Even as news reports of bomb blasts, street violence, flailing airlines and crumbling tourist spots keep trickling onto front pages, the World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTC1) 2013 report released on Thursday revealed that Pakistan had improved by three ranking points, up from 125 in 2011 to 122 in 2013.
Pakistan landed between Cameroon (121) and Bangladesh (123) in the overall world ranking, while neighbouring India ranked 65 on the competitiveness table.
In the regional Asia Pacific rankings, Pakistan came in at 24, in between Tajikistan (23) and Bangladesh (25).
The ranking are divided into three sub indexes, where Pakistan ranked 131 on the travel and tourism regulatory framework, 104 on the business environment and infrastructure, and 116 on travel and tourism human, cultural and natural resources.
The index was compiled by taking 14 statistically significant indicators into account including, policy rules and regulations, environmental sustainability, safety and security, health and hygiene, prioritisation of travel and tourism, airport transport infrastructure, ground transport and infrastructure, tourism infrastructure, ICT infrastructure, price competitiveness in the travel and tourism industry, human resources, affinity for travel and tourism, natural resources and cultural resources.
According to the report, Pakistan showed improvements in the areas of human resources, where the indices on education and training have improved to the rank of 125 in 2013 as compared to 134 in 2011.
Similarly, availability of qualified labor showed an improvement, rising to 79 in 2013 as compared to 100 in 2011 -- an indication of a return of skilled labour force from the middle east and other countries.
Among the areas where Pakistan showed poor performance are policy rules and regulations, dropping from a ranking of 106 in 2011 to 120 this year. Pakistan also fell in prioritising of travel and tourism, which secured a rank of 131 in 2013 as compared to 121 in 2011.
Out of all the economies on the TTCI, the list was topped by Switzerland, while Haiti finished last.
Table ranking (bottom)
Read the full WEF report here.
Correction: An earlier version of the story used an incorrect map of Pakistan. The error is regretted.
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