Good and bad news for India – Improvement in travel competitiveness index, but dip in key sectors

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There is good news and bad news for India in the travel sector – the country has jumped six places (from the last study which was conducted in 2017) and is now ranked 34th among 140 countries in the global ranking for travel and tourism competitiveness index as per a new list released by World Economic Forum. However, despite this spurt, the country is ranked much lower when it comes to safety and security, health and hygiene as well as environmental sustainability.

As per the recent study, tourism accounts for 3.6% of the country’s GDP as well as 5.1% of jobs. If we take a look at the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), India ranks eighth in terms of cultural resources as well as business travel. Also, it is ranked 14th for natural resources and 13th for price competitiveness.

This report also mentions that along with Mexico and Brazil, India has tremendous capabilities in natural and cultural resources and when they combine them with relatively strong price competitiveness, the region becomes a great tourist attraction.

Reading further into the report, we find that China, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, and India—which do not rank too highly as far as the high-income economies are concerned — have found themselves near the top 35 in the overall list. What works for these countries is that they perform exceptionally in the Cultural Resources and Business Travel Pillar as they have managed to intertwine rich natural and cultural resources and strong price competitiveness.

There are a few parameters where there is scope for improvement as India has dropped down in the rankings owing to these sectors. It is ranked 128th for environmental sustainability, 105 for health and hygiene and 122nd for safety and security. Also, in a list of 140 nations, India ranks 109th for tourist service infrastructure and 105th for ICT readiness.

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