India betters ranking in international tourist arrivals

New Delhi: With the inclusion of non- resident Indians among international tourists, India has jumped 16 places in the revised World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) rankings to settle at 24th for 2014 and 2015.

Earlier, it was ranked 41st and 40th in 2014 and 2015, respectively, as per the global ranking.

The rank of India in international tourist arrivals (ITA) in both 2014 and 2015 in the latest UNWTO’s World Tourism Barometer, as of March 2017, is 24th as against the previous ranks of 41st and 40th in 2014 and 2015, respectively, as per a press release issued by the Ministry of Tourism.

UNWTO is the United Nation’s agency managing promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism and its barometer ranks countries in terms of their ITAs- comprising both foreign tourist arrivals as well as non- resident arrivals.

So far only the figures of foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) were compiled in India.

However, now India has started compiling the data arrivals of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) also.

“Due to this inclusion, India’s improved rank reflecting the true and comparable scenario has now been acknowledged by the UNWTO,” the release said.

With this inclusion, the share of India in the ITAs has also increased from 0.68 per cent (based on FTAs) to 1.12 per cent in 2015.

In fact, India has taken huge strides in the tourism sector in the last year with its rank in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), 2017 had also shown a 12 places jump from 2015.

Rank of India in TTCI Report of 2017 was 40 as compared to 52 in 2015, 65 in 2013 and 68 in 2011.

While UNWTO gives ranking in terms of numbers of ITAs, TTCI is composed of 14 pillars organised into four sub-indices of ‘Enabling Environment’, ‘Travel and Trade Policy and Enabling Conditions’, ‘Infrastructure’ and ‘Natural and Cultural Resources’.