The 10 most visited by foreign tourists countries in the world have one thing in common – they receive huge revenues from international tourism. Their positions in top 10, however, are not guaranteed. For example, in the beginning of the 21st century the most visited destinations were respectively Austria (No. 10), Canada (No. 9), Mexico (No. 8), Russia (No. 7), the UK (No. 6), Italy (No. 5), USA (No. 4), China (No. 3), Spain (No. 2) and France (No. 1). Today, as a result of intense competition, three of them (Austria, Canada and Russia) are no longer on the list, because they have been replaced by other countries.
10. Mexico. Today Mexico is the tenth most visited country in the world. This is a popular holiday destination, which is known for its beaches, mild climate, interesting culture and spicy cuisine.
In 2011 the country was visited by 23.4 million tourists, compared with 23.3 million in 2010 and 19.8 million a decade earlier.
Most of the tourists come here from the United States, especially during the winter season, attracted by the combination of sun and affordable prices.
9. Malaysia. Malaysia is a rapidly growing tourist destination with a double advantage. On the one hand it is a fast growing economic center, which attracts millions of business travelers, and on the other hand it boasts gorgeous sceneries, year-round warm weather and stunning beaches.
In 2011 the country was visited by 24.7 million tourists. Just a decade ago their number was only 12.7 million.
8. Germany. Ranking eighth on the list, just a decade ago the most developed European state was not among the 10 most visited countries. Today Germany, especially its capital Berlin, is the most important cultural center in Europe.
Besides business travelers, today the country attracts visitors with its numerous cultural events, concerts, museums and others.
The number of tourists that visited Germany in 2011 is estimated at about 28.4 million people compared to 17.8 in 2001.
7. UK. The number of tourists visiting the UK during the first decade of the 21 century increased from 20,900,000 in 2001 to 29,200,000 in 2011.
Despite the strong growth, the country has not changed significantly its position in the list due to the increasing competition of the other states.
Today it remains one of the world leaders in the field of congress and cultural tourism. Moreover, the country is a magnet for tourists coming here to learn English.
6. Turkey. With its 29.2 million visitors, Turkey has become the most visited country in the Eastern Mediterranean. It has gained international fame because of its beautiful coastline and clever pricing policy in comparison with its competitors in the Mediterranean region.
Except for being a paradise for holiday makers, Turkey is an important business center. For this reason it attracts a large number of short-stay well-off business visitors.
5. Italy. 46.1 million tourists visited Italy in 2011. Cities like the capital Rome are jammed with visitors in most of the year.
The country is a popular destination for business tourism, but its greatest wealth are the numerous monuments that attract with their magnetism visitors from all over the world.
Many tourists joke that Italy is a huge resort that looks like it was created to please the tourists.
4. Spain. Only a few years ago, Spain was the second most visited country in the world. Today, with its 56.7 million tourists it is the fourth most popular destination after France, the United States and China.
When it comes for revenues from tourism, however, Spain was the world leader for a long period of time.
Even today, it is second in the world after the United States. Typical feature is that the average duration of stay in Spain is very high compared with other places such as France.
3. China. Approximately 57.6 million people visited China in 2011. While a large part of them visited the country primary for business, millions of people were attracted by its numerous natural beauties and historical landmarks.
Among the most favorite places is the capital Beijing. An interesting fact is that in the last ten years China consistently maintained its position as the third world’s most visited tourist destination.
2. USA. In 2001 about 46.9 million tourists visited the United States, while in 2011 the number of visitors was already 62.3 million people. This is an impressive growth in comparison with the other countries in this list.
Because of its numerous advantages, in the next two decades the United States probably will have the chance to become the most visited country in the world.
Its modern and fast growing cities are an attractive place for business, the beaches are just great, the mountains are breathtaking, and the national parks are among the most beautiful on the planet.
1. France. Similar to the United States, France is a tourist destination with thousands of different faces. Paris, the capital of the country, is number one as a congress and business center, but it attracts also millions of shopping tourists per year.
The French Riviera is the perfect place to spend your summer vacation, and the French Alps are among the world’s leading ski destinations.
And do not forget the city of Lyon, which is considered to be the culinary capital of the world. In 2011, about 79.5 million foreign tourists visited the country.