India slams WEF report for giving it low rank

March 12th, 2008 - 10:41 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) India Wednesday slammed the World Economic Forum (WEF) report slotting India on the 65th position out of the 130 countries it assessed, saying the ranking had “glaring shortcomings” and the methodology of the survey has not included some of the key indicators. The WEF released its Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2008 March 4 in which India was ranked 65th according to its travel and tourism competitiveness. India was ranked same in 2007 also.

But the tourism ministry slammed the report, saying there are glaring shortcomings in the two reports.

Of the “71 indicators considered for compilation of the index in 2008, only 46 were used in 2007″ while for others an executive opinion survey was conducted by the WEF, a statement issued Wednesday said.

The ministry said “details of the methodology of the survey” were not given in the report.

The ministry said: “Because of the perception bias of the respondents in the opinion surveys, the results have to be seen from a holistic perspective unlike the piecemeal interpretation which has been done in certain sections of the press and which is quite inappropriate.”

India has shown an impressive performance in the tourism sector with foreign tourist arrivals growing at about 12.4 percent and foreign exchange earnings in dollar terms growing at about 34 percent over the previous years, the statement said.

“Incredible India is not only attracting an increasingly large proportion of the world tourism market, but has also been able to capture the high-end tourists who are spending a longer duration in India.”

In support of its contention, the ministry quoted the UN World Tourism Organisation’s latest report.

The UN report had said even though countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore may be having larger number of foreign tourist arrivals, the foreign exchange earned per foreign tourist by India stood at about $1,920, much higher than that of Indonesia ($905), Thailand ($830), Singapore ($835) and Malaysia ($520).

“These facts confirm that India is attracting travellers across the globe who are spending more time and money as compared to other southeast Asian countries,” it added.

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