Tourism Sector Current Affairs

India ranks 40 in WEF’s 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index

India was ranked 40th among the 136 economies across the world in 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

In this edition of index, India has jumped 12 places from earlier 52nd position in 2015. But it lagged behind its other Asian peers like Japan (4th) and China (13th).

Key Facts
  • Top 10 Countries in 2017 TTCI: Spain (1st), France (2nd), Germany (3rd), (4th), the United Kingdom (5th), the United States (6th), Australia (7th), Italy (8th), Canada (9th) and Switzerland (10th).
  • Globally, advanced economies still hold the top slots, 12 of the top 15 most improved countries are emerging markets.
  • Regionally, rise of Asia’s giants shows that Asian Tourism Century is becoming a reality. To reach their potential, Asian countries still have more to do, from enhancing security, promoting their cultural heritage, building their infrastructure and creating stronger visa policies.
  • The travel and tourism industry is considered force for good in largely stagnant global economy. This sector accounts for 10% of global GDP, growing faster than other sectors and providing one in 10 jobs.
  • India related Facts: 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.
  • Some of the factors that helped India to improve its rank include international openness through strong policies such as implementing visa on arrival and e-visas, and improvements ground transport infrastructure.
  • Moreover India’s vast cultural and natural resources and its price competitiveness advantage also attracted international tourists.
  • India has seen continued growth in international arrivals over the past 15 years, reaching the 8 million mark in 2015.
  • But, still it needs to improve health conditions which are inadequate at present, similarly, ICT readiness, security concerns and human resources are improving, but remain “weak”.
  • Indian travel and tourism sector presents significant opportunities that are yet to be reaped, especially in provision of tourist service infrastructure, and also in terms of additional accommodation capacity and entertainment facilities.

About Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index

  • The index compiled by World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks 136 countries across 14 dimensions under sub-indexes.
  • It measures set of factors and policies that enable sustainable development of travel and tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.
  • It further reveals how well countries could deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits through their travel and tourism sector.

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UN declares 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared the year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

The declaration recalls the potential of tourism sector to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Key Facts
  • The International Year aims to support a change in business practices, policies and consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute effectively to achieve targets of the SDGs.
  • It will promote tourism sector’s role in five key areas: (i) Inclusive and sustainable economic growth (ii) Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction (iii) Cultural values, diversity and heritage (iv) Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change (v) Mutual understanding, peace and security.
  • Tourism is under three targets of the SDGs: They are (i) Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. (ii) Goal 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production and (iii) Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  • The tourism sector accounts for 7% of worldwide exports, 10% of the world’s GDP and one in eleven jobs. If managed well, it can foster inclusive economic growth, social inclusiveness and protection of natural and cultural assets.

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