According to the World Tourism Organization, international tourism continues to grow at an increasing rate. In 2019 alone, over 1.5 billion tourists travelled around the world, which was a 4% increase from 2018. Even with the ongoing pandemic, tourist numbers are still set to climb. In fact, they are all set to break records due to months of lockdowns and essential businesses already. Travel enthusiasts are eager for things to get better and are ready to storm out with their luggage and passports whenever they get the chance to visit some of the most visited countries in the world.
People travel for business and pleasure, or a little bit of both. Most travellers aim to be part of the most celebrated holidays in the world. So, whether it’s for a warm Christmas in Mexico, Chinese New Year, the Champions League Final in Wembley or Valentine’s Day in Paris, air traffic is set to reach new numbers very soon. In 2020, the Middle East and South East Asia are among the fastest-growing region for international tourism. Thanks to some of the top food and travel bloggers from around the world, travelers are open to more destinations they didn’t consider before due to different reasons. As of now, European countries such as Spain, Italy and France still remain the most visited countries in the world.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 most visited countries in the world:
1. The United Kingdom
Over 36 million tourists travelled to different parts of the United Kingdom in 2019 with London being the most visited city. Other popular destinations include Manchester and Birmingham. Tourism in the UK produces $131 billion and provides more than 2 million jobs in different industries. Popular attractions include the Big Ben, Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace and football stadiums of popular clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations in Asia with abundant white-sand beaches, exotic cuisine and warm weather. Over 22 million tourists travel to the 1430 islands of Thailand. The most popular spots include the night clubs in Bangkok, Railay Beach, Koh Phi Phi and the Grand Palace of Bangkok.
Germany is popular for football, amazing infrastructure and Oktoberfest. You can enjoy great bear, sausages and picturesque castles. Over 39 million tourists visit the country every year with 13 million visiting Berlin, the capital city.
In the last the decade, Mexico has become one of the top most visited countries in the world thanks to developments and improved security. Known for the birthplace of Tequila, burritos and tacos, you can visit some of the pristine beaches, deep history and culture. Over 41 million travelled to Mexico in 2019.
Turkey is literally the center that connects Asia and Europe. So, you can experience a unique blend of the East and the West. With stunning coastlines, two seas meeting, exotic resorts, amazing cuisine and rich culture, it is a one of a kind destination. Over 46 million travelled to Turkey in 2019.
Italy has everything you need as a traveler looking to explore culture, history and cuisine. It is one of the most popular destination in the world with different landscapes, beautiful cities like Rome and Naples, and historical sites such as the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Pantheon. In 2019, 62 million tourists travelled to different parts of Italy.
China is the third largest country in the world and one of the world’s top five most visited countries in the world with 63 million tourists in 2019. Thanks to stunning landscapes, expansive history and popular cuisine, the tourism industry contributes to around 11% of China’s GDP. So, when things get better, why not visit the Great Wall of China, the Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City.
8. The United States
Tourism in the US generates a large chunk of the country’s GDP along with 7 million jobs and an average of $1.5 trillion. The most visited cities include Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles, with travelers mostly from Mexico, Canada, UK, China and Japan contributing to the numbers that amount to 80 million annual visitors.
Spain is the second most visited country in the world. Tourism accounts for 13% of the total jobs and 12% of Spain’s GDP. In 2019, over 83 million visited the country which is famous for landmarks such as La Sagrada Familia, Alhambra and Park Guell.
France still remains the most visited country in the world with nearly 90 million tourists visiting in 2019. The main attraction in Paris, the capital, that is famous for the Eiffel Tower and some of the top restaurants in the world. Tourism in France accounts for nearly 10% of the GDP and over 2.9 million jobs.