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The Travel and Tourism industry is an important part of the overall global economy, and is particularly important in some developing nations, where it can help to reduce poverty. Over the past few years, Travel and Tourism has been declining worldwide. This can be attributed, in part, to the global financial crisis (GFC), and the continuing struggle of certain nations to recover and return to pre-GFC numbers.

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) is produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and measures the factors and policies that make a country a viable place to invest within the Travel and Tourism sector.

The TTCI provides a means to measure a countryโ€™s performance, and utilizes three sub-indices and their component parts to represent the overall quality, future potential and long-term sustainability of the tourism sector within each country assessed.

Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI): Infographic

How Was It Measured?

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) analyzed 139 countries and scored each according to three sub-indices: Regulatory Framework; Business Environment and Infrastructure; and Human, Cultural and Natural Resources. These sub-indices are, in turn, composed of fourteen โ€œpillarsโ€ of Travel and Tourism Competitiveness.

Data for these topics come from the World Economic Forumโ€™s annual Executive Opinion Survey, as well as hard data from publicly available sources. For use in the Tourism & Recreation goal, overall TTCI scores, which range from 1 to 6, were rescaled to 0-1 using a maximum value of 6 and minimum of 1.

TTCI is used as a sustainability indicator in calculating the status of the Travel and Tourism goal. Data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) are used to calculate each region's proportion of direct employment in the tourism industry relative to the total labor force in the region and corrected by the percent of the regional population that is unemployed.  That result  is multiplied by the region's rescaled TTCI score to yield the region's status score. 

What Are The Impacts?


The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) assesses various factors regarding environmental sustainability when determining a countryโ€™s overall score. These include: sustainable development of the Travel and Tourism industry, environmental regulation and enforcement, enhanced biodiversity in abundant and well-protected natural areas, and tourist accessibility to these natural areas.


The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) recognizes the benefits of having access to clean and safe drinking water, proper sanitation infrastructure, and quality healthcare in travel/tourist destinations.


A robust tourism industry can have direct economic impacts in the region where the attraction is located. Tourism accounts for 9% of global GDP and more than 260 million jobs (100 million direct) (WTTC 2011).

A country that ranks highly on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) indicates that it has the necessary infrastructure, stability, natural resources, and other amenities to make it attractive to visitors and make positive contributions to local and national economies.

Tourism can be particularly important in countries with healthy coral reef systems. Ninety-four countries benefit from reef tourism and, in twenty-three of them, tourism attributed to coral reefs contributes more than 15 percent of GDP (Burke et al. 2011).

What Has Been Done?

Tourism to developing countries has grown significantly in the past 50 years. Based on international tourist arrival figures, Malaysia is the second most visited country in Asia and the 9th most visited country in the world. International arrivals to Malaysia have increased considerably in the last decade, from 5.5 million in 1998 to 24.6 million in 2010; Malaysiaโ€™s native population is 28.3 million. Malaysia ranks highly on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (35th overall), with high marks in price competitiveness, natural resources, and prioritization of the Travel and Tourism industry. The Malaysian government recognizes Travel and Tourismโ€™s importance in helping Malaysia become a high-income country by 2020. 

Get More Information

World Economic Forum: Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, 2015

UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

World Travel and Tourism Council

Travel and Tourism report, 2011.