Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka falls to 76th in 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index

Sri Lanka has been ranked 76th in the 2024 Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI), dropping one spot from its 2019 ranking. The country scored poorly in the categories of tourism services and infrastructure, cultural resources, and non-leisure resources, with an overall score of 3.69, which is 6.8% below the average of 119 countries.

The TTDI, a biennial report published by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the University of Surrey, measures factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector, contributing to a country's overall development.

While Sri Lanka performed well in price competitiveness and the socioeconomic impact of travel and tourism, it lagged behind competitors such as Vietnam (59th), Thailand (47th), Indonesia (22nd), and Malaysia (35th). In South Asia, India (39th) topped the ranking, followed by Sri Lanka. The Maldives was not included in the index.

The top 10 countries in the 2024 TTDI are the United States, Spain, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Italy, and Switzerland. Among the top 30 scorers, 26 are high-income economies, with 19 in Europe, seven in Asia-Pacific, three in the Americas, and one (the UAE) in the MENA region.

The report highlights that high-income economies continue to have more favorable conditions for travel and tourism development, aided by conducive business environments, dynamic labor markets, open travel policies, strong transport and tourism infrastructure, and well-developed natural and cultural attractions.

Developing countries have seen significant improvements in recent years. China, among the upper-middle-income economies, remains in the top 10, with emerging destinations like Indonesia, Brazil, and Turkey also in the top quartile. Over 70% of the countries that improved their scores since 2019 are low to upper-middle-income economies, with MENA and sub-Saharan Africa among the most improved regions. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the only high-income economies among the top 10 most improved.

The TTDI suggests that developing countries could benefit from sustainably leveraging their natural and cultural assets to close gaps in enabling conditions and market share compared to high-income countries.