Number of tourists rose by five percent last year
Twitter Raven Moore / File photo / Woman using a Mussiro facemask, in northern Mozambique
Sub-Saharan Africa has lagged in the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report with continental leaders South Africa placing 53rd globally – five steps back since 2015.
The 2017 Index released on April 6 by Swiss nonprofit foundation, World Economic Forum, ranked 136 countries across 14 separate dimensions on their delivery of sustainable economic and societal benefits through the travel and tourism sector.
The top three in the ranking are Spain, France and Germany as a result of their world-class natural and cultural resources, outstanding infrastructure and hospitality services, the report said.
South Africa led Africa at 53 globally, followed by Namibia, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and Mozambique at 82nd, 91st, 109th and 122nd respectively.
“South Africa’s tourism competitiveness has deteriorated on two elements—safety and security (120th) and environmental sustainability (117th),” the report stated citing terrorism fears and increased sense of insecurity related to crime as reasons for the underperformance.
Mozambique “improves considerably”
However, reads the report, Mozambique improves considerably, rising 8 places”.
“The strengths of Mozambique’s T&T competitiveness continue to be its natural resources and its very open visa policy (8th). This year, the country rose in the rankings through improvements in ICT readiness (123rd, up 11 places), resulting from increased mobile phone usage, by reducing taxes and charges on air transport, and by placing
more value on its natural resources. Although there is still no natural site on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, Mozambique has slightly increased the surface of protected areas and has managed to improve the awareness of its outstanding natural resources (73rd), ranging from safari parks to pristine beaches and islands. The country’s environmental sustainability is positive (64th) and the amount of threatened species is low. However, there are looming sustainability risks, including the lack of water treatment systems and deforestation, resulting from illegal logging. Despite the climb in the ranking this year, the tourism potential in Mozambique remains largely untapped. Infrastructure (121st), human resources (129th), and health and hygiene conditions (136th) are all factors that require significant investments and would generate substantial returns for the tourism sector, but also for the country’s overall competitiveness and productivity”.
Among the top 15 most improved countries on the index are Algeria (118) – moved 5 places up, Gabon (119) – moved 5 places up, Egypt (74) – moved 9 places up, and Chad (135) moved 6 places up.
You may access the full report here http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_TTCR_2017_web_0401.pdf
Source: Africa News / www.weforum.org