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Panama is the most competitive country in Central and South America according to the official “The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013” issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Of 140 countries evaluated worldwide, Panama ranks 37 before Costa Rica (47), Brazil (51), and Colombia (84).
The report, published every two years, evaluates 14 criteria including:
- Policy rules and regulations.
- Environmental sustainability.
- Safety and security.
- Air, tourism, transport, information and communications technology infrastructure.
- Prioritization of travel and tourism.
- Price competitiveness and affinity for travel and tourism.
- Human, natural and cultural resources.
Since 2011 Panama has climbed 19 ranks, passing Puerto Rico, Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico. According to the report, the reason for Panama’s improvement can be explained by the improvement in infrastructure due to more hotel rooms, better ground transport, improved port infrastructure and increased air transportation. Potential for improvement is seen in safety and security, human resource base, and health and hygiene standards.