The Travel and Tourism Index 2024 (TTDI), prepared every two years by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with the University of Surrey and analyzing the travel and tourism sectors of 119 countries based on various factors, has been published.

According to the report, it is anticipated that COVID-19 travel restrictions will be lifted this year, and the pent-up demand from the pandemic period will have a strong impact on the tourism sector. The improvement in tourism is also expected to be supported by an increase in flights and heightened investment and interest in natural and cultural areas.

However, the sector's recovery varies from country to country. While 71 out of the 119 countries in the index have increased their tourism and travel scores since 2019, the average index score remains 0.7% below the pre-pandemic level.

Challenges persist despite recovery

Although the international tourism and travel sector has overcome the shock of the global health crisis caused by the pandemic, it still faces challenges such as macroeconomic difficulties, geopolitical and environmental risks, and the impact of new digital technologies like artificial intelligence.

In this period of ongoing labor constraints, developments in airline capacity, capital investments, and productivity are not keeping pace with the increased demand in the international travel sector. These imbalances, exacerbated by global inflation, are leading to issues related to pricing and service quality.

Türkiye rises eight spots in this year's index

In the WEF index, 26 high-income economies are among the top 30 countries, with 19 in Europe, 7 in Asia-Pacific, 3 in the Americas, and one in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates).

The top 10 countries in the index are the United States, Spain, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Italy, and Switzerland.

The results indicate that high-income economies generally continue to have more favorable conditions for the development of the travel and tourism sector. Factors contributing to this development include dynamic labor markets, open travel policies, strong transportation and tourism infrastructure, and well-developed natural, cultural, and non-leisure attractions.

Statement from Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy on FTI Statement from Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy on FTI

On the other hand, some of the most significant advancements in the sector in recent years have been seen in developing countries. Among developing nations, in addition to China in the top 10, Türkiye, Indonesia, and Brazil are ranked among the top 30 most important travel and tourism destinations.

In this ranking, Indonesia is 22nd, Brazil is 26th, and Türkiye is 29th. Thus, Türkiye has risen from 37th place in the previous index to 29th.

A turning point for the travel and tourism sector

Francisco Betti, Head of Global Industries at the WEF, stated that this year marks a turning point for the travel and tourism sector.

Prof. Lis Tussyadiah, Head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey, emphasized the need to create a strong environment for the development of travel and tourism sectors in different economies and to bridge the gap in this area. She stated, "The sector has great potential to enhance prosperity and reduce global risks, but this potential can only be fully realized with a strategic and inclusive approach."

Editor: Haber Merkezi