UK up in tourism competitiveness ranks

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on March 8, 2011

The UK has reached the top ten of the world rankings for competitiveness in tourism for the first time. The Travel and Tourism Competitive index, which was published at the Global Tourism Forum in Andorra on Monday, ranked Britain as seventh out of 139 countries.

The top four consisted of Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria, but the UK gained an impressive four places on its score from two years ago. This move up the charts has come despite fears that the increase of Air Passenger Duty would harm the country’s tourism industry and economic growth.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, VisitBritain chairman Christopher Rodrigues suggested that the positive ranking was more to do with Britain’s inheritance than its current policies.  He added that while it was good to move through the ranks, the report also highlighted areas where Britain needs to improve.

The UK was also voted fifth for air transport infrastructure, eight for human resources and third for cultural resources. It came only fifth from bottom, however, when it came airport charges and the competitiveness of flight tickets.

The raise in Air Passenger Duty in November last year saw a massive 50 percent increase on some flight prices from British airports.

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