The competitiveness construct can be applied to people, organizations, destinations, and countries. On the global level, the World Economic Forum (2020) defines competitiveness as a set of factors that determine the level of a country’s productivity. Tourism is playing a very important role in providing regional and national competitiveness by developing destinations, attracting investments, and providing quality of life for local people (Uysal et al., 2016).
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) is developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and represents different factors related to the investment attractiveness of the tourism industry in the particular country. TTCI includes several sub-categories to describe the overall country environment, policies, infrastructure, and resources. However, in addition to economic indicators (employment, investments, revenues, infrastructure, etc.), tourism also brings negative impacts for destination countries, including socio-cultural costs, environmental issues, and psychological outcomes that should be also taken into account (Gursoy et al., 2019).
The TTCI consists of 14 main indicators that are acquired from the WEFC’s Executive Opinion Survey and complemented with the standardized secondary data from the World Development Indicators (World Bank, 2021), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UNESCO, 2021), World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC, 2021), and other sources. The key indicators derived from these data are demonstrated in Figure 2. The black line represents a global average of the data.
The Executive Opinion Survey includes 90 seven-point scale questions that measure respondents’ opinions or attitudes toward particular subjects. However, the self-reported evaluations of people’s attitudes might be biased by social desirability, availability heuristics, memory limitations, and mood at the time of answering questions (Godovykh & Tasci, 2020). Therefore, additional objective indicators of tourism competitiveness should be included in the index.