The incapability of understanding numbers, which is typical for those who can only read headlines, and the haste to publicize as soon as possible the bombastic successes of his government, have brought Prime Minister Edi Rama to commit the common mistake of self-praise, concretely expressed in a propaganda post on his Facebook page.
The Prime Minister announced that according to the report of the World Economic Forum Global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report has improved 8 places to position 98 of 136, in comparison with 2015 when Albania was ranked 106 of 141, and has improved 25 places in terms of safety and security.
But a careful reading of the report shows that the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index is based on 14 specific pillars, on some of which Albania indeed scores better than before: “Safety and security” and “Human resources and labour market,” the latter one obviously being helped by the high ranking for “Ease of hiring foreign labour”
The Safety and security chapter, in which Albania is ranked on the 45th place, 25 places higher than in 2015, is based on 5 different indicators, the first three of which are based on local questionnaires:
- Business costs of crime and violence: place 69, just like Germany;
- Reliability of police services: place 45, after 11 EU countries including Italy – which assists Albania in developing its police force;
- Business costs of terrorism: place 56;
- Index of terrorism incidence: place 68, suprisingly ranking Albania after countries actually hit by terrorism such as Belgium, Norway, and Mauritania, but before Italy, Finland, Australia, and Czech Republic, where there have been no recent terrorist attacks;
- Homicide rate: place 79, performing worse than a year ago
Besides the low credibility of the data listed above, 3 out of 5 being based on local questionnaires, it is curious that the resulting ranking comprised of the 5 subrankings (65, 45, 56, 68, 79), namely 46, is basically as high as the highest subranking! This is a curious mathematical outcome, no matter how the different subranking are “weighed.”
As regards the other pillars, Albania is ranked very low. For example, in “International openness” it is ranked at 107, “Business environment” 109, “Air transport infrastructure” 109, “Natural resources” 123, and “Cultural resources and business travel” 131.
Albania’s “improvement” is therefore mainly based on a high score for “Safety and security,” which is turn is based for 3/5 on local polling and a weighing system that appears to defy logic. But none of this will prevent Prime Minister Rama from blasting it to his followers.