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From Site Selection magazine, November 2009

Investment Prevails Despite
‘Time of Turbulence’

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi (above) is one of three theme parks planned for Yas Island, a 25-sq.-km. (9.6-sq.-m.) development of Aldar Properties northeast of Abu Dhabi’s mainland. Also planned are the “super regional” Yas Mall (below) with more than 500 stores, as well as marinas, golf courses, 20 hotels and commercial and residential developments and the Yas Marina Circuit with the only open Ferrari driving school in the world.

witzerland, Austria and Germany have retained their first-, second- and third-place rankings, respectively, in the World Economic Forum's third annual Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI).

The Index is the basis of the World Economic Forum's annual Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, which measures the factors that make it attractive to develop the travel & tourism (T&T) industry of individual countries. France, Canada, Spain, Sweden, the United States, Australia and Singapore complete the top ten, with several notable jumps in performance over 2008 rankings, including France from 10th to fourth place, Canada from ninth to fifth and Singapore from 16th to 10th.

This year's report, published under the theme of "Managing in a Time of Turbulence," reflects the many difficulties the industry currently faces, which must be overcome to ensure strong sectoral growth in the future. This is particularly captured by the topics covered in the analytical chapters, exploring issues such as the impact of oil prices on the tourism industry, the importance of price competitiveness for attracting tourists, and the extent to which the TTCI explains differences in travel intensity between countries.

"Our study aims to measure the factors that make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism industry of individual countries. The top rankings of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France and Canada demonstrate the importance of supportive business and regulatory frameworks, coupled with world-class transport and tourism infrastructure, and a focus on nurturing human and natural resources for fostering an environment that is attractive for developing the travel and tourism sector," said Jennifer Blanke, Senior Economist of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Network, when the report was issued in March.

The rankings are based on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) covering 133 countries around the world. The TTCI uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, international travel and tourism institutions and experts, as well as the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the report. The survey provides unique data on many qualitative institutional and business environment issues.

The full report is available at

— Mark Arend

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