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WEF: Tourism's share in global GDP to return to pre-Covid levels this year

By Akshara Srivastava
May 22, 2024 13:04 IST
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The travel and tourism sector’s contribution to global gross domestic product will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday.


Photograph: PTI Photo from the Rediff Archives

This recovery is driven by a considerable increase in worldwide demand, coinciding with more available flights, better international openness, and increased interest and investment in natural and cultural attractions.


India, with a score of 4.25, holds the 39th position and is the only South Asian nation in the top 50 countries on the biannual Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) brought out jointly by WEF and the University of Surrey.

India ranked 54th in the 2019 edition of the index. However, changes made to the index parameters limit its comparability to earlier years.

“India (39th) has the largest travel and tourism sector in South Asia and scores as the TTDI’s top lower-middle-income economy,” the study analysing 119 nations noted.

“The country is highly price-competitive (18) and boasts competitive air transport (26) and ground and port (25) infrastructure,” it further said.

The rise was driven by the country’s strong natural (6), cultural (9), and non-leisure (9) resources.

India is among the only three countries to score in the top 10 for all the resource pillars.

Moreover, despite a decline compared to 2019, the country still scores well for travel and tourism demand sustainability, on the back of inbound visitors still choosing more sustainable long stays.

The country’s overall TTDI score is 2.1 per cent lower than the 2019 levels.

This is because, “as with many economies, travel tourism enabling conditions in India have been impacted by global inflationary supply-side trends and declining price competitiveness”, the study added.

Air transport and tourist services infrastructure in the country are also yet to recover to 2019 levels.

Compared to 2019, notable areas of improvement include internet and communication technology readiness, health and hygiene, environmental sustainability, and travel and tourism socio-economic impact — “highlighting the country’s progress on some of its key enabling gaps”, the study said.

The index was topped by the US, followed by Spain, Japan, France, and Australia.

West Asia, meanwhile, led the recovery rates for international tourist arrivals, exceeding the 2019 levels by 20 per cent.

The results highlight that high-income economies generally continue to have more favourable conditions for travel and tourism development.

Of the top 30 index scorers in 2024, 26 are high-income economies.

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Akshara Srivastava
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