Zimbabwe is safer for tourists than the United States, United Kingdom and other Western countries, according to a recently-released World Economic Forum report.
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (2017) ranks the African state 60th out of 136 countries under the latest WEF pillar rankings.
In Africa, Zimbabwe is a few rungs below Rwanda (ninth), Morocco (20th), Mauritius (33rd) and the Gambia (52nd).
Under the safety and security rankings, the UK occupies 78th position, with the US further down at 84 and South Africa at 120.
Zimbabwe, however, fares poorly on overall rankings due to poor performances on industry-related indicators such as business environment; health and hygiene; ICT readiness; prioritisation of travel and tourism, and price competitiveness.
Part of the report reads, “The World Economic Forum has, for the past 11 years, engaged leaders in travel and tourism to carry out an in-depth analysis of the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness of 136 economies across the world.
“The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index measures ‘the set of factors and policies that enables the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which, in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country’.
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index enables all stakeholders to work together to improve the industry’s competitiveness in their national economies.
“The theme of this edition ‘Paving the Way for a More Sustainable and Inclusive Future’ reflects the increasing focus on ensuring the industry’s sustained growth in an uncertain security environment while preserving the natural environment and local communities on which it so richly depends.”
In 2015, top American newspaper New York Times singled out Zimbabwe among the finest travel and tourism destinations on account of the country’s stable political and economic environment.