Geneva: India has moved up three places on the list of the world’s attractive destinations, but is still at a low of 62nd position in the global ranking, which is topped by Switzerland, according to a report released by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.
Switzerland is followed by Austria, Germany, France and Canada in the top five of the annual ‘Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report’ for 2009, which features a total of 133 countries.
India has moved up from its 65th position last year, but is still below its neighbour China, which has moved up to 43rd place from 52nd in 2008.
“India is ranked 11th in the (Asia-Pacific) region and 62nd overall, up three places since last year. As with China, India is well assessed for its natural resources (ranked 14th) and cultural resources (24th), with many World Heritage sites, both natural and cultural, rich fauna, and strong creative industries in the country,” WEF said.
The country also has quite a good air transport network, particularly given the country’s stage of development, and a reasonable ground transport infrastructure, it added.
However, some aspects of its tourism infrastructure remains somewhat underdeveloped (ranked 73rd), with very few hotel rooms per capita by international comparison and low ATM penetration.
“... despite government and industry efforts to promote the country abroad (India is ranked first with regard to tourism fair attendance) and the exposure given to recent promotional campaigns, the assessment of marketing and branding to attract tourists remains average (ranked 53rd),“ The WEF report states.
“Another area of concern is the policy environment, ranked 108th, with much time and cost for starting a business, bilateral Air Service Agreements that are not assessed as open and visas required for most visitors,” the report noted.
The rankings are based on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), which measures the different regulatory and business-related issues that have been identified as levers for improving travel and tourism competitiveness in countries.
Other nations in the top 10 are Spain (6), Sweden (7), US (8), Australia (9) and Singapore (10).
Last year, a total of 130 countries were surveyed by the WEF.
The TTCI was developed in collaboration with the Forum’s Strategic Design Partner Booz & Company Data Partners Deloitte, the International Air Transport Association, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel & Tourism Council.