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Incredible India

1. Spain has secured the top spot in the ‘Travel and Tourism Index 2019’. It is followed by France, Germany, and Japan with the United States.

2. Japan remains Asia's most competitive travel and tourism economy.

3. The Asia-Pacific was one of the fastest-growing travel and tourism regions in this year's ranking.

What is the ‘Travel and Tourism Index 2019’?

1. The index is produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

2. It ranks 140 countries in the world on their relative strengths in global tourism and travel.

3. It measures the factors and policies that make a country a viable place to invest in the Travel and Tourism sector.

4.  It relies on the collaboration of a network of thinkers who provide their knowledge and insights towards its production.

5. It compiles data from its partners,

a) International Air Transport Association (IATA)

b) International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

c) World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

d) World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

e) Bloom Consulting

6. The index uses four sub-indices to rank the countries,

a) Enabling Environment

b) Travel and Tourism Policy and enabling conditions

c) Infrastructure

d) Natural and Cultural resources

7. There are fourteen sub-pillars and ninety indicators of the index which are used to score a country's overall travel and tourism competitiveness.

How has India performed in the rankings?

1. India has moved up six places to rank 34th on world travel and tourism competitiveness index.

2. The index states that India’s growth is driven by two main factors,

a) Rich natural and cultural resources

b) Strong price competitiveness

3. This is the greatest improvement of India over 2017 among the top 25% of all countries ranked in the report.

4. India has performed well in following indicators,

a) Air Infrastructure- 33rd rank

b) Ground and Port Infrastructure- 28th rank

c) International Openness- 51st rank

d)  Natural resources- 14th rank

e) Cultural resources- 8th rank

f) Price competitiveness- 13th rank

g) Overall Travel and tourism policy- 69th rank

5. However, India is still lagging on following indicators,

a) Enabling Environment- 98th rank

b) Environmental Sustainability- 128th rank

c) Tourist Service Infrastructure-  109th rank

Which programmes have helped to improve?

1. Successive Indian governments have initiated many programs to ensure the progress of tourism sectors.

2. Following programs have helped to improve India’s ranking,

a) Atithi Devo Bhav campaign

b) Incredible India campaign

c) Recent reforms in visa process

d) Online option for applying for tourist visa

e) E-VISA facility available to citizens of 163 countries

f) Schemes such as PRASAD, Tourist circuits, etc.

Why is India preferred by tourists?

1. India offers a wide variety of things from cuisine to culture.

2. India has strong price competitiveness and strong cultural traditions.

3. Natural scenic locations in India range from beaches to mountains like the Himalayas.

4. India is also progressing in various sectors such as medical tourism, adventure tourism, pilgrimage tourism, etc.

5. Government policies have created awareness about India’s tourism potential globally.

Where does the potential of tourism lies?

Worldwide

1. In the World, tourism industry generated around 10.4% of all global economic activities.

2.  This sector contributed $8.8 trillion dollars to economies and also created 319 million jobs worldwide.

3. This sector accounts for one in five new jobs created worldwide.

4. This sector is estimated to contribute 100 million jobs generated globally in next 10 years.

India

1. India is the seventh-largest tourism country currently. It is expected to become 3rd largest tourism country in next 10 years.

2. Tourism and Travel Industry will double its contribution to 32 lakh crores by 2028.

3. This sector is expected to add 5.23 crore jobs by 2028 in India.