The number of Caribbean countries included on the 2017 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) has dropped from six to four.
The TTCI is a biennial report by the World Economic Forum measuring the “set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the Travel & Tourism sector.” This year’s report, which was released earlier this month, ranked 136 countries based on 14 categories including safety and security, business environment, health, environmental sustainability and infrastructure. Guyana and Haiti were included in the 2015 index, but were not assessed for 2017.
Although many of the 20 Caricom countries rely on tourism for economic growth, most are not included on the index due to insufficient data. Caricom countries included in the 2017 TTCI are Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago.
With an overall rank of 58, Barbados was deemed the safest in the region. However, Barbados has lost it’s position in the top 50 most tourist-friendly countries as it’s 2015 rank was 46 out of 141 countries. Following Barbados, Jamaica received an overall rank of 69 with T&T and the DR getting 73 and 76 respectively. Latin America (and the Caribbean) was named the second most improved region, but quality and efficiency of transportation, lack of development of resources and environmental protection were listed as issues that need to be addressed.