Britain has moved up two places in a survey of tourism competitiveness carried out by the Word Economic Forum.
The result means VisitBritain has achieved the ambitious target set by government in the latest tourism policy.
With very fine margins separating the top five places, competition at the top of the table is fierce (0.01 difference between second and fifth position occupied by Britain).
The biennial study, published under the title, Reducing Barriers to Economic Growth and Job Creation, sees positive movement for Britain in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index’s top 10 countries.
Britain’s close European competitors witnessed considerable movement with France falling four places from third in 2011 to seventh, while Spain climbed to fourth from eighth.
But through VisitBritain’s extensive global GREAT marketing and a worldwide profile never before seen in this country, Britain’s perceived ability to compete on a global scale shifted two places to fifth from seventh.
Britain is in the top ten for a number of other measures, including:
- Cultural resources: Britain ranks third for cultural resources. This is based on Britain’s World Heritage cultural sites, large number of international fairs and strong creative industries, which all rank in the top ten (largely attributable to the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee).
- Air transport infrastructure: Britain ranks 5th
- Environmental sustainability: Britain ranks 7th.
- Policy rules and regulation: Britain ranks 8th (includes transparency of policy making and visa requirements but extends to more business-related indicators such as prevalence of foreign ownership, property rights, business start-up costs etc).
- Internet use for business to consumer transactions: Britain ranks 1st.
Britain’s global marketing and effectiveness to attract tourists via marketing campaigns has moved up a gargantuan 22 places from 43 in 2011 to 21 in 2013.
Chairman of VisitBritain, Christopher Rodrigues said: “Tourism is an industry in which Britain is world class and competes internationally.
“These results clearly display what the industry and government can achieve when we work together, but more must be done.
“Last year was Britain’s year to be showcased around the world, and we have used that to drive tourism growth with record spend last year.
“Our ambition is to build on this to continue to deliver growth and jobs for Britain with an ambitious target of 40 million visits a year by the end of 2020 which will support 200,000 additional jobs.”