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Korea ranked 14th in global travel index, matches 2019 rank

A French tourist group on May 10 walks under a water fountain tunnel at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul's Jongno-gu District. Korea last year was ranked 14th by the Travel and Tourism Development Index of the World Economic Forum. (Jeon Han)

By Charles Audouin

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on May 27 said the country last year ranked 14th among 119 countries surveyed by the Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The ranking was the same as in 2019, the year before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among Asian nations, Korea was fourth after Japan (third), China (eighth) and Singapore (13th).

In the five categories, Korea had high rankings in travel and tourism (T&T) resources (15th) and enabling environment (20th), with its T&T sustainability rank surging from 49th in 2019 to 16th last year.

In the 17 subfields, Korea was second in information and communications technology readiness, seventh in air transportation, ground and port infrastructure, up from 11th in 2019, 10th in cultural resources, 11th in non-leisure resources, and 13th in health and hygiene.

Launching its biennial Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report in 2007, WEF in 2021 expanded the evaluation criteria to tourism sustainability and renamed the survey as the TTDI.

The ministry said, "We will meticulously analyze this report's results to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Korea's tourism competitiveness, further support our strong areas and swiftly prepare improvements to relative weaknesses."