Wondering which are the most visited countries in the world? Despite the downswings in the global economy which the world has seen over the past few years, tourism has continued to boom. Tourists’ arrivals have shown an uninterrupted growth since 1950, when figures showed 278 million tourists traveling around the world, up to 528 million in 1995, and reaching 1.08 billion in 2013. These days, tourism is considered one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world. Moreover, tourism might be a key driver of socio-economic progress through revenues, the creation of jobs and enterprises, and infrastructure development.
Tourism can indeed lead local economies towards important growth and development, as it brings money into the local economy and facilitates progress, prosperity and well-being. If we take a look at The 20 Wealthiest Countries In 2013, we can see that some of these countries have reached wealth due to their mineral resources, others because they have invested heavily in industry and technology, and others, of course, because they are touristic havens. Places such as Australia, Brazil, and France occupy the top ten when considering the world’s wealthiest nations in GDP (gross domestic product).
According to figures released by the World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals grew by 5% in 2013, reaching a record 1.08 billion arrivals worldwide. Living up to its reputation as a tourist hotspot, Europe led the world in 2013 with 563 million tourists. Yet, taking into account the amount of tourists heading towards Asia and the Pacific, we can see that this area recorded the fastest relative growth across all regions, with a 6% increase in international arrivals.
New destinations have started to gain more popularity, especially in South Asia, apart from the all-time most beloved stops, such as destinations in Europe and the United States. Can you guess which countries lead the ranking? The top places usually derive their popularity from their attractions. In Europe this oftentimes means historic and legendary sites like The Eiffel Tower, and Buckingham Palace. In the United States, newer attractions like Disney World and the Las Vegas strip are popular.
In order to evaluate a world’s tourism numbers, various variables are taken into account. The main two indicators are international tourist arrivals and international tourism receipts. Some external variables also affect tourists’ travel behavior. For example, exchange rate fluctuations between national currencies and the US dollar has been an important factor regarding tourism’s variations, with destinations tending to be more popular when their local currency is cheaper to purchase.
Now then, check out our list featuring the ten most visited countries in the world. Some results might surprise you!