India clocked the biggest improvement among the top performers in global tourism, jumping from 40th in 2017 to 34th in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 published by the World Economic Forum. The only lower-middle income country in the top-35 ranked countries, a look at where it scores and where it lags as a major tourist destination.
- Cultural heritage and natural resources are, expectedly, two factors where India scores highly in the report.
- The country also worked on its business environment and environmental sustainability, leading countries in the Asia-Pacific in terms of improvement on these. But it also slid since the last report on its ranking on four of the 14 broad factors on which the 140 countries were ranked by WEF.
- The top quartile, that is, the top 35 economies in the WEF Travel & Tourism rankings account for about 84% of the global travel and tourism GDP and nearly 70% of all international tourist arrivals.
- All but six of them are high-income economies, 20 are from Europe, 10 are from Asia-Pacific, four from the Americas and one (UAE) is from the Middle East and North Africa region.
- According to World Bank, a whopping 1.5 crore international tourists visited India in 2017. Indian travel and tourism industry employs 2.8 crore people and contributes 3.6% to GDP.