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 March 12, 2009
Singapore Ranks Top In Asia And 10th Globally In WEF Report

 Singapore was the highest-ranking country in Asia and tenth out of 133 countries measured for the attractiveness of their environments in developing the travel and tourism industry, according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, 2009.

"We are pleased to have improved our ranking in the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 to be among the top ten countries globally and the only Asian country in the top ten out of 133 countries. This is an indication of Singapore's strengths in its tourism management and infrastructure. It will in turn strengthen our efforts to ride out the current downturn and position ourselves for future growth," said Mr. John Gregory Conceicao, Director, Strategic Planning, Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

Improving six places from its overall ranking last year in the 2007 report, Singapore was placed first for its policy environment, indicating that its rules and regulations are highly conducive to the development of its travel and tourism industry. Such policies include those that facilitate foreign ownership and Foreign Direct investment, well-protected property rights, few visa restrictions and transparency of policy making

Singapore also came first with regard to human resources, scoring high in the quality of its education system, extent of staff training, ease of hiring foreign labour, as well as hiring and firing practices. According to the report, an excellent educational system, top-notch training facilities, healthy workforce, and flexible labour market are key factors which contributed to the Singapore's good performance in this area.

In terms of overall prioritisation, Singapore was ranked second, up three places against last year's ranking. Citing factors such as government expenditure within the sector, strong destination marketing campaigns and national presence at key international tourism fairs, the report stated that these factors signaled the importance of the travel and tourism sector to the overall economy. Singapore also benefited from its excellent transport infrastructure, and ground and air infrastructure and networks all marked highly. Its Info-Communications Technology (ITC) infrastructure has also seen a measurable improvement since last year.