Top 10 Travel Destinations: Surprise. Inspiration

By Marina Aagaard, MFE
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Would you guess at Andorra as number 1 destination?
And France out of Top 10, in at 42nd place?
No? Well, that’s the way it is. 

If you count the number of tourists per inhabitants …

Travel enthusiasts have a general idea about how the world’s Top 10 destinations are roughly distributed – as seen in the media, on travel sites and thousands of travel blogs.
# COUNTRY TURIST SEARCH (millions)
1 France 82.6
2 USA 75.6
3 Spain 75.6
4 China 59.3
5 Italy 52.4
6 UK / England … 35.8
7 Germany 35.6
8 mexico 35
9 thailand 32.6
10 … Turkey – (39.5 – 2015)
The distribution is understandable as the favorite destinations are among the world’s largest countries, which provide the possibility for many and diverse experiences in nature and cities (details under photo).
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However, the list looks different, if you look at the number of tourists per capita – and it may inspire you to some new travel destinations (see list at the bottom).
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The top 10 destinations I have already visited (Malaysia only airport, though) and I would like to return to all of them, because it’s hard to pick a favorite.
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My current Top 3 would be Italy, the United States and Germany after England for many years has been my #1.  
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Have you visited one or more of them?
Please write your Top 3 in the Comments Box. 


Top 10 Worlds Most Visited Countries (WTO) 

  1. France (82.6)
    Paris, Nice, Strasbourg. The Alps with skiing in the winter and climbing and rafting in the summer, beaches, coastal landscapes, parks, castles. The country has 43 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Just as France is the most visited of the world’s countries, the capital of Paris is the most visited city in the world.
  2. USA (75.6)
    New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas (photo above and below). Cultivates and national parks like the Grand Canyon (top photo), Yellowstone and Yosemite National Park as well as Alaskan wildlife and Hawaiian beaches attract globetrotters – and athletes and supermotionists – to. The United States has 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  3. Spain (75.6)
    Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Seville. 13 Spanish cities are also considered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites out of a total of 46 in Spain. History and festivals. The Camino, one of the most important Christian pilgrimage routes. The resort towns on the coasts of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts and 15 national parks.
  4. China (59.3)
    Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong (a great place). The Forbidden City, the Great Wall and and the Three Canyons. Chinese Culture and Nature, 53 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (second largest number in the world) make China a favorite tourist destination. The number of tourist visits rises so much that travel experts estimate that China will be ranked number one worldwide in 2020.
  5. Italy (52,4)
    Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan. History and culture in the top. 53 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (most in the world), several from the Roman Empire and the Renaissance era. The Alps in the north, summer and winter, and picturesque Mediterranean coasts in the south. And the Italian cuisine!
  6. UK, England (35.8)
    London, Oxford, Cambridge. London is the most visited city in Britain and the 3rd most visited city in the world (2018). A long history as a colonial empire with a rich culture. There are 31 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the UK and its territories. The Tower of London, Stonehenge and the beautiful university towns attract especially European and American tourists.
  7. Germany (35.6)
    Berlin, Munich, Hamburg. Among the most visited cities in the country, which houses countless castles and cultural treasures. There 43 UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany. Known areas include Lower Saxony, with nine adventure cities including Hameln. Germany has several beautiful national parks, especially the Harz Mountains are popular – also for hiking and cycling.
  8. Mexico (35)
    Mexico City, Belize, Cancon. Known for amazing Mayan temple pics as well as unspoiled beaches and world class resorts. Rich in history and culture, 34 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 27 culture, 6 nature and 1 mixed. There are most tourists from the US and Candada, but more and more from Europe and Asia visit the country – also as part of cruises.
  9. Thailand (32.6)
    Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket. Countless temples and monasteries. There are 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Thailand, known as a global holiday destination with sunny sandy beaches, tropical islands, rich wildlife, archaeological sites, an exotic nightlife. And a popular thai cuisine.
  10. Turkey (-) (39.5 2015)
    Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya. Countless historic cities and memorials of ancient times, Troy and more. 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Beautiful mosques, exotic markets, unique scenery, including Pamukkale, and a number of popular beaches and resort towns. And Cappadocia (balloon speed).

51 destinations with more tourists than local

The newspaper Telegraph investigated at which tourist destinations the number of tourists exceeds the number of locals.
An interesting angle that can provide novel travel inspiration.

  1. Andorra – 33.53057199 annual tourists per resident
  2. Macao – 24.78871897
  3. The British Virgin Islands – 12.81668161
  4. Turks and Caicos Islands – 10.42546376
  5. Aruba – 10.31870554
  6. Monaco – 8.719620471
  7. Northern Marines – 8.353005266
  8. Guam – 7.905347735
  9. Bahrain – 7.589107757
  10. Saint Maarten – 7.142857143
  11. Palau – 6,6622516556
  12. Cayman Islands – 6.386846099
  13. The US Virgin Islands – 5,812269488
  14. Malta – 3,991,88649
  15. Hong Kong – 3.801141574
  16. Bahamas – 3.67765496
  17. Bermuda – 3.433739557
  18. Iceland – 3.01671891
  19. Maldives – 2.945036575
  20. Austria – 2.937027237
  21. Curacao – 2.860035434
  22. Croatia – 2.751394043
  23. Antigua and Barbuda – 2.711886558
  24. Seychelles – 2.508073197
  25. San Marino – 2.35990057
  26. Estonia – 2.224088756
  27. Montenegro – 2.169064956
  28. Singapore – 2.143449993
  29. Cyprus – 2.094739552
  30. Greece – 2.035619507
  31. St. Kitts and Nevis – 2.033398114
  32. Ireland – 1.899065723
  33. Barbados – 1.833119293
  34. St. Lucia – 1.827036903
  35. Luxembourg – 1.822088345
  36. Denmark – 1.808843619
  37. Georgia – 1.499320468
  38. Liechtenstein – 1.438810583
  39. Spain – 1.400203011
  40. Qatar – 1.264228724
  41. Grenada – 1.254388018
  42. France – 1.253839619
  43. Hungary – 1.233152586
  44. Slovenia – 1.16825147
  45. Albania – 1.156388675
  46. Slovakia – 1.149510052
  47. Dominica – 1.114474408
  48. Switzerland – 1.105107581
  49. United Arab Emirates – 1.090973066
  50. Bulgaria – 1.018530115
  51. Czech Republic – 1.006234446

Reference:

Telegraph: Countries where tourists outnumber locals

UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2017

World Heritage Sites by country

WHC Unesco

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