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Singapore tops the list of competitive tourism in the Asean region and comes in 17th place in the world, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019. The index benchmarks the travel and tourism competitiveness of 140 economies. Of the nine Asean countries covered, Singapore was the strong leader followed by Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia.
Vietnam and the Philippines showed the greatest improvement in competitive tourism while Thailand scored was 4.5 out of 7, ranking 31st in the world and third in Asean. Thailand scored high in Natural Resources, Tourism services infrastructure and Price competency but ranked towards the bottom end of the scale in Environmental sustainability, security and health.
Tourism revenue in Thailand for 2018 was Bt2.94 trillion underlining its importance as an economic driver. It generates employment and distributes income to local communities thus helping to reduce inequality. However, the competitive tourism index reveals that greater effort is needed to safeguard the environment and natural resources and new selling points identified to develop sustainability.