World Tourism rankings

The World Tourism rankings are compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization as part of their World Tourism Barometer publication, which is released three times annually. In the publication, UN regions and subregions are ranked by the number of international visitor arrivals, by the revenue generated by inbound tourism, and by the expenditures of outbound travelers.

Most visited destinations by international tourist arrivals

In 2018, there were 1.401 billion international tourist arrivals worldwide, with a growth of 5.4% as compared to 2017.[1] The top 10 international tourism destinations in 2018 were (2018 numbers are preliminary):

Rank Destination International
tourist
arrivals
(2018)[1]
International
tourist
arrivals
(2017)[1]
Change
(2017 to
2018)
(%)
Change
(2016 to
2017)
(%)
1 France89.4 million86.9 million 2.9 5.1
2 Spain82.8 million81.9 million 1.1 8.7
3 United States79.6 million76.9 million 3.5 0.7
4 China62.9 million60.7 million 3.6 2.5
5 Italy62.1 million58.2 million 6.7 11.2
6 Turkey45.8 million37.6 million 21.7 24.1
7 Mexico41.4 million39.3 million 5.5 12.0
8 Germany38.9 million37.5 million 3.8 5.2
9 Thailand38.3 million35.5 million 7.9 9.1
10 United Kingdom36.3 million37.6 million 3.5 5.1

Africa

In 2017, there were over 62.7 million international tourist arrivals to Africa, an increase of 8.5% from 2016. Preliminary numbers for 2018 indicate a similar increase.[1]

In 2017, the top ten African destinations were:

Rank Destination International
tourist
arrivals
(2017)[1]
International
tourist
arrivals
(2016)[2]
Change
(2016 to
2017)
(%)
Change
(2015 to
2016)
(%)
1 Morocco11.3 million10.3 million 9.8 1.5
2 South Africa10.3 million10.0 million 2.4 12.8
3 Egypt8.3 million5.3 million 53.6 42.5
4 Tunisia7.1 million5.7 million 23.2 6.8
5 Algeria2.5 million2.0 million 20.2 19.2
6 Zimbabwe2.4 million2.2 million 11.8 5.4
7 Ivory Coast1.8 million1.6 million 13.7 9.9
8 Botswana1.6 million1.5 million 5.5
9 Namibia1.5 million1.5 million 2.0 5.8
10 Mozambique1.4 million1.6 million 11.7 5.6
Note: Egypt is classified under "Middle East" in the UNWTO.[3]

Americas

In 2018, there were 215.7 million international tourist arrivals to the Americas, an increase of 2.3%.[1] In 2018, the top ten destinations were (2018 numbers are preliminary):

Rank Destination International
tourist
arrivals
(2018)[1]
International
tourist
arrivals
(2017)[1]
Change
(2017 to
2018)
(%)
Change
(2016 to
2017)
(%)
1 United States79.6 million76.9 million 3.5 0.7
2 Mexico41.4 million39.3 million 5.5 12.0
3 Canada21.1 million20.9 million 1.2 4.6
4 Argentina6.9 million6.7 million 3.4 0.8
5 Brazil6.6 million6.6 million 0.5 0.6
6 Dominican Republic6.6 million6.2 million 6.2 3.48
7 Chile5.7 million6.5 million 11.3 14.3
8 Cuba4.7 million4.6 million 0.2 15.6
9 Peru4.4 million4.0 million 9.6 7.7
10 Colombia3.9 million3.6 million 7.4 9.5

Asia-Pacific

In 2018, there were over 347 million international tourist arrivals to Asia-Pacific, an increase of 7.3% over 2017.[1] In 2018, the top ten destinations were (2018 numbers are preliminary):

Rank Destination International
tourist
arrivals
(2018)[1]
International
tourist
arrivals
(2017)[1]
Change
(2017 to
2018)
(%)
Change
(2016 to
2017)
(%)
1 China62.9 million60.7 million 3.6 2.5
2 Thailand38.3 million35.5 million 6.8 8.8
3 Japan31.2 million28.7 million 8.7 19.4
4 Hong Kong29.3 million27.9 million 4.9 5.0
5 Malaysia25.8 million25.9 million 0.4 3.0
6 Macau18.5 million17.3 million 7.2 9.9
7 India17.4 million15.5 million 12.1 6.7
8 Vietnam15.5 million12.9 million 19.9 29.1
9 South Korea15.3 million13.3 million 15.1 22.7
10 Singapore14.7 million13.9 million 5.5 7.7

Europe

In 2018, there were around 710 million international tourist arrivals to Europe, an increase of 5.5% over 2017.[1] In 2018, the top ten destinations were (2018 numbers are preliminary):

Rank Destination International
tourist
arrivals
(2018)[1]
International
tourist
arrivals
(2017)[1]
Change
(2017 to
2018)
(%)
Change
(2016 to
2017)
(%)
1 France89.4 million86.9 million 2.9 5.1
2 Spain82.8 million81.9 million 1.1 8.7
3 Italy62.1 million58.3 million 6.7 11.2
4 Turkey45.8 million37.6 million 21.7 24.1
5 Germany38.9 million37.5 million 3.8 5.2
6 United Kingdom36.3 million37.7 million 3.5 5.1
7 Austria30.8 million29.5 million 4.6 4.8
8 Greece30.1 million27.2 million 10.8 9.7
9 Russia24.6 million24.4 million 0.7 0.7
10 Portugal22.8 million21.2 million 7.5 16.5

Middle East

In 2017, there were 57.7 million international tourist arrivals to the Middle East (excluding Turkey, Iran and Israel), an increase of 4.1% over 2016. Preliminary numbers for 2018 indicate an similar increase.[1] In 2017, the top ten destinations were:

Rank Destination International
tourist
arrivals
(2017)[1]
International
tourist
arrivals
(2016)[2]
Change
(2016 to
2017)
(%)
Change
(2015 to
2016)
(%)
1 Turkey37.6 million30.3 million 24.1 23.3
2 Saudi Arabia16.1 million18.0 million 10.7 0.3
3 United Arab Emirates15.8 million14.9 million 6.2 4.7
4 Egypt8.3 million5.3 million 53.6 42.5
5 Iran4.9 million4.9 million 1.5 5.6
6 Bahrain4.4 million4.0 million 9.6 0.7
7 Jordan3.8 million3.6 million 7.7 5.2
8 Israel3.6 million2.9 million 24.6 3.6
9 Oman2.4 million2.3 million 1.6 20.1
10 Qatar2.3 million2.9 million 23.2 0.1
Note: Iran is classified as part of "South Asia" in the UNWTO.[3]

Turkey and Israel are classified as part of "Southern/Medit.Europe" in the UNWTO.[3]

International tourism receipts

International tourism receipts grew to US$1,451 billion in 2018, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 4.4% from 2017.[1] The World Tourism Organization reports the following destinations as the top ten tourism earners for the year 2018, with the United States by far the top earner.

Rank Region International
tourism
receipts

(US$ billion)
(2018)[1]

International
tourism
receipts

(US$ billion)
(2017)[2]

Change
(2017 to
2018)
(%)
1 United States214.5210.7 1.8%
2 Spain73.868.1 8.4%
3 France67.360.7 10.9%
4 Thailand63.056.9 10.7%
5 United Kingdom51.949.0 5.9%
6 Italy49.344.2 11.5%
7 Australia45.041.7 7.9%
8 Germany43.039.8 8.0%
9 Japan41.134.1 20.5%
10 China40.438.6 4.7%

Africa

Rank Region International
tourism
receipts
(US$ million)
(2018)[1]
1 Egypt11,615
2 South Africa8,939
3 Morocco7,775
4 Tanzania2,449
5 Nigeria1,962
6 Mauritius1,887
7 Tunisia1,713
8 Sudan1,043
9 Uganda1,037
10 Kenya919*
Note: Number for Kenya is for 2017.

Americas

Rank Region International
tourism
receipts
(US$ million)
(2018)[1]
1 United States214,468
2 Mexico22,510
3 Canada21,936
4 Dominican Republic7,561
5 Brazil5,917
6 Argentina5,558
7 Colombia5,556
8 Panama4,608
9 Peru3,947
10 Costa Rica3,903

Asia-Pacific

Rank Region International
tourism
receipts
(US$ million)
(2018)[1]
1 Thailand63,042
2 Australia45,035
3 Japan41,115
4 China40,386
5 Macau40,187
6 Hong Kong36,703
7 India28,568
8 Singapore20,528
9 Malaysia19,143
10 South Korea15,319

Europe

Rank Region International
tourism
receipts
(US$ million)
(2018)[1]
1 Spain73,765
2 France67,370
3 United Kingdom51,882
4 Italy49,262
5 Germany42,977
6 Turkey25,220
7 Austria22,979
8 Portugal19,621
9 Greece19,029
10 Netherlands18,641

Middle East

Rank Region International
tourism
receipts
(US$ million)
(2018)[1]
1 Turkey25,220
2 United Arab Emirates21,375
3 Saudi Arabia12,038
4 Egypt11,615
5 Lebanon8,400
6 Israel7,241
7 Qatar5,565
8 Jordan5,249
9 Iran4,402*
10 Bahrain3,642*
Note: Numbers for Iran and Bahrain are for 2017.

International tourism expenditures

The World Tourism Organization reports the following source countries as the top ten spenders on international tourism for the year 2018, with China by far being the top spender:

Rank Country International
tourism
expenditure
(2018)[1]
International
tourism
expenditure
(2017)[2]
Change
(2017 to
2018)
(%) [1]
1 China$277 billion$257.7 billion 5
2 United States$144 billion$135.0 billion 7
3 Germany$94 billion$89.1 billion 1
4 United Kingdom$76 billion$71.4 billion 3
5 France$48 billion$41.4 billion 11
6 Australia$37 billion$34.2 billion 10
7 Russia$35 billion$31.1 billion 11
8 Canada$33 billion$31.8 billion 4
9 South Korea$32 billion$30.6 billion 1
10 Italy$30 billion$27.7 billion 4

See also

References

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