India, falling into the lower-middle income economies was ranked 56 in the newly christened travel and tourism rankings by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Till 2019, WEF used to release the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) report biennially, which measured the factors and policies that make a country a viable place to invest within the Travel and Tourism sector on six broad parameters.
From the 2021 report, WEF publishes the Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) as an evolution of the TTCI, which was first published in 2007. According to TTCI in 2019, India was ranked 34 in the index where 140 countries were ranked. With TTDI, WEF has expanded the measurement horizons, termed as ‘pillars’ to 17 and ranked India at 56. With this, 2019 ranking of India has also been revised to 46 out of 117 nations analysed in the index.
Looking at the detailed index, WEF has ranked countries on TTDI, with five main sub-index or parameters to it. These are – Enabling Environment, Travel and Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions, Infrastructure, Travel and Tourism Demand Drivers and Travel and Tourism Sustainability sub-index.
Whereas 17 pillars are – Business Environment, Safety and Security, Health and Hygiene, Human Resource and Labour Market, ICT Readiness, Prioritization of Travel and Tourism, International Openness, Price Competitiveness, Air Transport Infrastructure, Ground and Port Infrastructure, Tourist Service Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, Non-Leisure Resources, Environmental Sustainability, Socioeconomic Resilience and Conditions and Travel & Tourism Demand Pressure and Impact.
So, why did India’s ranking in the index dropped down? What were the parameters where India lacked focus according to WEF and which specific pillars the country can improve? Let’s find out comparing the ranking and parameters to India’s ranking in 2019, where the country achieved its best-ever ranking in the history of the rankings.
Losing out on Enabling Environment & Policy
So, the overall ranking points allotted to India were 4.1 this year which is a depreciation to what India achieved in 2019, when it has received 4.2 points. This is a 2.57 per cent drop, which led India’s ranking fall by 8 spots. Comparing the individual sub-indexes of TTDI, India lost considerably on Enabling Environment and Policy and Enabling Conditions sub-index, where the country’s ranking fell by 17 and 7 points respectively in comparison to 2019-rankings.
Ranks dropped in Business Environment, HR, and Labour Market pillar
Deep diving into comparisons on the pillars, India lost most points and ranks on Business Environment, where India’s position dropped to 92 in 2021, reflecting a decline of 54 ranking points in comparison to 2019, when India was ranked a moderate 38th. Another pillar where India performed badly this year is the Human Resource and Labour Market. In 2019, India was ranked 67th and this year, the ranking in the same pillar has gone down to 98. These parameters suggest the area where the country has lacked behind in the last two years, when the world was battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Air Transport Infrastructure and Demand Pressure & Impact push
Looking at the positives from this year’s rankings, India has made small but significant strides up in a few of the pillars. In the ICT Readiness, Air Transport Infrastructure and Demand Pressure and Impact parameter, India has improved its position from 2019. While India’s ranking has improved by 10 spots in air transport infrastructure, there has been a significant improvement in the travel and tourism demand pressure and impact pillar, where the ranking has got better by 8 positions.