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Swiss tourist industry 'leads the world' - study

AFP · 8 Mar 2011, 14:20

Published: 08 Mar 2011 14:20 GMT+01:00

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Switzerland has the world's most highly-developed tourist industry, a World Economic Forum study showed on Monday, confirming a rebound after the economic crisis.

Switzerland has the world's most highly-developed tourist industry, a World Economic Forum study showed on Monday, confirming a rebound after the economic crisis.

"After two years during which the Travel & Tourism sector faced a myriad of obstacles, it is now emerging from the most difficult period in its recent history," said the World Economic Forum's chief business officer Robert Greenhill in the new report.

The report adds that top-ranked Switzerland, which has held that position since the study began five years ago, "is a country rich in cultural and natural resources, including an impressive number of World Heritage cultural and natural sites for a country of its size."

Germany jumps from third to second on the list thanks to its "abundant natural resources," good infrastructure and myriad of international fairs and exhibitions.

France moves up from fourth to third, leap-frogging Austria, thanks in part to the high priority which the government there places on the tourism industry, the WEF states.

European nations - mainly EU nations - take up all the top five places on the WEF list, with France followed by Austria and Sweden.

The United States comes in sixth followed by Britain.

Singapore sneaks into the top ten as the highest-placed Asian nation.

Story continues below…

Mauritius remains the highest-ranked country in the sub-Saharan African region, at 53rd overall, despite dropping 13 places since the last assessment of 139 nations.

While the report, compiled with the help of "key industry and thought leaders" highlights the benefits to national economies of actively promoting and facilitating tourism, it also complains that "obstacles at the national level continue to hinder its development."

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