The World Economic Forum is a Swiss-based nonprofit organization that gathers information related to global finance. Each year, they publish the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.
This year’s report revealed that Malaysia is number two among nine Southeast Asian countries for tourism income, losing out to Singapore and followed by Thailand and Indonesia. Overall, Malaysia came in 26th place out of the 136 countries included in the Index report. Those countries account for 98% of the world’s GDP.
In part, this index measured “sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector,” which includes international openness, prioritization of travel and tourism, the labor industry, health and hygiene, and safety and security. Malaysia saw 25 million arrivals in 2015, and has seen growth due to airline connections, low prices, and beautiful natural resources. Those are key to maintaining its growth, especially the protection and preservation of those natural resources.
Tourism is a crucial source of income for many nations around the world, as the globe becomes increasingly interconnected via travel and the Internet. With more people visiting foreign countries each year, and travel prices becoming generally more accessible, this is going to be a continuing trend. People are more interested in traveling to other countries, something which was once the domain of the rich, but which is increasingly within the hands of the world’s middle class.
With that increased emphasis on tourism in the global market comes an increased attention to it within various nations. Improved relations and a stronger focus on freedom of movement has probably benefited the world politically as well, and with economies shored up by trade, reduced resources in other forms are less of an issue. Tourism can help sustain local economies as well, provided that tourism is kept sustainable, and not reliant on flukes like hosting the Olympic Games.