Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Jordan’s most recent Tourism Competitiveness Index revealed

20 Sep 2017

Jordan’s most recent Tourism Competitiveness Index revealed

This month USAID BEST revealed Jordan’s second tourism competitiveness index (TCI) to many working within Jordan’s tourism sector. The TCI tracks trends in Jordan’s tourism industry using statistical data. It is an important tool for Jordan, as the tourism sector is critical to the country’s economy and competitiveness is the key driver of Jordan’s long-term tourism performance. The country has witnessed slower tourism growth since 2008 and weak performance relative to international indicators - Jordan ranked 77 in the World Economic Forum (WEF) tourism competitiveness index in 2015. This calls for a detailed examination of Jordan’s tourism competitiveness to identify tourism strengths and weaknesses, tap into opportunities and address challenges. 

The TCI for Jordan caters specifically to the country’s tourism sector. It is based on two pillars: enabling environment and performance. These branch into sub-pillars under which are distributed 81 international and 129 Jordan indicators.  The indicators measure areas such as hotel occupancy, room supply, air transport infrastructure, tourism employees, etc. The indicators all feed into the overall index, which weighs Jordan’s competitiveness on a scale of 1 to 7.

Minister Lina Annab said, “We look at the WEF TCI to determine where we stand globally and at times it may not reflect the nature of Jordan’s product offerings. This shows how crucial it is to have created a local index so we can understand exactly where our strengths and weaknesses are and if there are gaps so that we can bridge them.”

Now that the second TCI is available, trends can be tracked to reveal areas of progress and areas that need improvement within the sector.  In 2015, Jordan’s TCI stood at 3.27 and in 2016 it increased to 3.62. The TCI compares Jordan to 13 other countries with similar tourism offerings, which are UAE, Greece, Israel, India, Morocco, Cyprus, Oman, Turkey, Tunisia, Armenia, Iran, Lebanon and Egypt. Among these countries Jordan is ranked 7th, one rank higher than in 2015.

Russell Bauer said, “The TCI has been created to guide us to think about the sector in a more structured manner to produce the greatest volume of success.”

Michael Nazzal, president of the Jordan Federation of Tourism Association said, “Any sector in the world or any business requires data, the more data you have the better you run your business. TCI is very important to know where we stand in order to improve our marketing and regulations and standing to attract more business to Jordan.”

Rand Haddadin who attended the event on behalf of Better Business  said,  “I hope people take the data from the TCI and use it as a strategy to benefit their businesses to boost the tourism industry as a whole…” he continued, “It is very important for the data from TCI to be translated into useful information. If we just look at the numbers and do not create an action plan it will not help us improve the tourism sector.”  When reflecting on ways in which his company plan to utilize TCI he said, “As Better Business we are here to support those working in tourism to develop the mindset and service skills through training and now hopefully with efforts guided by data from the TCI.”

Concluding the event a discussion was held where all attendees had the opportunity to give their opinion on Jordan’s TCI and how it can be used strategically to benefit the tourism sector as a whole. Jordan’s TCI will be updated annually to capture trends in the sector.