Clearly, with so many great options out there, deciding where to go can prove challenging. Luckily, if you’re really into making decisions based on data and research (nerd), the World Economic Forum (WEF) publishes a biennial report focused on the travel and tourism competitiveness of every country in the world. They even rank them.
While we strongly suggest you explore options off the beaten path, basing your decision on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report is a pretty safe bet and the top five countries on the report are definitely worth your time if you’ve never been. The report is based on a variety of factors and seeks to measure, “the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the Travel & Tourism (T&T) sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.”
Meaning the report doesn’t necessarily predict whether you’ll have a great experience in a specific country, but rather that the necessary infrastructure for travel as an industry is in place. Organized into what the WEF calls the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index(T&TCI), the report measures qualities of a country with four major pillars of data that include a destination’s “Enabling Environment,” — which includes such factors as a country’s business environment, safety, and security — a country’s international openness and prioritization of travel and tourism, the infrastructure of a country, and lastly the natural and cultural resources available in the country.
Using the data collected in the T&TCI, the WEF assigns a ranking to each country and offers a data-driven guide for travel. We pulled out the top five and included the key reasoning behind WEF’s assessment of each country to help you decide where to travel in the new year, this way you stat dorks have a reliable way to assess your options.