Switzerland has dropped four places in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index to scrape through in tenth place. It came last of 136 countries in price competitiveness.
Spain topped the biennial ranking, followed by Switzerland’s neighbours France and Germany. Countries are judged in 14 categories that include tourist and transport infrastructure, safety, sustainability and price competitiveness.
Switzerland did well in areas like safety, transport and tourism infrastructure. It did very poorly – as always – when it came to price competitiveness, coming last. However, this was not responsible for a decline in competitiveness as Switzerland is a more affordable destination than in 2015, according to the WEF.
The main culprit was Switzerland’s relatively low scores in protected areas and nature-based tourism demand despite being number one in the environment sustainability category. According to the WEF, this discrepancy can be explained by lack of effective marketing of the country as a destination for nature lovers.
Other drawbacks include difficulties in hiring foreign labour and a general lack of openness. The WEF said Switzerland could improve its competitiveness by “better positioning and valuing its natural and cultural resources, and by easing its tourism visa policy”.