India has jumped 12 places to 40th rank globally in travel and tourism ranking by World Economic Forum. India is one of the countries that improved the most as it gained 12 places in Asia, but lagged behind its other Asian peers like Japan and China which were ranked way ahead at 4th and 13th place, respectively. Spain is ranked at the top in the list.
“India continues to enrich its cultural resources, protecting more cultural sites and intangible expressions through UNESCO World Heritage lists, and via a greater digital presence,” WEF said in its Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017.
Some of the factors that helped India climb up the ladder include international openness through strong policies such as implementing visa on arrival and e-visas, and improvements in the country’s ground transport infrastructure which benefited the travel and tourism sector in the country, it added.
India has seen continued growth in international arrivals over the past 15 years, reaching the 8 million mark in 2015, WEF said, adding the country’s vast cultural and natural resources, and its price competitiveness advantage also attracted international tourists. The report, however, noted that though health conditions are improving, they remain “inadequate”. Similarly, ICT readiness, security concerns and human resources are improving, but remain “weak”.
“While further improvements are needed across these dimensions, India is taking small but important steps in the right direction,” WEF said, adding that the Indian travel and tourism ranking presents significant opportunities that are yet to be reaped, especially in the provision of tourist service infrastructure, and in terms of additional accommodation capacity and entertainment facilities.