In 2019, 1.459 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded around the world, up 3.7 percent from 2018.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization compiles the World Tourism rankings as part of their World Tourism Barometer publication, which is published up to six times each year. In the publication, UN areas and subregions are ranked based on the number of foreign visitor arrivals, inbound tourist earnings, and outbound travel expenditures.
In this list, I’ve compiled the top ten most visited countries in the world. Hope you have buckled up because you’re in for a ride.
10. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is the world's tenth most popular tourist destination, with approximately 37 million visitors each year. London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, York, and Canterbury are the country's most popular tourist destinations.
The United Kingdom has 32 World Heritage sites, which rank eighth in the world.
The Lonely Planet travel guide ranked England second among the finest nations to visit in 2020, after Bhutan. London, Edinburgh, and Manchester are among the most popular cities, with significant attractions such as the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, and Edinburgh Castle.
With 407.26 million overnight visitors in 2012, Germany is the world's fifth most visited country. Foreign visitors accounted for 68.83 million nights in 2009, with the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland accounting for the majority of foreign visitors. In addition, about 30% of Germans spend their holidays in their own country. In the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Reports, Germany is ranked third out of 136 countries and is considered one of the safest travel destinations in the world.
Approximately 30.4 million international tourists visited Germany in 2012, resulting in over US$38 billion in foreign tourism receipts. Domestic and international travel and tourism contributed roughly EUR43.2 billion to Germany's GDP directly. The industry produces 4.5 percent of German GDP and supports 2 million jobs, including indirect and induced effects (4.8 percent of total employment). The ITB Berlin is the largest tourist trade show in the world.
The top three reasons for travelers to visit Germany, according to studies, are the German culture, outdoor activities and countryside, and German cities.
The "Land of Smiles" is one of Southeast Asia's gems. Thailand is well-developed and provides all kinds of modern amenities thanks to a growing tourism sector, yet it's still wild enough to offer off-the-beaten-path adventure and once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.
Thailand's attractions are various, and each one gives a unique and satisfying experience. Thailand has something for everyone, whether you wish to visit the islands with their world-class beaches or the highlands in the north, rich wildlife and national parks, bustling and lively cities, or simply some of the best street cuisine in the world. Who knows, one of these lovely tourist destinations could be the setting for your Thailand destination wedding! Explore Thailand's diverse tradition and culture, as well as full moon parties, gorgeous beaches, intriguing floating markets, and more.
Mexico was recognized as the world's sixth most visited country for tourism activities in 2017. Ancient ruins, colonial cities, and natural reserves, as well as a handful of works of modern public and private architecture, are among Mexico's UNESCO World Heritage sites. Mexico's cultural events, historical cities, wildlife reserves, and beach resorts have all attracted international visitors since the early nineteenth century. Tourists are drawn to the country's temperate climate and unique culture, which is a blend of European and Mesoamerican influences. The country's major tourism seasons are December and the middle of the summer, with small spikes during the week before Easter and Spring break.
Tourists from the United States and Canada make up the majority of visitors to Mexico. Other visitors hail from Latin American nations. A modest number of visitors from Europe and Asia also visit.
Turkey's tourism industry is mostly concentrated on historical monuments and seaside resorts along the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea shores. Turkey has also grown in popularity as a cultural, resort, and health-care destination.
Turkey welcomed over 51 million foreign tourists in 2019, making it the world's sixth most popular tourism destination. In 2015, the overall number was around 41 million, while in 2016, it was around 30 million. However, in 2017, the number of international tourists increased to 37.9 million, and in 2018, it increased to 46.1 million.
Whether you want to soak up the Byzantine and Ottoman splendors of Istanbul on a city break, relax on the beach, delve into history by wandering through sites like Ephesus, or witness some of the world's most surreal landscapes in Pamukkale and Cappadocia, this country has it all.
According to ENIT, Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world in terms of international tourism arrivals, with 217.7 million foreign visitor nights spent and a total of 432.6 million visitors in 2018. The rich culture, cuisine, history, fashion, architecture, and art of Italy attract visitors. Winter and summer tourism are popular in various areas of the Alps and Apennines, while seaside tourism is popular along the Mediterranean Sea's shore. With 9.4 million visitors in 2017, Rome ranked third in Europe and 12th globally, while Milan ranked 27th globally with 6.8 million visitors. Venice and Florence are also among the top 100 destinations in the world. It is also the country of Italy. Italy also has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any country in the world.
Many cultural treasures from the Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and subsequent periods of Italian history have been left behind, attracting tourists. In general, Italy's cultural legacy is the world's largest, accounting for 60 to 75 percent of all creative assets on each continent, with over 4,000 museums, 6,000 archaeological sites, 85,000 historic churches, and 40,000 historic palaces all protected by the Italian Ministry of Culture.
Since the beginning of reform and opening-up in the 1970s, the rate of tourism has increased dramatically. This travel boom is being fueled by the growth of a newly wealthy middle class and the Chinese government's relaxation of travel regulations. China has become one of the world's most important tourism destinations. Economic growth and rising wealth in adjacent Asian countries, according to Euromonitor International, could help China become the world's top tourist destination by 2030.
With more megacities than any other country and the world's largest population, a trip to this Asian behemoth offers a captivating and interesting mix of appealing traditional culture and modernity. Each place in China is unique, with 53 different ethnic groups and over 292 different spoken languages.
The luxurious Imperial Summer Palace (Yhé Yuán), located 15 kilometres from Beijing, is set amid more than 700 acres of exquisite parkland and is one of China's most visited sites. The palace was constructed around 1153, but the big lake was created in the 14th century to complement the Imperial Gardens.
3. United States
Foreign visitors come to the United States to view natural wonders, cities, historic sites, and entertainment destinations. Similar attractions, as well as amusement and vacation spots, are sought by Americans.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, urban tourism exploded in popularity in the United States. Both as a cultural activity and as a business, tourism in the United States is firmly established. All major U.S. cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, attract a large number of tourists each year. The popularity of city tours has resulted in substantial changes in how Americans perceive, organize, and move.
Since the 1960s and 1970s, the country has been a popular summer vacation destination, attracting visitors from all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the Benelux, and the United States. As a result, Spain's international tourist sector has risen to become the world's second-largest. With 83.7 million tourists, Spain is the world's second most visited country. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only 18.3 million visitors visited Spain in the first eleven months of 2020. These shocking results are disastrous for the tourism industry, indicating that this will be the industry's worst year ever in terms of revenue.
Madrid is the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization.
In 2013, tourism contributed 79.8 billion euros to France's gross domestic product (GDP), with 30% coming from international visitors and 70% coming from domestic tourism spending. The entire contribution of travel and tourism to GDP is 9.7%, and it supports 2.9 million jobs (10.9 per cent of total employment) in the country. Tourism makes a considerable contribution to the balance of payments.
In 2018, France received 89 million foreign tourists, the most of any country on the planet.
France has 45 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, including cities or sites of high cultural interest (the most famous of which is Paris, but others include the Loire Valley, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lyon, and others), beaches, and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many people enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity (green tourism). The organization Les Plus Beaux Communities de France promotes small and charming French villages with good heritage (such as Collonges-la-Rouge, Locronan, and Montsoreau) (literally "The Most Beautiful Villages of France"). The Ministry of Culture has classified almost two hundred gardens under the "Remarkable Gardens" classification. The purpose of this designation is to protect and promote outstanding gardens and parks.