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UAE tops MENA region in World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Development Index

UAE tops MENA region in WEF's Travel and Tourism Development Index
21 May 2024 15:54

DUBAI (WAM)

The UAE ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and 18th globally in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI).

According to the report released on Tuesday, the UAE raised its score by 4.4 percent in the 2024 index, climbing seven places from its 25th global ranking in the previous report issued in 2021.

Notably, 119 economies were ranked based on a set of factors, and the index consists of five sub-indices.

These include the enabling environment, travel and tourism policy and infrastructure, infrastructure and services, travel and tourism resources such as nature and culture, and the sustainability of the travel and tourism sector.

The index provides a strategic benchmarking tool for companies, governments, international organisations and others to develop the travel and tourism sector.

The US topped the index, followed by Spain and Japan, with the top three countries maintaining their ranking as in the previous report.

Among high-income economies, only the UAE and Saudi Arabia were ranked among the top ten that showed the most improvement in their performance between 2019 and 2024.

The Middle East witnessed the highest recovery rates in the number of international tourist arrivals, 20 percent above 2019 levels, while Europe, Africa, and the Americas showed a strong rebound, regaining 90 percent of 2023 movement compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Head of the Global Industries Team and Member of the Executive Committee at WEF, Francisco Betti, said, "This year represents a turning point for the travel and tourism sector."

The report anticipates that the global tourism industry will recover from its COVID-19 lows and surpass pre-crisis levels, driven by a surge in demand worldwide, coinciding with more available air travel, improved international openness, and increased interest and investment in natural and cultural attractions.

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