The World Economic Forum’s travel report shows that the UK has the fifth most competitive tourism market in the world, although only Switzerland is a more expensive destination.
The UK ranks 140th out of 141 countries on price competitiveness, weighed down by its heavy Air Passenger Duty and airport charges, leading airline bosses to call on government to act.
Spain topped the index for the first time, with France, Germany, the US, UK, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan and Canada completing the top 10, while China (17th) and Brazil (28th) made it into the top 30. Travel and tourism challenges such as visa policies, promotion of cultural heritage, environmental protection and ICT readiness were identified globally.
The global travel and tourism sector accounts for almost one-tenth of global GDP, and is expected to grow 5.2% a year over the next five years.