Most Visited Countries in the World

a group of buildings on a cliff above water
image from Thrillist

I’ve never really thought much about what the most visited countries in the world would be. I do know that France and the United States are usually at the top of the list though.

If I had to guess which other countries would rank highly, I’d go with the U.K., Spain and hmmm I don’t know if I really have any other good guesses! Let’s go with the Czech Republic since it seems like so many people have visited Prague.

Thrillist wrote an article about Most Visited Countries in the World which was based on the UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2014 edition.I wasn’t really familiar with the UNWTO so I decided to click the link to their report to find out a little more.

According to the report, “The UNWTO  is the United Nations’ agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy and a source of tourism know-how”.

I was definitely curious to see which countries ranked in the Top 10 along with how many visitors they attracted.

Here is the list:

  1. France– 83 million
  2. U.S.A.– 69.8 million
  3. Spain– 60.7 million
  4. China– 55.7 million
  5. Italy– 47.7 million
  6. Turkey– 37.8 million
  7. Germany– 31.5 million
  8. United Kingdom– 31.2 millon
  9. Russian Federation– 28.4 million
  10. Thailand– 26.5 million

I was a bit surprised to see that I’ve (officially) been to all of the countries on the list. However, I wouldn’t really say that I’ve been to China since I haven’t stepped foot on the mainland. (I’ve only been to Hong Kong & Macao.)

How many of the world’s 10 most visited have you been to? Are you surprised by any  of the countries that placed on this list?

For next year’s report I’d expect a couple of countries to fall in the rankings. Due to sanctions and all of the craziness with Ukraine, I’d expect Russia to have quite a bit fewer visitors. I’d also expect Thailand’s numbers to suffer due to protests which have taken place during the year.

Check out the article from Thrillist here and the UNWTO report here.

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6 thoughts on “Most Visited Countries in the World

  1. these #s are dubious.
    how is a tourist defined? foreigners only? or domestic tourists also (china)? how do they separate the migrant workers from tourists (russia, usa)?

    1. purcitron- I get your points but disagree with them at the same time. As for domestic tourism, I can’t see how that would be factored in. If a New Yorker visits LA, how would this increase the #s towards being the most visited country? They are tourists but are visiting a different city/ state in the country they are from.

      You should check out the link to the UNWTO report above for more details.

      1. agree to disagree.. the domestic tourism applies especially to china (PRC).. where they possibly regard visitors from SARs HK & Macau as tourists. while taiwan (ROC) possibly as domestic visitors.
        france being #1 is doubtless though

        1. Domestic in some cases may count. I did not read the full report from UNWTO. I’m curious now to know if visitors from Puerto Rico count for US tourism #s…

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