Tourists visit the La Sagrada Familia on August 4, 2012 in Barcelona. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

For the first time, Spain ranks as the world’s most tourism-friendly country in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, according to rankings recently released in a biennial report. Spain’s leading status is “thanks to its cultural resources, infrastructure and adaptation to digital consumption habits,” a press release accompanying the report said.

Traditionally strong contenders including France, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Italy were also ranked in the index’s top 10.

The report ranks 141 countries across 14 dimensions “revealing how well countries could deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits through their travel and tourism sector.”

Here’s a look at the top 10 countries, according to the report:

La Sagrada Familia on April 10, 2015 in Barcelona. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

1.) Spain

With approximately 60.6 million annual arrivals from international tourists, Spain tops the list for the first time. The country, rich in cultural resources and entertainment, ranked high in natural and cultural resources. It also scored high in infrastructure, travel and tourism policy and conditions, and business travel.  However it ranked poorly in business environment, hiring and firing practices, and pay and productivity.

Tourists enjoy a warm and sunny spring day at the Trocadero Square near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on April 9, 2015. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

2.) France

France’s natural and cultural resources continue to attract the most tourists of any county with more than 84 million annual arrivals by international tourists. The country also ranks high in infrastructure and overall tourism-enabling environment. But France could use further improvement in the business environment and safety and security categories.

Tourists stand next to a giant billboard featuring a view of the war-ravaged Pariser Platz taken at the end of WWII, at the Pariser Platz with its landmark the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on May 1, 2015. (Wolfgang Kumm/AFP via Getty Images)

3.) Germany

Germany ranked high in the categories of infrastructure, natural and cultural resources, business environment, health and hygiene, and international openness. The country ranked very low on price competitiveness.

People take photos as the sun sets at the Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona on April 13, 2015. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

4.) United States

With a record 74 million international visitors in 2014, the United States was the highest ranked county in the Americas. The U.S. earned high marks in natural and cultural resources and air transportation infrastructure. It also has a competitive business environment. However, restrictive visa requirements earned low marks for travel facilitation. The U.S.  also could improve in the areas of safety and security, ground transportation, and environmental sustainability.

Tourists take a selfie in front of Buckingham Palace using a “selfie stick” on April 7, 2015 in London. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

5.) United Kingdom

The United Kingdom did well in the categories of business environment, international openness, infrastructure, human resources/labor market, and information communications technology readiness. It scored second to last, however, on price competitiveness.


Visitors walk on snow with the Matterhorn in the distance on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

6.) Switzerland

Switzerland earned the top mark for infrastructure. It also did well in the categories of business environment, overall enabling environment, and human resources/labor market. However, Switzerland did not fare well in the category of price competitiveness.


Sydney’s Opera House and the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice are pictured alongside giraffes in their enclosure at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on November 4, 2014. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

7.) Australia

Australia’s natural resources and leisure and entertainment attractions helped earn the country a spot on the top 10 list. The country needs to improve, however, in the categories of price competitiveness and human resources/labor market.


Tourists take a selfie in downtown Florence on March 13, 2015. (Max Rossi/Reuters)

8.) Italy

Italy is the 5th most visited country in the world, according to the report. It also ranks first in World Heritage sites. The country ranked high in the category of natural and cultural resources. Italy could improve in the categories of business environment, price competitiveness, and air and ground infrastructure. 

People take pictures of illuminated cherry trees in full blossom at the Chidorigafuchi moat in Tokyo on March 31, 2015. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

9.) Japan

Japan had more than 10 million foreign tourist in 2013, according to the report. The country ranked high in the category of cultural resources and business travel. Japan can improve in the category of price competitiveness.


Tourists walk along the Canadian side of Niagara Falls on January 10, 2014. (Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images)

10.) Canada

Canada fared well in the infrastructure category and earned the top mark for air transportation infrastructure. The country also scored well in the categories of natural resources and cultural resources, and human resources/labor market. But like many on the top ten list, it scored low for price competitiveness.


Interactive “heat map” released by the World Economic Forum.