Costa Rica placed 42nd on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index, the highest ranking of any Latin American country in the report, which was released Wednesday by the World Economic Forum.
Costa Rica’s ranking last year was two places lower, at 44th.
The new ranking puts Costa Rica ahead of Mexico, Puerto Rico and Panama in sectors such as tourism infrastructure, education and training within the travel and tourism sector and affinity for travel and tourism.
When Caribbean nations are added to the regional list, however, Costa Rica trailed Barbados, which placed 30th.
Tourism infrastructure, in which Costa Rica ranked 33rd, took into consideration hotel rooms, presence of major car rental companies and ATM’s accepting Visa cards.
An emblem of Costa Rican tourism, the country’s level of environmental sustainability earned it 27th place worldwide, although in the region it placed behind the popular Caribbean destination of Puerto Rico, which was ranked 11th.
Costa Rica placed 46th for limiting carbon dioxide emissions, which fall under the environmental sustainability segment, a ranking that could improve with driving restrictions introduced last year.
One hundred and thirty three countries were considered and studied for the TTCI annual report, which aims to measure the factors and policies that make it attractive to develop travel and tourism sectors in different countries, said the World Economic Forum report.
Costa Rica’s new ranking was helped by Bulgaria and Tunisia falling back to 50th and 44th places from 42nd and 43rd in 2008, respectively.
For the full list, see www.weforum.org/pdf/TTCR09/TTCR09_Rankings.pdf.