ISLAMABAD (PPI) - The World Economic Forum (WEF) Wednesday launched the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009. The report provides a cross-country analysis of the drivers of competitiveness in travel and tourism, providing useful comparative information for making business decisions and additional value to governments wishing to improve their travel and tourism environments. Pakistan ranked 113 out of 130 countries, underlining the country's frail travel and tourism regulatory framework, low prioritization of the travel and tourism industry by the government, low effectiveness of marketing and branding and a constricted tourism perception. Last year Pakistan ranked 111 out of 124 countries, so in reality Pakistan's ranking remains stagnant. Some of the other competitive disadvantages for Pakistan include a poor tourism infrastructure such as competitive hotel rooms (119 compared to 110 last year); available ATM?s accepting visa cards (111 compared to 110 last year); and the prevailing security situation (132 compared to 106 last year). Further indications that all is not fine with Pakistan's tourism and travel industry can be highlighted by the fact that last year, despite many competitive disadvantages, Pakistan ranked 40th for air travel and 39th in ground transport structure, but slipped to 99th and 73rd this year. On the flip side, Pakistan ranked well in price competitiveness in the industry mainly because of low fuel prices (36) purchasing power parity (13) and the extent of effect of taxation (42). Pakistan also ranked well in the number of heritage and cultural sites (33) and creative industries exports (27). Pakistan will, however, continue to need to focus on the sustainability of its natural environment. The data for the Pakistan has been prepared through a combination of data from publicly available sources, international travel and tourism institutions and experts as well as results of the Executive Opinion Survey 2008 which was carried out by the Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF), the WEF?s partner institution in Pakistan. The Competitiveness Support Fund is a joint venture of the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, and the USAID, established to reposition Pakistan's economy on a more global footing. The CEO of the CSF, Arthur Bayhan, said CSF was deeply engaged in issues of competitiveness and is working with the public and private sectors as well as the academia in Pakistan to improve the competiveness global ranking of the Pakistani economy. Bayhan, said the Executive Opinion Survey, is a major component of the Global Competitive Report that is published annually by the WEF. The survey provides the key component which turns the report into a representative annual measure of Pakistan's economic environment and its ability to achieve sustained growth. Top level executives operating in Pakistan are surveyed and their opinion is taken on Pakistan's business environment in which they operate. The 2009 Executive Opinion Survey in Pakistan was launched two weeks ago and is ongoing with top executives being surveyed in seven cities in Pakistan. According to this year's Travel and Tourism Report, Switzerland, Austria and Germany retained their top rankings respectively, further consolidating the fact that they have the most attractive environments for developing the travel and tourism industry. France jumped six places to 4th and Canada went from 9th to 5th. Singapore was Asia's top destination, ranking 10th. In the Middle East and Africa, the United Arab Emirates ranked first in the region and 33rd in the world overall, up seven places from last year. Pakistan's neighbour India ranked 11th in the Asian region and 62nd in the world overall.