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10 Most Visited Countries In The World

These countries are packed with historical sights, breathtaking natural attractions and state of the art infrastructure. France takes the number one spot in a list dominated by countries in Europe, Asia and North America. See the full list below.

1. France

89 million visitors

Tourism in France has directly contributed 77.7 billion euros to gross domestic product, 30% of which comes from international visitors. The total contribution of travel and tourism represents 9.7% of GDP and supports 2.9 million jobs (10.9% of employment) in the country. France has 37 UNESCO World Heritage cities and sites which are of high cultural interest such as Paris, Loire Valley, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lyon, and others. Tourist attractions also include beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquility.

2. Spain

83 million visitors

Spain has been a popular destination for summer holidays, especially with large numbers of tourists from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Benelux, and the United States, among others. Tourism in Spain is the third major contributor to national economic life, contributing about 10-11% of Spain’s GDP. Spain is known for its historical cities and towns like Barcelona and Madrid, the world-class resorts at the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of the country, the popular festivals like the Carnival and the Running of the Bulls, national parks, and a bustling nightlife.

3. United States

80 million visitors

The United States is the third most visited country in the world and is the country where tourist spend the most money. As of 2018, New York City is the most visited destination in the United States, followed by Los Angeles, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Chicago. The United States offers a wide range of tourist attractions in the such as amusement parks, festivals, gambling, golf courses, historical buildings and landmarks, hotels, museums, galleries, outdoor recreation, spas, restaurants and sports. Major natural attractions also within the country include the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, the Alaskan subarctic wonders, Hawaiian beaches and many more.

4. China

63 million visitors

China is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Attractions include the Great Wall of China, the Five Sacred Mountains, the Shaolin Temple, the Huangguoshu Waterfall, the Forbidden City, the Three Gorges, and among other important sites. Tourism in China continues to grow and the World Trade Organization (WTO) estimates that by 2020 the country will rank number one in the worldwide tourism sector.

5. Italy

62 million visitors

Italy has it all, in terms of tourist attractions and continuously ranks among the top visited countries in the world. Italy is home to 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, countless cultural artifacts, great food, charming villages, stunning architecture, and archaeological sites from the Roman Empire. Some of its most visited cities include Rome, Venice, Florence, and Milan, each with their unique attractions, history, culture and cuisine.

6. Turkey

46 million visitors

Turkey is well-known for its variety of historical sites which include ancient monasteries and ruined cities. Tourists can also enjoy the many seaside resorts with coastline on both the Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea. The city of Antalya is considered to be the country’s tourism capital, although Istanbul is also popular for its many museums, bazaars, and historical sites.

7. Mexico

41 million visitors

Mexico is known for its rich culture and it is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Chichén Itzá. Visitors come from its neighbors to the north, Canada and the United States, as well as the rest of the world. Tourist can treat themselves to the beaches and world-class resorts or indulge in the numerous festivals and fiestas such as the Festival de México and Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead).

8. Germany

39 million visitors

Germany is the eight most visited country in the world and it is estimated that tourism contributes 4.5% towards its national GDP and 2 million employment opportunities. Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg are among the most-visited cities in the country and some other popular sites include the Saxon Switzerland National Park, the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park, and the Jasmund National Park.

9. Thailand

38 million visitors

Thailand is known for its vibrant and lively festivals of country, the thriving nightlife, world-class shopping facilities, and palate satisfying Thai cuisine. tourists are also drawn to its sunny, sandy beaches, tropical islands, rich wildlife, archaeological sites, temples and monasteries. Thailand has gradually become global tourist hot spot, and it is estimated that by 2032, the country will be receiving around 100 million visitors.  

10. United Kingdom

36 million visitors

The majority of tourists that visit the UK arrive from other parts of Europe while tourists from the United States and Canada form the second largest group of foreign visitors to the country. London is the most visited city in the United Kingdom, and the Tower of London is the most popular attraction in the entire country. The United Kingdom has a long and interesting history, as well as rich culture and well developed tourism facilities and infrastructure.

Written by Emeka Nweze

Content writer and contributor.

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