In the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report, 136 countries are ranked on 14 pillars, giving an all-around picture of the best destinations for tourists globally. One of the pillars on which countries are ranked is airport infrastructure. And in the ranking, the United Arab Emirates ranks well across the board, and is in the third place for the most connected country globally. Their rise in tourism reflects the ease and comfort visitors have in getting to and around the country: the UAE saw 14.4 million international visitors in 2015, a four million-person jump from only two years prior.
Australia’s distance from much of the rest of the world hasn’t stopped them from staying connected. It’s even difficult to get from one side of the continent to the other (it takes about five hours to fly across Australia). But ranking in the eighth place for domestic air travel is a strong indicator that there are plenty of painless options to do so. In Australia, Brisbane Airport has been voted as the best airport by air travellers in the 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards. It is the third-busiest Australian airport by aircraft movements, while the Sydney airport remains the busiest in the country.
Hong Kong ranks well across the board. With excellent scores in business environment (first place) and prioritisation of travel and tourism (ninth place), it makes sense that they are also doing a good job bringing people to and from the country. The quality of airport infrastructure is ranked third, meaning travellers are likely to have a pleasant and easy journey. The Hong Kong International Airport is located on the island of Chek Lap Kok, which largely comprises land reclaimed for the construction of the airport itself. The airport is also colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.
Across the globe, it’s easier than ever to get on a plane and wake up in another country. In the number two spot is the US, which has more operating airlines and available seats per kilometre (both international and domestic) than any other country. The quality of airport infrastructure also ranks well. One of the best scenic approaches that any airport in America has goes to Orlando Melbourne International Airport, which has a beautiful beachside landing.
Singapore is in the sixth place overall for air travel connectivity, but ranks number one for the quality of airport infrastructure. They also rank well in ground and port infrastructure (second place), meaning it’s easy for tourists to get around once they’re on the ground. Changi Airport is one of the world’s busiest airports by international passenger and cargo traffic. It serves more than 100 airlines flying to some 380 cities in about 90 countries and territories worldwide. Each week, about 7,000 flights land or depart from Changi, or about one every 90 seconds, with 58.7 million passengers passing through the airport in 2016.
The world’s most connected country is Canada, which performed well in all of the indicators. Canada has plenty of airlines and airports, and airplane departure numbers to reflect that. It also does well on the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report’s global ranking, placing ninth, and is an overall attractive destination. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada, is an important international gateway.
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Norway is also extremely well connected, and has some of the highest numbers of airplane departures (fifth) and airports (fourth) globally. The Scandinavian country has plenty else going for it, too: it’s one of the safest countries in the world, travel and tourism are a high priority, and they do a great job of sustaining their breathtakingly-beautiful environment. Norway has 98 airports which are certified or have been designed an International Civil Aviation Organization airport code. Norway is the country in Europe with the most airline trips per capita. The routes from Oslo to Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger are all amongst the 10 busiest in Europe.
In the eighth place for airport infrastructure is the UK. The UK serves as a hub for entry to much of Europe, and its scores in number of airlines (third place) and available seat kilometres internationally (second place) reflect that. They have also upgraded travel and tourism infrastructure heavily since the last report, climbing 30 spots to number seven, meaning an improved experience for tourists once they arrive. Barra Airport in the Scottish Outer Hebrides is the only airport in the world where scheduled and private charter flights land and take off from the beach.
Spain’s connectivity with the rest of the world is a perk that means it’s easier for tourists to get to the report’s overall first-place destination. With top scores in prioritisation of tourism and travel, as well as tourism infrastructure, natural, cultural and business travel, Spain’s allure as a tourist destination is undeniable. There are many airports in Spain located on mainland and islands. Each airport varies in size and offers many flights to and from Spain. Madrid Barajas is the largest and busiest airport in Spain and is located at the District of Barajas in Madrid.
At number 10 on the list is the Netherlands, which has the fourth-best quality of airport infrastructure in the world. The Netherlands is also very easy to travel around once tourists are on the ground, and its proximity to the rest of Europe gives travellers the ability to see a lot in short amount of time. The largest airport by far is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which is one of the largest in Europe.