It was good news for the UK at the Global Tourism Forum held recently in Andorra. Out of 139 countries, the UK came in 7th for tourism competitiveness, up four places from two years previously and into the top ten for the first time. Ranking high in cultural resources, human resources and transport infrastructure, the only low point came when comparing air travel prices and airport charges, for which the country dropped way down the list. What this means for travellers who choose to stay at home is great value deals in short breaks, overnight stays and cultural experiences to be had in a country superbly set up to provide them.
The Global Tourism Forum was a two day event, organised by the World Tourism Organisation. The event was the first of its kind, where those working within the tourist sector were joined by private and public sector stakeholders, government representatives, academics and key policy makers. Together, they were charged with creating a broad and objective platform for global tourism interests. Representing the UK at the forum was Christopher Rodrigues, from VisitBritain, who attributed the high ranking competitiveness of the UK, not to current policies, but to a strong ‘inheritance.’
Clearly, the inference is that there is work to be done to maintain the evident high standards of cultural resources and human resources in the UK, which came 3rd and 8th respectively in the global competitive scale and with London 2012 around the corner, there is no better time to implement effective tourism strategies.
Doing well certainly, but could do better, is the summation of this global tourism report card and better particularly in inward bound air travel, for which the UK was placed a lowly 134th from 139. It is good news for the UK then, but even better for those sightseers and holidaymakers who live and travel within it.
Image: UK telephone box by DanBrady, on Flickr