But which countries are best positioned to benefit most from the industry? You might not be surprised to find out that beautiful natural sceneries like the Iguassu Falls and iconic cultural landmarks like Machu Picchu aren’t the only factors that determine whether a destination is competitive.
So which are the 10 most competitive countries in Latin America? And more importantly, what do they all have in common?
While the best-performing countries have many features in common, they each have their own specificities that set them apart.
Brazil ranked 2nd in Latin America, and 27th globally. The country is blessed with the largest and most diverse natural resources on the planet, and strong cultural resources. Brazil also benefits from good tourist service infrastructure and air connectivity, while remaining a price competitive destination.
Unfortunately, the security and business context have worsened over the years. The homicide rate remains high and the business environment continues to worsen due to inefficiencies in the legal system, red tape and high taxes. At the same time, the sector has not received much governmental support, with little investment and marketing activity.
Argentina is another country in Latin America that made significant progress, rising seven places in the global rankings to reach 50th position. The country, which is already endowed with exceptional natural and cultural resources, has significantly benefited from improvements to its “enabling environment” – factors such as its labor market and ICT infrastructure.
Still, Argentina could improve by investing more in the travel and tourism sector. Today, less than 2.5% of its government budget is invested in the sector, while the taxes and charges levied on tickets are among the highest in the world. Changing these policies could have a swift and direct effect on boosting the industry. Of course letting the world know what it has to offer could help a lot too. A little publicity could open up a lot of eyes to see that the country probably has a lot more to offer than many people realized.
Chile is getting more and more recognition and is building new, well-received hotels all over the country. Since it is perceived as being safe and has modern infrastructure, it has many positive things going for it.
I'm surprised that Peru and Ecuador are ranked so low, since they both have world-renowned sites (such as Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands), vibrant cultures, a variety of ecosystems, nice hotels and the government and private entities spend a lot of money promoting the countries (I think Ecuador normally has the most companies represented at Travelmart Latin America each year). And the people themselves are so friendly!
For whatever reasons, requests for Peru and Ecuador have picked up quite a bit this year, while requests for Brazil have decreased. Maybe that is because there is a demand for travel to South America, but Brazil is not perceived as being safe right now (though the natural hot spots such as the Amazon, Pantanal, Iguassu Falls, Bonito and Chapada Diamantina are as safe as always) .