The beautiful country of Spain was recently crowned the most 'travel ready' nation by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The Mediterranean country has taken the crown every year since 2015. France came in at second place, while Germany, Japan and the United States rounded out the top five.
140 countries were included in the ranking, and plenty of indicators were considered. Things like international openness, cultural resources, and the strength of the country's infrastructure were measured. The last edition was released two years ago, and there is only one change. The UK slid to sixth place and is now one spot behind the United States.
Spain has spent a lot of money in the last decade to improve airports, railways and roads. However, Spain offers much more as it is a country full of vibrant cities, sun-soaked beaches and a diverse culture.
While tourism is generally seen as a net positive, the report, published last Wednesday, warned that many countries are having serious issues related to overtourism. Places like the scenic beach in the movie The Beach or even European cities like Venice have had to deal with overcrowding and local damage to the environment, and locals have had a hard time coping with overcrowding. Even New Zealand has resorted to implementing a new tourist tax beginning this July.
The report suggests that cities and countries need to manage overtourism by encouraging travelers to visit at non-peak times, charge visitors a nominal entry fee and even work with local residents about tourism-related policy decisions. The report also highlighted the crucial need for tourist destinations to invest in infrastructure that serves both locals and tourists.