According to the World Economic Forum’s index of most tourist-friendly countries Sri Lanka has been ranked 63rd out of 141 countries.
Ahead of the Sri Lanka on the index were Malaysia (25)m Indonesia (50) and India (52).
Based on the report, Sri Lanka ranked well in terms of Prioritization of Travel and Tourism (30th), and Natural Resources (35th).
However, Sri Lanka scored poorly when it came to Environmental Sustainability, ranking 103rd out of 141 countries.
It also ranked towards the bottom in terms of ICT readiness (92nd), Human Resource and Labour Market (86th), Tourist Service Infrastructure (74th) and Air Transport Infrastructure (71st).
Spain topped the World Economic Forum’s index of most tourist-friendly countries for the first time.
The WEF’s global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index ranked 141 countries on how well the countries can deliver sustainable economic benefits through the travel and tourism sector.
Spain was cited for its cultural resources (1st globally), as well as ability to support online searches for entertainment (4th) and excellent infrastructure (4th). The top 5 also included France, Germany, United States and United Kingdom.
Rounding out the top 10 are Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan and Canada.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia (7th) was the most “tourist-ready” country, followed by Japan (9th), Singapore (11th), Hong Kong (13th), New Zealand (16th) and China (17th). Malaysia ranked 25th, followed by South Korea (29), Taiwan (32) and Thailand (35).
“The diversity in the top 30 shows that a country does not have to be wealthy to have a flourishing tourism sector... But many countries should still do more to tackle travel and tourism challenges, including visa policies, better promotion of cultural heritage, environmental protection and ICT readiness. This in turn would drive economic growth and the creation of jobs,” Roberto Crotti, WEF economist, said.
The WEF report identified areas where countries can better adapt to changing global trends and growing market segments, such as middle class travelers from emerging and developing countries, senior citizens and millenials.
The WEF report also cited a need for countries to adapt faster to online services and marketing, since many travelers use mobile internet to plan their trips.
Meanwhile, the least “tourist-friendly” country on the WEF Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index was Chad.
It ranked lower than Guinea, Angola, Yemen, Mauritania and Myanmar.