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Japan No.1 in Global Tourism Competitiveness Ranking, WEF survey

At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Japan is rated as “the country with the most favourable conditions for a recovery in travel and tourism”. It ranked first in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2021 for the first time, gracing the cover of the prestigious report.
The ranking continues followed by the USA, Spain, France and Germany.

Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2021 (Source: World Economic Forum)

The COVID-19 pandemic left the global tourism industry in a devastating state. In 2020 alone, for example, the entire world suffered losses of USD 4.5 trillion with 62 million job losses.

So far, the global tourism industry is seeing a recovery, thanks to vaccine roll-out and the easing of lockdowns conducted in many countries. At the same time, the situation, however remains unpredictable.
Countries are still travelling only 67% of the time compared to pre-pandemic times in 2019.

Not just that. The global situation is more chaotic than it was 3 years ago. This is due to the ongoing unstable factors in the travel sector environment, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply chain disruptions triggered by the pandemic, and labour shortages.

The WEF calculates and ranks the Travel and Tourism Development Index for 117 countries and territories. Japan won high marks for its highly developed transport and other infrastructure, globalised cities and many tourism resources, including UNESCO cultural heritage sites.

It is the first time Japan won first place since the survey began in 2007.
The ranking takes place every 2 years based on these criteria: tourism resources, transport infrastructure, public safety, etc.
In the previous ranking in 2019, Japan took 4th place. However, this time the calculation method is different from before. If the WEF used the same method as this time, Japan would rank second in the previous ranking.

But in the case of Halal Tourism, Japan still needs to put an effort to be fully ready to accommodate Muslims. The reality is many issues are at hand, such as adapting to diverse food needs and setting up prayer spots.

For the 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo, an event drawing the most interest from the Japan tourism industry, the relevant ministries and agencies are receiving many requests for environmental improvements. It includes expanding menu displays using pictograms, developing new specialities/souvenirs and bento (boxed meals) catering to different food needs.


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