Analysis of Saudi Arabia’s Ranking on the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index 2019 vs. 2021 Saudi Arabia


On May 24th, 2022, the newly renamed Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) was published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for 2021, as an updated replacement for the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI). Publication was delayed by COVID-19, which had upended the travel and tourism industry worldwide, thus prompting a rethinking and restructuring of the Index by WEF. Scott Wayne was commissioned by the World Bank to analyze the country’s performance on the newly revised Index versus the earlier 2019 edition.

Since publication of the 2019 TTCI, KSA has progressed with implementing the NTS and a full-scale multi-agency national approach to establishing KSA as a globally competitive and sustainable tourism destination. The progress is now reflected in a high ranking of 33 on the TTDI.

A notable conclusion was that most of the Key Performance Indicators for which KSA ranks low and/or weaker are beyond the remit and authority of the MT and other government tourism agencies. It is important, therefore, to communicate the country’s need for a holistic inter-agency approach to address the non-MT KPI results.

The following table shows the differences between the TTCI and the TTDI.

A full analysis of the differences was conducted followed by a recommended action plan and a communications strategy for implementing improvements across ministries.