World Economic Forum Index: A benchmarking tool

The World Economic Forum published its 2024 edition of its Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) which measures factors and policies that enable sustainable and resilient development of the tourism sector. It offers insights into tourism economies’ strengths and areas for improvement, and the interconnected nature of tourism development, as well as facilitating strategic planning and multistakeholder dialogue to encourage sustainable growth.



United States

The United States is the top scorer in the TTDI and the largest contributor to T&T GDP, both within the Americas region and globally. While the recent increase in sector wages has helped contribute to climbing operation costs, it has also helped partially bridge the T&T sector’s historically low wages in countries such as the United States. Thanks to typical advantages ranging from favourable business environments and open travel policies to well-developed transport, tourism and ICT infrastructure and natural, cultural and non-leisure attractions, United States ranked highest.



The growth in ‘bleisure’ travel and digital nomads has created new opportunities for businesses and destinations that can offer favourable conditions for business travel and leisure activities. In particular, economies that combine strong ICT infrastructure and healthcare standards, relatively reasonable cost of living, favourable visa policies and rich tourism attractions rank among the most attractive for digital nomads, with countries like Portugal and Spain ranking among the top for attractiveness for this new market.



Newly ranked developing country of Uzbekistan experienced the greatest growth in TTDI scores between 2019 and 2024. While most high-income economies have experienced slight changes in their TTDI scores, the performance of Uzbekistan (+7.8%, 94th to 78th) has shown the most improvement in both score and rank compared to 2019. T&T enabling conditions in developing economies continue to improve, but far more is needed to close the sector-enabling gap. Located in Central Asia, Uzbekistan is part of the Turkic world.



India climbs to the 39th position overall and ranks the highest in South Asia among the lower-middle-income economies. Earlier, India was ranked 54th in 2021 published index. It is home to some of the largest tourism economies in the world and ranks near the top for natural, cultural and non-leisure assets. The Index results underscore the pivotal role the development of natural, cultural, and non-leisure resources plays in driving tourism demand, with tourism Resource dimension scores correlating with tourist demand. Notably, the location of natural and cultural assets is less closely associated with economic development, creating opportunities for developing economies such as India that has a strong portfolio of such assets.


Saudi Arabia

Travel and tourism enabling conditions in developing economies continue to improve, but far more is needed to close the sector-enabling gap. Low to upper-middle-income economies accounted for 52 out of the 71 economies that have improved their TTDI scores since 2019. Saudi Arabia (+5.7%, 50th to 41st) and the United Arab Emirates (+4.4%, 25th to 18th) are the only high-income economies to rank among the top 10 most improved between 2019 and 2024. Saudi Arabia is the second biggest tourist destination in the Middle East with over 16 million visiting in 2017. Although most tourism in Saudi Arabia still largely involves religious pilgrimages, there is growth in the leisure tourism sector. As the tourism sector has been largely boosted lately, the sector is expected to a significant industry for Saudi Arabia, reducing its dependence on oil revenues. This is proved as tourism sector is expected to generate $25 billion in 2019.



1 United States

2 Spain

3 Japan

4 France

5 Australia

6 Germany

7 United Kingdom

8 China

9 Italy

10 Switzerland

11 Canada

12 Portugal

13 Singapore

14 Korea, Rep.

15 Austria

16 Netherlands

17 Denmark

18 United Arab Emirates

19 Sweden

20 Finland

21 Greece

22 Indonesia

23 Belgium

24 Ireland

25 New Zealand

26 Brazil

27 Poland

28 Luxembourg

29 Türkiye

30 Cyprus

31 Chile

32 Iceland

33 Czech Republic

34 Malta

35 Malaysia

36 Estonia

37 Hungary

38 Mexico

39 India

40 Bulgaria

41 Saudi Arabia

42 Slovenia

43 Romania

44 Lithuania

45 Georgia

46 Croatia

47 Thailand

48 Israel

49 Argentina

50 Colombia

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