New delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India’s jump of 12 places to the 40th rank in the global travel and tourism competitiveness list by the World Economic Forum (WEF) reflects the importance the government gives to the sector.
According to the WEF report, India stood at 40th position this year. It has improved over 52nd rank in 2015 and 65th in 2013.
“Last 4 years have seen a total jump of 25 places in the world travel and tourism index. Reflects the importance Govt. is giving to tourism.
“Great news for tourism sector. @wef Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report ranks India at 40th (from 65 in 2013) on Travel & Tourism Index,” PM Modi said in a series of tweets.
Addressing a conference here, Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma hailed India’s improvement in the travel and tourism rankings.
“It is our good fortune to jump 12 positions to reach at 40th this year. The index takes into consideration various tourism parameters like infrastructure and safety,” Mr Sharma said.
India is one of the countries that improved the most as it gained 12 places in Asia, but lagged behind its other Asian countries like Japan and China which were ranked way ahead at 4th and 13th place, respectively. Spain is ranked at the top in the list.
Mr Sharma noted that Japan improved by five positions as compared to its last ranking and China gained two ranks, while the US fell by two positions and Switzerland by four. The minister underlined that India has also considerably improved in security and safety parameters, among others.
He attributed India’s performance to the “special emphasis” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given to the tourism sector and the launch of various initiatives by the government for attracting overseas tourists.
Highlighting the various initiatives, he said the government has approved e-visa facility to nationals of 161 countries, e-medical facility, launched multi-lingual helpline, infrastructure development, cleanliness and launch of schemes like Swadesh and Prasad, among others.
He said India is recording over 8 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in foreign tourist arrivals at a time when the world’s CAGR stands between 4 and 5 per cent.
Mr Sharma also exuded confidence of achieving the goal of increasing India’s share in the world tourist arrivals to 2 per cent from the current less than 1 per cent.