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PHL now 11th worst country for tourists, WEF report says

The Philippines is now the 11th most dangerous country for tourists according to the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report prepared by the World Economic Forum.

The Philippines is ranked 126th among 136 countries when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of tourists as "security concerns remain high" in the country.

"Security concerns remain high and diminished protection of property rights, less effective judicial system and stricter rules on [foreign direct investments] have reduced the conduciveness of the business environment," the report said.

The top 10 most dangerous countries in the report are Colombia, Yemen, El Salvador, Pakistan, Nigeria, Venezuela, Egypt, Kenya, Honduras, and Ukraine.

Lebanon, Mali, Bangladesh, Chad, Guatemala, South Africa, Jamaica, Thailand, and the Democratic Republic of Congo round up the top 20.

Thailand, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are the only other Asia-Pacific countries included in the list.

The Philippines ranked lower in the 2015 report at 128th behind Jamaica, the Russian Federation, Myanmar, and Mexico. 

Finland, meanwhile, retained its spot as the safest country for tourists.

"It remains the safest destination globally, despite rising concerns in most Europe, including Finland, regarding terrorism," the report said.

Overall, the Philippines is ranked 79th among 136 countries based on all indicators of the report.

"The [travel and tourism] sector continues to develop on the back of the country's rich natural resources and high price competitiveness, and arrivals have continued to grow so far," the report said.

"At the same time, environmental policy has improved but remains low, risking to undermine natural resources, the main asset for attracting tourists in the country," it added.

The report said the Philippines can still regain its competitiveness through policy interventions on areas such as visa policy and international openness and efficiency of ground transport. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/NB/RSJ, GMA News