These are the countries that receive the most tourists, and those that earn the most money with tourism

Reviewing some of the tourism global figures

In this article, we will review some of the tourism global figures: more specifically, we will see which are the countries that receive the most tourists, as well as the ranking of those that earn the most money thanks to tourism.

The tourism industry is fundamental to the world economy, and in some countries, the key to its survival, since its sustainability depends on the benefits generated by the visits of foreigners.

Tourism, nature and culture

Tourism is crucial not only for the economy of the country and for the jobs it generates, but also to encourage the conservation of the cultural heritage of its territory, preserve its nature, as well as the peace and security of the region. In this sense, in the last two years, several destinations have overcome the challenge to be perceived as safe again and recover in the incoming market. In general, we can speak of a global recovery after a few years of crisis; the economic rise has triggered a strong demand for exit from the main markets of origin.

While awaiting the 2018 balance, we will approach the previous figures provided by the World Tourism Organization.

What are the main tourist destinations in the world in terms of number of visitors?

  1. France
    The French country heads again the list of the most visited countries; it belongs to Europe, the most visited continent in the world, with almost 87 million tourists. However, its income from tourism is below that of the powers such as Spain and the United States, which receive fewer tourists. Paris is permanently crowded with tourists eager to visit its iconic places, such as the recently ill-fated Notre-Dame cathedral.
  2. Spain
    Spain is the second country in the world that receives the most foreign tourists a year, around 82 million. It moved from the third to the second position in the list and, moreover, it is also the second in terms of income generated by tourism. The historical-cultural heritage of the Spanish nation, together with its pleasant climate and impressive nature, make it an unquestionable winner.
  3. United States
    With 77 million visitors, the American giant descends a position with regards to the previous study, and is relegated to a third position, commuting with Spain. However, it remains the leader in tourism revenues, practically tripling Spain (the second highest earner) in this section.
  4. China
    It remains in fourth position. The attractions of this millenary land are countless, and its improved infrastructures allow the arrival of more and more tourists. It is in ninth position in the list of income, with 35.6 billion dollars.
  5. Italy
    The country bathed by the Mediterranean Sea is a museum in itself. The Renaissance and neoclassical legacy that it gathers is a gift for humanity. With an enviable climate and a sublime gastronomy, it is not surprising that more than 58 million people decided to visit it, leaving more than 44 million dollars on the road.
  6. Mexico
    Nearly 40 million people, mostly Americans, visited the country. However, it is not among the ten countries with the highest volume of tourism revenues. The beautiful Mexican beaches are one of the favourite destinations of their northern neighbours, although they now face the problem of sargasso.
  7. United Kingdom
    The memory of the glory of the British Empire is still perceived in the main English cities, and the green and emerging Scotland and Ireland have natural and historical treasures that attract 37.7 million tourists annually. Despite having less tourism than Italy or China, it is the fifth country in the income ranking, with 51.2 billion dollars.
    world's top tourism destinations
  8. Turkey
    The door of Asia had 37. 6 million visitors eager to live the exoticism of the East in a country of European tradition. It does not appear among the ten countries with the highest tourism income, although it would be interesting to know the huge benefit that low-cost capillary tourism generates. The attractive prices and beauty of the Bosphorus city are the main attractions for patients from Western Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans and Asia.
  9. Germany
    Despite having the same number of tourists as Turkey, it earned almost 40 billion dollars.
  10. Thailand
    35.4 million people visited Southeast Asia and spent 57.5 billion dollars, placing the country no less than fourth in tourism income. The country maintains the attraction of its overflowing nature, although its model of mass tourism, together with the overexploitation of its natural resources, endangers its tourist future.

Tourism international growth

To sum up, Europe has experienced remarkable growth led by the Mediterranean regions that make up the south of the European continent, including Italy and Spain with an increase of six million arrivals in each country. The Asia-Pacific region continues its growth, driven by strong intra-regional demand. North Africa is recovering.

As for the people who travel the most in the world, Europe continues to lead the outbound tourism, since it generates approximately half of international tourists who visit other countries in the world. Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America stand out for their rapid growth in recent years, thanks in part to the increase in revenues in these regions.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reminds that it is necessary to promote responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism to everyone, and this is only possible if travellers take care of the regions they visit, respecting the environment and culture of each territory.

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