United States Tops Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024: World Economic Forum Report
United States Tops Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024: World Economic Forum Report

A new report by the World Economic Forum highlights the United States' promotion of natural and cultural resources, commitment to sustainability, and advancements in tourism infrastructure.

After a tumultuous four years for the travel industry, international tourist arrivals are projected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024. However, global travel growth faces challenges due to inflation, climate change, and geopolitical tensions, which continue to impact the sector.

The Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024, published last month by the World Economic Forum, assesses countries based on factors like safety, travel and tourism prioritization, infrastructure, and sustainability. It identifies countries that have effectively managed risks and enhanced their tourism potential.

This year's rankings feature Spain, Japan (last year's winner), France, and Australia in the top five, with the United States emerging as a newcomer at the top of the list. The US excelled globally due to its business environment, air transport infrastructure, and natural resources. These high scores reflect the country's robust infrastructure, ease of travel between cities, diverse natural and cultural destinations, and traveler-friendly resources such as city guides, parks, and other attractions.

"Beyond its diverse landscapes, natural beauty, and cultural richness, the US has a well-developed infrastructure supporting the travel and tourism sector," explained Anna Abelson, an adjunct instructor at New York University's SPS Tisch Center of Hospitality.

This distinction coincides with International Picnic Day on June 18, 2024, a day celebrated worldwide to promote outdoor dining and leisure activities. This convergence highlights the US's ability to offer diverse outdoor picnic spots, from national parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon to urban parks in major cities like Central Park in New York City and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

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