Taiwan ranks No. 30 in the world in terms of travel and tourism competitiveness, Council for Economic Planning and Develop-ment (CEPD) officials said yesterday, quoting an annual report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
CEPD officials said the WEF report, released on Saturday, showed that Taiwan ranked No. 4 in Asia and No. 30 among 124 countries surveyed around the world last year, with a score of 4.82 on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI).
The standings mean that Taiwan has great potential to become an important tourism destination for tourists and holidaymakers from overseas with its rich, albeit untapped, tourism resources, officials said.
The WEF survey showed, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Iceland and the US, in that order, were the top five countries in terms of travel and tourism attractions, having scored highest on the TTCI.
Worldwide, Hong Kong ranked No. 6, while Singapore stood at No. 8 and Japan at No. 25.
The WEF gauged areas and countries’ travel and tourism potential according to three major criteria — human capital and natural and cultural resources; tourism infrastructure, information and communication technology infrastructure and price competitiveness; and policy rules and regulations, as well as environmental regulations.
Taiwan ranked second in Asia and No. 23 in the world according to the criterion of human capital and natural and cultural resources, mainly because of Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake and the National Palace Museum — which are attractive destinations with natural resources or cultural assets that are of World Heritage standards, CEPD officials said.
They said that after the government made strenuous efforts to promote Taiwan overseas, the number of visitors from abroad had hit a record high of 3.52 million in 2006, marking a year-on-year increase of 4.2 percent.
That number climbed to 3.35 million in the first 11 months of last year, up 4.9 percent over the same period in 2006, the officials said.
They said that during the 11-month period, Taiwanese made 8.34 million visits abroad, up 3.5 percent year-on-year.