India Ranked 34th In World Travel & Tourism Competitiveness

India has moved six places up to reach the 34th rank in the world Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. This index considers many elements of tourism including cultural resources, rich natural resource, price competitiveness and others. India has moved up from 40th rank to 34th ranks and is now a part of the top 25% of the countries in the list.

About Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index measures more than 140 categories including policies, economies, sustainable development and others, which contribute to development and competitiveness of the country. This list compares 140 countries in their strength in the field of global tourism and travel.

This index is calculated with 4 sub-indexes, which are derived from 14 pillars or indicators. This includes enabling environment, tourism policies, infrastructure, cultural resources, natural resources and others. These 14 pillars are used to derive the final competitiveness rank.

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Tourism Status of India

India is a major contributor of the South Asia’s Travel and Tourism GDP. With this increase in rank, the country remains the sub-region’s most competitive economy in Travel and Tourism category. In the entire continent of Asia, Japan stands first (overall rank – 4th) in Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. China holds the rank for being the largest travel and tourism economy in the list, belonging to Asia-Pacific region. China stands at 53th rank, moving two spots up.

The interesting part of India being in the top 35 of the list is that, it is the only lower-middle income country to be in that list of top 35. The country has shown great improvement in the overall index score, thanks to the cultural assets, natural beauties and price competitiveness. India holds 33rd rank in air infrastructure category, 51st rank in international openness, 28th rank in Port infrastructure, 8th rank in cultural resources and 14th rank in natural resources.

In comparison with other countries, the country holds 13th rank in price competitiveness. Other notable lower-middle income countries in the list are China, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil and others. They stand out in the Business Travel and Cultural Resources genre of this economy level of countries.

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Boost in the rank comes from the boost in business environment in India (from 89th rank to 39th), betterment of Travel and Tourism policy and conditions (from 79th to 69th rank), infrastructure betterment (from 58th rank to 55th) and improvement in information and communications technology readiness (from 112th rank to 105th). In the past, India was ranked 52nd in 2015.

It is not all good run for the country, there are a few areas where the country should improve, based on the score of the index. Top fields in that genre for improvement are environmental sustainability (current rank – 128th), enabling environment (current rank – 98th) and tourist service infrastructure (current rank – 109th).

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India’s Tourism

In the WEF survey, India got an overall score of 4.4. In 2017, the score was 4.2. According to a report, India had more than 15.5 international tourists in 2019. The tourism industry of India is credited for 3.6% of GDP of the country and has created more than 26.7 lakh of jobs.

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Other Countries

The top five positions are filled by Spain, France, Germany, Japan and USA (replacing UK). UK is now at 6th position followed by Australia, Italy, Canada and Switzerland. Many countries that have hiked in the ranks belong to the Asia-Pacific region, indicating their growth in the genre. Other notable countries of Asia-Pacific in this list are Philippines (75th rank; moving up four places), China, Japan and Pakistan (121st rank; the least competitive country in the South Asia region in this genre). Pakistan holds 134th position in safety and security conditions, making it South Asia’s least favorable country to travel for tourism.

Among the countries with higher growth, India is an eminent player. Other high growth countries are China (from 92nd rank to 53rd rank) and USA (16th rank to 4th rank).

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Tipping Point

According to a study made on the growth and the index indicates resilient growth in the sector of travel and tourism, throughout the world. However, according to experts, the world is moving towards Tipping Point. In this point, a few factors like less expensive travels and reduced tourist barriers are increasing the level of demand to a state of unsustainability.

In simpler terms, most of the countries are trying to make short term money with travel and tourism department without seeing the big picture of proper management of tourism assets. According to Lauren Uppink, WEF’s Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism, the countries should make a holistic management of tourism assets to drive their economies with tourism.

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