UK score slips in safety pillar of WEF's travel and tourism index amid terror attacks

The UK has been hit a by a string of terror attacks since the start of 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 06 July 2017
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UK score slips in safety pillar of WEF's travel and tourism index amid terror attacks

DUBAI: The UK’s score in the safety and security pillar of World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index slipped a few notches for 2017 just as the country was hit by a string of terror attacks.
The WEF describes the safety and security pillar as the “extent to which a country exposes tourists and businesses to security risks mainly related to serious harm to people such as violence and terrorism”, although petty crimes are not taken into account.
The UK scored 5.34 in terms of safety and security in the latest biennial report, as against 5.44 in 2015. The country however maintained its 5th overall ranking in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index with a score of 5.20 compared with 5.12 two years ago.
WEF’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index is constructed from 14 pillars – including safety and security, business environment, international openness, environmental sustainability, cultural resources and ICT readiness – which are calculated based on data derived from surveys and quantitative information.
Meanwhile, three Gulf states made it to top 10 of the world’s best tourist-friendly countries are: Finland (6.65); the United Arab Emirates (6.60); Iceland (6.57); Oman (6.49); Hong Kong SAR (6.47); Singapore (6.45); Norway (6.41); Switzerland (6.41); Rwanda (6.39) and Qatar (6.33).
Kuwait maintained its 43rd ranking (5.7); Bahrain improved to 47th (5.7) while Saudi Arabia slipped a few notches to 61st (5.5) in the safety and security segment of WEF’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.
The world’s most dangerous countries to visit, according to WEF: Ukraine (3.5); Honduras (3.5); Kenya (3.4); Egypt (3.3); Venezuela (3.3); Nigeria (3.1); Pakistan (3.1); El Salvador (3.0); Yemen( 2.8) and Colombia (2.6) being the worst place to visit.
Countries considered as no-go destinations for tourists, such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, have been excluded in the list.


OPEC cut ‘biggest in almost 2 years’

Updated 48 min 44 sec ago
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OPEC cut ‘biggest in almost 2 years’

  • OPEC said in a monthly report its oil output fell by 751,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December to 31.58 million bpd
  • OPEC expects 2019 global oil demand growth to slow to 1.29 million bpd from 1.5 million in 2018

LONDON: OPEC said on Thursday it had cut oil output sharply in December before a new accord to limit supply took effect, suggesting producers have made a strong start to averting a glut in 2019 as a slowing economy curbs demand.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a monthly report its oil output fell by 751,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December to 31.58 million bpd, the biggest month-on-month drop in almost two years.
Worried by a drop in oil prices and rising supplies, OPEC and its allies, including Russia, agreed in December to return to production cuts in 2019. They pledged to lower output by 1.2 million bpd, of which OPEC’s share is 800,000 bpd.
The reduction in December means that should OPEC fully implement the new Jan. 1 cut, it will avoid a surplus that could weaken prices. Oil slid from $86 a barrel in October to below $50 in December on concerns of excess supply.
OPEC expects 2019 global oil demand growth to slow to 1.29 million bpd from 1.5 million in 2018 although it was more upbeat about the economic backdrop than last month and cited better sentiment in the oil market, where crude is back above $60.
“While the economic risk remains skewed to the downside, the likelihood of a moderation in monetary tightening is expected to slow the decelerating economic growth trend in 2019,” OPEC said.
“This has recently been reflected in global financial markets. The positive effect on market sentiment was also witnessed in the oil market,” it said.
The supply cut was a policy U-turn after the producer alliance known as OPEC+ agreed in June 2018 to boost supply amid pressure from US President Donald Trump to lower prices and cover an expected shortfall in Iranian exports.
OPEC changed course after the slide in prices starting in October. A previous OPEC+ supply curb starting in January 2017 — when OPEC production fell by 890,000 bpd according to OPEC figures — got rid of a glut formed in 2014-2016.
In a sign of excess supply, OPEC’s report said oil inventories in developed economies had stayed above the five-year average in November.
The biggest drop in OPEC supply last month came from Saudi Arabia and amounted to 468,000 bpd, the survey showed.
Saudi supply in November had hit a record above 11 million bpd.
The Kingdom told OPEC it lowered supply to 10.64 million bpd in December and has said it plans to go even further in January by delivering a larger cut than required under the OPEC+ deal.
The second-largest was an involuntary cut by Libya, where unrest led to the shutdown of the country’s biggest oilfield.
Output from Iran posted the third-largest decline, also involuntary, as US sanctions that started in November discouraged companies from buying its oil.
Iran, Libya and Venezuela are exempt from the 2019 supply cut deal and are expected by some analysts to post further falls, giving a tailwind to the voluntary effort by the others.
OPEC said in the report that 2019 demand for its crude would decline to 30.83 million bpd, a drop of 910,000 bpd from 2018, as rivals pump more and the slowing economy curbs demand.
Delivering the 800,000 bpd cut from December’s level should mean the group would be pumping slightly less than the expected demand for its crude this year and so avoid a surplus. Last month’s report had pointed to a surplus.
The figures for OPEC production and demand for its crude were lowered by about 600,000 bpd to reflect Qatar’s exit from the group, which now has 14 members.