A Leap Forward | Pakistan Climbs WEF’s 2024 Tourism Index

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ISLAMABAD: The 2024 Edition of World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Report 2024 Ranks Pakistan 101st globally, showing improvement of 20 ranks as compared to 2019, with a score of 3.41, reflecting a 3.6% improvement since 2019, and a 14% improvement on its 2019 rankings.

The Travel and Tourism Development Index ranks the countries based on the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism industry of each country. Pakistan has shown significant improvements in its global rankings of the Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI). Keeping the base year 2019, Pakistan has improved 20 ranks and scores at 101 on the TTDI in 2024.

Speaking on the occasion, Aftab Rana, Managing Director of PTDC said, Pakistan’s scores identify a significant improvement and shows the collective efforts of public and private sector partners under the umbrella of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) and its team to achieve this target in making Pakistan a more attractive tourist destination. He further said, the joint efforts of PTDC, provincial tourist departments, private sector partners, tourism educational institutions, development partners such as World Bank have played a pivotal role in moving forward on the path of growth in tourism sector over the past three years.

He further said that recently UN Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has also acknowledged Pakistan’s outstanding performance in tourism, marking a remarkable 92% recovery to pre-pandemic levels in 2023. The country experienced a 115% surge in foreign tourist arrivals compared to the previous year, signaling a robust comeback in post-Covid-19 era.

Aftab Rana said that the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) during last year has actively participated in six major global tourism events such as World Travel Mart London, ITB Berlin, New York Travel and Adventure Show, Arabian Travel Mart Dubai, Seoul Travel Mart Korea, and Travel Mart in Vietnam, fostering essential B2B connections with foreign tour operators. A special tourism promotion campaign under the title of Salam Pakistan has been launch to project the soft image of Pakistan at global and national level.

He said the initiatives of PTDC on the National Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (NTTCI) and development of the National Minimum Standards for Tourism and hospitality sector has also played a key role in building the capacity of industry stakeholders to work for the quality assurance in tourism industry of Pakistan.  Mr. Rana Said that there is strong need to adopt more open visa policy, improve the safety and security of visitors, increase air connectivity of Pakistan with rest of the world, invest on quality tourism infrastructure, adoption of ICT in tourism and improve our human resources skills to further improve the progress of Pakistan on this global travel and tourism index.

The top countries on the Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) in 2024 are the United States, Spain, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Italy, and Switzerland. These countries have been recognized for their favorable business environments, open travel policies, well-developed transport, tourism, and ICT infrastructure, as well as rich natural, cultural, and non-leisure attractions. They collectively accounted for over 75% of the Travel & Tourism industry GDP in 2022 and 70% of GDP growth between 2020 and 2022

Within the Asia-Pacific region, Pakistan shows potential, especially in natural resources and cultural assets. However, challenges remain, particularly in air transport infrastructure and tourist services. Pakistan’s efforts to enhance its tourism sector are evident, with various initiatives to improve ICT readiness and cultural resources

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