Taiwan ranks fourth in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of travel and tourism competitiveness, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said yesterday, citing a recent report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Council officials quoted a report released last month as indicating that Taiwan ranked fourth in Asia and 30th among 124 countries surveyed around the world, with a score of 4.82 on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.
This means that Taiwan has the potential to become an important tourism destination for overseas visitors with its rich yet untapped tourism resources, the officials said.
They said the government would make a greater effort to plan for tourism development and sponsor major festivals and competitions to help increase Taiwan's visibility in the global tourism arena.
According to the survery, the top five countries in terms of travel and tourist attractions were Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Iceland and the US, in that order.
The ratings were based on three major criteria -- human capital and natural and cultural resources; tourism infrastructure, information and communication technology infrastructure and price competitiveness; and policy rules and regulations, as well as environmental regulations.
Taiwan ranked second in Asia and 23rd in the world in terms of human capital and natural and cultural resources, mainly because of Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake and the National Palace Museum, the officials said.
Hong Kong was ranked sixth in the world, Singapore was ranked eighth, Japan placed 25th, Malaysia 31st, South Korea 42nd, Thailand 43rd and China was 71st.