The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on May 31 announced that Korea ranked 15th among 117 countries in last year's travel and tourism development index of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
This is the best finish in the nation's history, with the previous high being 16th in 2019.
Korea's rankings also improved from 2019 in all five sub-indexes: enabling environment (19th), travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions (35th), infrastructure (14th), travel and tourism demand drivers (14th), and travel and tourism sustainability (39th).
Japan topped the list followed in order by the U.S., Spain, France and Germany. China was 12th, the United Arab Emirates 25th and Vietnam 52nd.
From 2007-19, WEF released its travel and tourism competitiveness index every other year and put out from this year its newly expanded travel and tourism development index. Based on changes due to COVID-19, the organization added new categories such as climate, environment, greenhouse gas emissions, utilization of digital platforms, poverty and gender equality rates, and accessibility to medical services.
The ministry said, "We will analyze the reshuffled indexes more in depth to accelerate another major step forward for Korea's tourism industry."