Home Business Nigeria ranks 129th in global tourism index—WEF

Nigeria ranks 129th in global tourism index—WEF

by Business News Report

Nigeria has been ranked 129th in the global tourism by the World Economic Forum in a new report. The report said that Nigeria accounts for nearly half of the subregion’s Travels and Tour GDP and is also its largest economy. The report said however that Nigeria ranks in the middle of the pack regarding competitiveness and has the worst safety and security ranking at 139th in the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region. The report said that with a global rank of 88th, Cape Verde is Western Africa’s highest-ranking member on the global index and 6th-highest in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. The country is more competitive than its sub-regional counterparts in all areas except the cultural 128th and natural 136th resources indicators. 

According to the World Economic Forum report Benin experienced the largest growth in the subregion, moving up four spots to 123rd. The country drastically reduced its visa requirements, where it has risen to 7th globally. The report said “Côte d’Ivoire had the sharpest decline, dropping ten spots on the index to 119th, due primarily to deteriorating road and port infrastructure 67th to 98th. Chad 139th, ranks the lowest in the subregion due in part to the worst enabling conditions in the world and second to last performance in infrastructure”. The report further said “Western Africa enjoyed the greatest increase in competitiveness in the region, yet it also ranks the lowest on the global Travels and Tour classification. The subregion lags behind Southern and Eastern Africa in all areas apart from environmental sustainability, where it has a slight edge, and ICT readiness, where it ranks higher than Eastern Africa. 

“Like the other African subregions, Western Africa scores highest on price competitiveness and lowest on cultural and business travel. Its greatest disadvantages, relative to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, come from lower prioritisation of Travels and Tours, tourist services infrastructure and natural resources. Western Africa’s competitiveness improvements from 2017 to 2019 are concentrated in nine pillars, with the most considerable improvement coming from increased international openness and ICT readiness. Moreover, Western Africa was the only subregion to show an overall improvement on the Health and Hygiene pillar. However, subregional economies experienced further decreased competitiveness on natural and cultural resources and tourist service infrastructure. Eight of the 12 economies in the subregion covered in both the previous and current edition of the TTCI improved their competitiveness. Yet only four of them rose in the rankings, demonstrating that there is still a long way to go for the area to become genuinely competitive.

Sub-Saharan Africa outpaces the global average for growth in tourism receipts and arrivals, with the island nation of Mauritius 54th, outscoring last year’s top performer South Africa 61st to rank as top scorer in the region.

“Due to historically lower levels of economic development, the region continues to face difficulties in health and hygiene, overall infrastructure and the effective selling of cultural and business travel. In the face of this, however, Sub-Sharan Africa shows great untapped potential for natural tourism, which can be better utilised with more development and investment. Some of the region’s greatest improvements came from areas where it traditionally has trailed, including ICT readiness, international openness and price competitiveness. Lesotho (128th to 124th) had the greatest growth in score since 2017; however, it was the average growth in the economies of Western Africa

that generated the most subregional improvement”.

The report said that globally “Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest ranking travel and tourism region in this year’s report, with all but three of the 36 countries studied performing lower than the global average. Mauritius is the highest-ranking country in the region, largely due to a good business environment and, by comparison to its peers, high health and hygiene and international openness scores. The country is followed by South Africa and Seychelles. Yet, despite its lower rankings, Africa is expected to have the second highest growth rate over the next 10 years, potentially bolstering its attractiveness to international investments in travel and tourism. Moreover, the region has massive potential for nature-based tourism thanks to its relatively underdeveloped, but rich, natural resources”.

The report finds travel and tourism competitiveness to be growing around the world. This is important considering the industry contributed over 10 per cent to world GDP and about the same to global employment in 2018, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. This contribution is expected to rise by almost 50 per cent in the next decade due to the expanding global middle class, particularly in Asia. It said that among the top 10 countries, the UK was the only country to fall in the rankings. It now sits under the increasingly competitive United States at spot six, thanks to a decline in online searches for its natural and cultural resources and a weaker business environment. Aside from the UK-US switch, the top 10 remain the same as the 2017 ranking with Spain, France, and Germany in the lead. “With travel barriers and travel costs declining, many countries have been significantly increasing their competitive position in global tourism,” said Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility at the World Economic Forum. “Countries can leverage this opportunity to generate economic and development returns, but they must address gaps in infrastructure and environmental protection to make sure these returns can be achieved over the long-term.“

A link between overall economic versus travel and tourism competitiveness was also explored. The average score for more productive high-income countries was about 38% higher than the average score for low- to lower-middle-income countries. The report suggests that lower-income countries with similar levels of natural resources as higher-income countries can use their natural assets to drive broader economic development through direct investments and related policy vehicles in travel and tourism. Representing 98% of global travel and tourism GDP, the 140 economies are ranked in four sub-indexes: enabling environment; travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions; infrastructure; and natural and cultural resources. Together, these four sub-indexes include a total of 14 pillars which are used to score a country’s overall travel and tourism competitiveness.

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