Switzerland, Austria and Germany offer the most competitive environments for developing travel and tourism, according to the latest annual survey by the World Economic Forum, based in Geneva.

Top-ranked Switzerland was praised for its cultural and natural resources, environmental protection, perception of safety and comfort for travelers, outstanding hotel management schools, and high-quality roads and railroads.

France, Canada, Spain, Sweden, the United States, Australia and Singapore – in that order – complete the Top 10.

The survey said the U.S., ranked second in the Americas and eighth overall, dropped one position internationally compared to 2007. It placed second for the overall business environment and infrastructure and first for the country‚Äôs human, cultural and natural resources. The nation’s airline system earned praise, as did its “many nationally protected areas and many World Heritage natural sites.”

On the downside, the survey found the U.S. suffers from a perception that “the environment is not being sufficiently protected,” along with negative perceptions about security and safety for travelers.

Canada bested the U.S. in the Americas; its air travel infrastructure placed first internationally. Mexico ranked sixth in the Americas and 51st overall, in part because of concerns over safety and crime.