with opportunities and threads the T&T industry presents in this country.
Links of Interest
Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Cuenta Satélite del Turismo 2017
Trivago, Qué ver en España: 30 lugares que visitar una vez en la vida
UNWTO, International Tourist Arrivals Reach 1.4 billion Two Years Ahead of Forecasts
Your Way in Spain, Transport in Spain (II, III & IV)
World Economic Forum, The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019
World Travel & Tourism Council, Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2019 World
Los Roques, Tenerife.
T&T Competitiveness Index 2019 (top 20).
T&T Competitiveness Index 2019 and international tourist arrivals.