Croatia retains 34th spot in tourism competitiveness rankings

ZAGREB, 4.3.2009.

Croatia has retained its last year's position in the tourism competitiveness rankings, placing 34th among 133 countries, according to the latest report by the World Economic Forum.

The results of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 put Croatia in the company of Italy and Malta and ahead of Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.

Croatia's direct competitors Cyprus and Montenegro made considerable progress in the rankings -- Cyprus moved up three spots to finish 21st, while Montenegro placed 52nd, up seven spots. Slovenia ranked 35th, just behind Croatia.

Of Croatia's neighbours, Bosnia and Herzegovina placed worst, falling from 105th to 107th spot, while Serbia dropped 10 spots to finish 88th.

Switzerland, Austria and Germany are the most competitive tourist destinations in the world for the third consecutive year, followed by France and Canada. The African nation of Chad finished at the bottom of the rankings as the most insecure country in the world.

The travel and tourism competitiveness index measures a country's success in the travel and tourism sector. It is divided into three categories covering the regulatory framework, the business environment, and human, cultural and natural resources.

Croatia received very high marks in the Tourism Infrastructure category and the Affinity for Travel and Tourism category, but not so high marks in price competitiveness, regulatory framework, air transport infrastructure, education and training, and availability of qualified labour.