Tourism trends of certain member countries have a negative effect on MERCOSUR
World Economic Forum put forward a new report, that has ranked which “countries roll out the welcome mat to travellers and which give the cold shoulder”. The “Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013” ranked 140 countries according to attractiveness and competitiveness in the travel and tourism industries ranking Bolivia and Venezuela among the world’s unfriendliest countries for tourists.
The “friendly” ranking was just one aspect of the report, analyzing each country’s competitiveness in travel and tourism. That competitiveness is “based on the extent to which they are putting in place the factors and policies to make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism sector.”
MERCOSUR countries, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, plus associates Chile, Bolivia and Peru did not fare encouragingly in the global ranking. The best positioned was Brazil (51) that next year is hosting the World Cup and in 2016 the Olympic Games. Chile figures in position 58, Uruguay, 59, Argentina, 61, Peru, 73, Venezuela 113 and Paraguay, 115.
The report emphasized the need for continued development in the travel and tourism sector particularly for its role in job creation in a relatively stagnant global economy.
However, the low score on tourism for Bolivia and Venezuela is explainable. Any country’s political and economic stability or instability has a direct effect on its population, thus the least developed prosperous and not secure countries will obviously have the least satisfied population and it is hard for people to be welcoming and open to others when they are unsatisfied with the quality of own life.
Consequently, negative tourism outlook of individual countries (such as Bolivia and Venezuela in this case) has a direct impact on other MERCOSUR states because if Bolivia and Venezuela continue on the negative strike , neighboring states and MERCOSUR members that currently cooperate on domestic and inbound tourism may limit or withdraw their cooperation efforts (shared marketing efforts, flights connection, tours) due to economical infeasibility. The MERCOSUR has operated a regional tourism policy for a number of years, and includes initiatives such as international travel and tourism trade fairs which serve to inform potential tourists of what MERCOSUR countries have to offer.