Malaysia has taken a slight dip in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.
The 2011 report, which covers over 139 countries, showed that Malaysia dropped three places to 35th, after being 32nd in 2009. Its closest neighbour, Singapore, maintained its original position, registering at 10th on the index.
Malaysia’s other neighbour, Thailand, was ranked lower on the global travel scale. Thailand had dropped two places to 41st, while Indonesia had improved, rising seven spot to 74th.
The report also showed that Malaysia had one of the highest percentage of budgets when it came to travel and tourism. According to the report, Malaysia seemed to have one of the highest average travel and tourism investment spending as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) between 2006 and 2010. The country was second only to Egypt in terms of average investment spending as a percentage of total economy investment spending (between 2006 and 2010).
Even so, the large amounts of cash pumped into the tourism industry did not seem to change the country’s travel scene for the better, according to the report’s individual indices. Out of 139 countries, Malaysia was competitive in terms of tourism pricing (third). On the other hand, it was shown to be a rather unsafe place to visit (83rd for safety and security). It also seemed to have problem with health and hygiene (75th), and a lack of tourism infrastructure (74th).
According to the report, other matters also plagued the country such as environmental sustainability (64th), and ICT infrastructure and the availability of qualified labour (50th).
On the other hand, the country scored fairly well in terms of policy rules and regulations (21st), affinity for travel and tourism (17th) and natural resources (22nd).
The report also showed that the only clear edge that Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand had over smaller Singapore was their price competitiveness and natural resources. This may be due to the island nation’s smaller size and higher currency value.