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Monday, March 18, 2013, 16:00 Hrs  [IST]

India ranks 65th in tourism industry competitiveness: WEF

India has moved up by three notches to the 65th position out of 140 countries in terms of competitiveness of the travel and tourism industry, according to the fifth Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report by World Economic Forum (WEF). India has emerged on the 11th place in Asia Pacific. Switzerland, Germany and Austria lead the world in terms of their travel and tourism industry competitiveness. They are followed by Spain, United Kingdom, United States, France, Canada, Sweden and Singapore.

"As with China, India is well assessed for its natural resources (ninth) and cultural resources (24th), with many natural and cultural World Heritage Sites, rich fauna, many fairs and exhibitions, and strong creative industries," the report said.

"India also has quite good air transport (39th), particularly given the country's stage of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure (42nd), although the quality of roads and of ports require further improvement," the report stated.

The WEF report also pointed out that India was relatively price-competitive at the 20th position in the same, even in the regional context.

Talking about the areas that needed attention, the report said that tourism infrastructure remained somewhat underdeveloped, with very few hotel rooms per capita by international comparison, and low ATM penetration. Also, the policy environment is ranked 125th because of the long time and high costs required to start a business and a restrictive visa policy. Besides these, health and hygiene standards (109th) and the country's human resources base.
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