Setting up an airport can be a very costly endeavor for a tourist destination. However, the investment may be recouped many times over if it catalyzes an increase in tourism. This is because tourism is a lucrative industry and the top employer worldwide. In this article, we explore how investment in Airports can lead to an increase in tourism.
Tourism Occurs Mainly Through Air Travel
Most tourists prefer air travel because it is fast which gives them more time to enjoy their holiday. It is very important for tourist destinations, especially remote islands, to have airports that tourists can fly into. Statistics support this. IATA states that more than half of tourists traveling internationally do so by air. 70% of visitors to the UK arrive by air as well as 55% of visitors to Greece and 32% of tourists to Lisbon. Tourist destinations without an Airport are thus missing out on a lot of visitors that prefer to fly to their holiday destinations.
Airports Attract Airlines Which Bring In Tourists
The main customer of airports is airlines, and the by-product is tourists. Tourist destinations, therefore, benefit when their airports win contracts with major airlines. For this reason, tourist authorities need to partner with airports to send out strong marketing messages to attract both airlines and tourists to their destinations.
Airports Improve The Infrastructure Of A Location Which Increases Tourism
The presence of an airport in a tourist destination has a spillover effect on improving the location’s infrastructure, for example, the construction of roads from the airport to the main locations of the tourist destination. Additionally, hotels end up being built to accommodate foreign visitors and airline workers. The airport employs people, who in turn improve their standards of living and the standards of their environment. All these improvements make the destination a better option for tourists.
Exceptional Airports Are Themselves Tourist Attractions
Another way that airports increase tourism to a destination is by being tourist attractions themselves. Frankfurt Airport is an example of a tourist attraction because it has a lovely terrace with a great view of the city that many covet sitting. Another example is the world’s best airport – Changi Airport in Singapore. It has a world-famous butterfly garden. There are quite some tourists who choose to visit Singapore basically because they want to see the garden.
Revenue From Airline Taxes Helps Improve The Destination Hence Improving Tourism
Airlines that land in destinations usually pay a lot of taxes to the local authority. Tourist destinations can use the collected revenue to improve their infrastructure to preserve their environment and build more tourist attractions. This makes the destination more attractive to tourists and increases tourism figures.
In conclusion, building an airport is a necessary investment for all tourist destinations. As air travel gets cheaper and more people to travel any destination, that hopes to compete for tourism funds will need to have an airport.