India has shown the maximum improvement among the top performers in global tourism, jumping from the 40th rank in 2017 to 34th in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 published by the World Economic Forum.
In 2015 India was ranked at 52nd and at 40th place in 2017. The report states that India showed greatest improvement over 2017 among the top 25 per cent of all countries ranked in the report. The overall improvement in TTCI (Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index) score has helped India become the only lower-middle-income country in the top 35.
According to the World Bank, a whopping 1.5 crore tourists visited India in 2017. Indian travel and tourism industry employs 2.8 crore people and contributes to 3.6% to GDP.
Cultural heritage and natural resources are the factors contributing to India’s high scores in the report. The country also improved its business environment and environmental sustainability.
“India, which accounts for the majority of South Asia’s T&T GDP, remains the subregion’s most competitive T&T economy, moving up six places to rank 34th globally. From a subregional perspective, the nation has better air (33rd) and ground and port infrastructure (28th), international openness (51st) and natural (14th) and cultural resources (8th). Compared to global benchmarks, the country can also add price competitiveness (13th) to its roster of strengths. However, India still needs to enhance its enabling environment (98th), tourist service infrastructure (109th) and environmental sustainability (128th),” the report states.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave special focus to India’s tourism sector in his Independence Day speech on August 15 and asked Indians to visit at least 15 tourist destinations across India by 2022.
Spain Takes The Top Spot
Spain made it to the top spot in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (TTCR). Spain was followed by France, Germany and Japan, with the United States replacing the UK in the top five.
The top 35 economies in the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism rankings constitute 84% of the global travel and tourism GDP and nearly 70% of all international tourist arrivals. Six of them include high-income countries.
Of the top 35 countries ranked, 20 are from Europe, 10 from Asia-Pacific, four from the US and one is from the Middle East and North African region.
The report ranked 140 countries on the basis of four sub-indexes: enabling environment, travel and tourism policy, infrastructure, and natural & cultural resources.