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Georgia advances position in WEF travel and tourism ranking 2019

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, September 6
Georgia has advanced its position in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s ranking of countries best equipped to welcome tourists in 2019.

The report presents a rating of 140 countries where Georgia takes 68th place. The country received 3.9 points from 1 to 7 points. To note, in the previous ranking two years ago Georgia took 70th place.

Out of the post-Soviet states only Baltic states and Russia (39th) are ahead of Georgia which is leading other states across the Caucasus. Armenia was ranked 79th and Azerbaijan took 71st place in the ratings.

Spain tops the rankings this year, which has been named the most “travel-ready” nation by the WEF since 2015.

The top 10 list of the countries in the WEF rankings looks as follows:
1. Spain
2. France
3. Germany
4. Japan
5. United States
6. United Kingdom
7. Australia
8. Italy
9. Canada
10. Switzerland

The index was compiled by measuring 90 individual indicators in each country, which fell into categories such as environmental sustainability, health and hygiene, natural and cultural resources, and international openness.

However, in its report, published September 4, the WEF also warned that many countries were at a tourism “tipping point” — meaning surges in visitors threatened to overwhelm or damage the resources that attracted tourists in the first place.

This was particularly true for developing nations, the report said, calling for more work to be done by the tourism industry to help preserve cultural and natural assets.

The World Economic Forum, based in Geneva, Switzerland, was founded in 1971 as a not-for-profit organization.

The organization says travel and tourism as a global industry has flourished since the last report in 2017, and its contribution to global GDP is expected to rise by as much as 50% over the next decade.

One of the big findings of this year’s report was that growth in tourism-friendly infrastructure – roads, ports, airports and hotel accommodation, for example – has languished at only 1.4%.