The World Economic Forum has, for the past 11 years, engaged leaders in travel and tourism to carry out in-depth analysis of the industry’s competitiveness in 136 economies across the world. The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index measures “the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country”.
The travel industry’s importance is highlighted by the fact it contributed US$7.6 trillion to the global economy – or 10.2% of global GDP – and generated 292 million jobs, or one in ten jobs on the planet, last year.
The travel index looks at a number of details on which to judge the countries. In safety and security, the index measures the extent to which a country exposes tourists and businesses to security risks mainly related to serious harm to people, such as violence and terrorism, while petty crime is not taken into account. Accordingly, Estonia is the 15th safest country in the world, while its northern neighbour, Finland, takes the winning spot.
Overall, Estonia is in the 37th position in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017. The country does really well in ICT readiness and environmental sustainability, taking the 12th spot in both categories. Estonia is also in the top 20, at 16, for “prioritisation of travel and tourism”, meaning it places substantial emphasis on the ever-growing industry. And the country is pretty successful at ensuring good tourist service infrastructure, becoming 22nd – just behind Malta and ahead of Norway.