Rankings got you down?

Wondering how on earth you got through graduate school only to land up back in junior high school fretting over your credentials for sitting in the back of the school bus? You, my friend, need a vacation! And to help you select a suitable destination, you’ll of course want to consult the 2009 World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. 133 countries are ranked, and the top 5 are…

1. Switzerland.
2. Austria.
3. Germany.
4. France.
5. Canada.

Obviously, then, a top-tier vacation is a skiing vacation. And central Europe continues to dominate the après-ski world, with France leaping from 10th in 2008 to 4th in 2009. However, Canada has broken into the top 5 by knocking off that Pyrenees powerhouse, Spain, which gives New World vacationers a respectable option. (Those hell-bent on surfing will simply have to make do with the specialty rankings.)

Other notables: the US (#8), Italy (#28), Saudi Arabia (#71), Pakistan (#113), and Chad (#133). Afganistan and Iraq are unranked.


Rankings got you down? — 13 Comments

  1. Wait, what if I’m intereted in kinds of vacation other than skiing? Should I worry that these rankings don’t fit for everyone?

  2. Well, you could go off to Australia to surf, say. But, I’m afraid you wouldn’t then be vacationing in a top 5 destination.

    Now, I know that there will be grumbling about this ranking. What about sun and sand, some will complain. Asia sure gets a short shrift, others may fume. And why was Uzbekistan on the 2008 list but dropped from 2009?

    But, you see, these are just the complaints of self-interested malcontents, vacationers who simply overrate their own preferred vacation destinations. You’ll see that none of them bother to offer a better ranking of vacation spots.

    After all, there is a sociological hierarchy to vacationing. And while it is a jolt to be told the real order of things, that colder countries are better countries for vacations than warmer countries, it is a service to vacationers to find out the truth before booking their trips.

  3. Obviously, the best vacationing takes place with the best vacationers. So tell me where the best vacationers are, and I’ll tell you where I want to vacation.

  4. Indeed, PV, which is why we have this helpful ranking scheme for vacation destinations to identify where the best vacationers will be. Now, sure, we’re measuring one thing (number of hotels, things to do) to draw an inference about an entirely different matter (the quality of your vacation experience and, by extension, your social position), but you shouldn’t be too concerned about that kind of nitpicking. After all, do you really think you’d have a better vacation experience in Azerbaijan (#76) than Sweden (#7)?

  5. Greg, I’ve heard that New Zealand (#20) is in the process of trying to acquire Raclette cheese (delicious!) and the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (distinguished former academic home of Wolfgang Pauli, among others, but not much use for skiing) from Switzerland. What effect do you think these moves would have on the rankings?

  6. A bold move by the Kiwis, for sure. Should New Zealand pull off this move they could knock Portugal out of 17th position and out of the group 1 vacation spots (i.e., scoring 5 or above), which would be another blow to the surfers.

    Foodies and body-boarders, keep an eye on these developments.

  7. Specialty Rankings: Driving

    Germany’s autobahn, Italy’s colorful insults, India’s horn-based driving, Portuguese mayhem, Saudi Arabia’s nihilism, and total Kenyan disorder…your guide to the best vacation destinations for a thrill behind the wheel.

    Group 1.

    Group 2.

    Group 3.

    Group 4.
    Saudi Arabia

    Australia, since adopting speed limits in their northern territory, has plummeted in this specialty ranking.

  8. Japan votes offer to Eiffel Tower

    Japan already has its own 20th century steel tower and has announced plans for a giant 21st century replacement, so adding the iconic 19th century iron structure to Japan’s roster would make it the top destination for the history of radio transmission towers.

  9. Could you say a bit about your ranking methodology? I’ve heard people talk about meaningfulness and scale type, but it all sounds like formal nonsense. Seriously, if I can compute it, then it is meaningful, right?

  10. This is REALLY really helpful! What a truly great human being you are for fighting against the POWERS THAT BE and other IGNORAMI to provide this service!! May BLIGHT strike any who dare to criticize you!!!

    The Mrs and I are planning our vacation for Fall 2009 — visa applications are due next week. I’m widely seen to be a social misfit, although she’s great at mingling and chit-chat. Our credit score’s only so-so. Do I bother applying to the top ten, or should I just settle for a less glamorous locale? I’d guess that the money I save on visa fees could pay for lots of quinine …

  11. Thank you, AR. I do it all for vacationers like you.

    I’ve seen scuba-diving / cabana club vacations work in situations like yours. We stick the misfit underwater with the fishes for the week and park the social one at the bar. You can forget about landing in the top 5, however. Australia (#9) is your best shot for a top ten vacation, so long as you don’t mind sharks. Mexico (#51) is a good safety.

    As for the impact of credit scores, I have no idea. I’ll open up comments for readers to weigh in. (No anonymous posts).

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