India rises to 39th on Global Travel & Tourism Index

India ranks highest in South Asia

May 21, 2024

The country excelled in Natural Resources (6th), Cultural Resources (9th), and Non-Leisure Resources (9th)

India's robust infrastructure, particularly in Air Transport (26th) and Ground and Port (25th), positions it as a well-prepared and accessible destination for global travellers

Despite a slight decline from 2019, India maintained robust travel and tourism sustainability scores

The global travel sector showed a strong recovery, with the Middle East leading in international tourist arrivals, surpassing 2019 by 20%

India’s ascent to the 39th position on the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) for 2024 is a testament to its resilience and potential in the global tourism landscape. This significant rise from the 54th position in 2021 underscores India’s progress and recovery from the pandemic’s impact. The United States leads the rankings, with India proudly holding the highest position in South Asia. It’s important to note that changes to the index parameters limit direct comparison with earlier years, but the upward trajectory is clear.

India’s strong showing in the 2024 list, following the US, Spain, Japan, France, and Australia, is a testament to its diverse and rich tourism offerings. The index, developed in collaboration with the University of Surrey, highlights India’s strong price competitiveness (18th) and robust infrastructure in Air Transport (26th) and Ground and Port (25th). Notably, India’s excellence in Natural Resources (6th), Cultural Resources (9th), and Non-Leisure Resources (9th) sets it apart, making it one of only three countries to rank in the top 10 across all these resource categories.

Despite the challenges posed by global inflationary trends and the impact of the pandemic, India has managed to maintain strong scores in travel and tourism demand sustainability. This is mainly due to the efforts to encourage longer, more sustainable stays among inbound visitors. The report notes that the inflationary trends have impacted travel and tourism-enabling conditions in India, leading to a dip in price competitiveness and a slower recovery in air transport and tourist services infrastructure compared to 2019 levels. Consequently, India’s overall TTDI score is 2.1% below its 2019 level, reflecting the ongoing efforts to balance growth and sustainability.

High-income economies in Europe and Asia-Pacific continue to dominate the index, supported by favourable business environments, dynamic labour markets, open travel policies, strong transport and tourism infrastructure, and rich natural, cultural, and non-leisure attractions. International tourist arrivals and the sector’s contribution to global GDP are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, driven by the lifting of COVID-19-related travel restrictions and strong pent-up demand.

The Middle East boasts the highest recovery rates in international tourist arrivals, exceeding 2019 levels by 20%, while Europe, Africa, and the Americas show a strong recovery of around 90% in 2023. The biennial index evaluates the travel and tourism sectors of 119 countries based on various factors and policies. Germany ranks 6th, followed by the UK, China, Italy, and Switzerland in the top ten, with high-income economies generally providing more favourable travel and tourism development conditions.

Source: Economic Times

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