Home » News: United States of America, Spain, France, Thailand, UK leads Top 20 World Tourism Rankings

News: United States of America, Spain, France, Thailand, UK leads Top 20 World Tourism Rankings

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The United States of America, with an international tourism receipt of $214 billion leads the top 20 World Tourism rankings according to findings published by Insidermonkey.

The data show that Spain, France, Thailand, United Kingdom had International Tourism Receipts of $79.7 billion, $63.8 billion, $60.5 billion and $52.7 billion respectively among others.

According to insidermonkey.com, tourism is one of the key determinants of global economic health. And it’s an industry that has grown alongside advances in air transportation that have enabled people to travel to far flung destinations while traveling at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour.

Tourism is one of the key determinants of global economic health. And it’s an industry that has grown alongside advances in air transportation that have enabled people to travel to far flung destinations while traveling at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour.

Yet, tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world. For instance, according to research from Industry Arc, the global travel and tourism industry is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.1% between 2021 and 2026 to be worth an estimated $8.9 trillion by the end of the forecast period. Another report from Allied Markets Research estimates that the business travel market was worth $696 billion in 2020 and will grow at a CAGR of 13.2% to sit at $2 trillion by 2028.

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At the same time, business and leisure travel are not the only constituents industries of tourism. Two additional markets are adventure tourism and luxury travel. Estimates suggest that the former was worth $282 billion in 2021 and after growing at a CAGR of 15.1% is estimated to be worth $1 trillion in 2030. As far as luxury tourism is concerned, it was quite lucrative, being worth $1.28 trillion in 2022, and should have a CAGR of 7.6% to be worth $2.32 trillion in 2030.

Building on this, the next logical question to ask is which countries are the most popular for tourists and which are the most visited overall as well as in continents such as Europe and Asia. Well, on this front, data from the World Tourism Organization once again answer all our questions. Its World Tourism Barometer report for December 2020 (the latest version that is publicly available) shows that France was the most visited tourist destination in the world and in Europe in 2019. Broadening our approach to see which are the top ten most visited tourist countries in the world, we find out that after France, the list is dominated by Spain, the U.S., China, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Astute readers will note that this also makes China as the most visited tourist destination in Asia. In terms of numbers, 83.5 million people visited Spain in 2019 – the second most popular tourist destination in Europe while China attracted 65.7 million people.

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At this point, you might be wondering which is the most popular and most visited city in the world. Well, and perhaps unsurprisingly, just as France is the world’s and Europe’s most popular tourist destination, the most visited city in the world is its capital, Paris. This bit of information comes courtesy of Euromonitor International, which adds that in addition to Paris, some other popular cities for tourists are Dubai, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, and London. Crucially, Euromonitor’s stats are for 2022, while the WTO’s data shared above is from 2019, and these facts when taken together indicate that trends in the tourism industry tend to stay similar over the years – a crucial conclusion as you’ll find out below.

China’s role as the most popular tourist destination in Asia and a leading global economy merits a deeper look at what’s in store for the country’s tourist fortunes.

China kick started 2023 by removing nearly all restrictions on travel and tourism, and after initially faltering, the pent up tourism demand roared back to life. Data compiled by McKinsey shows that visits to one of its most popular cities Shanghai nearly doubled to ten million visitors from the pre coronavirus 2019 peak. At the same time, China also has some of the biggest outbound tourism travelers in the world, and McKinsey estimates that pend up demand from these visitors as well carries with it a strong chance of injecting fresh vigor into the global tourism industry.

Finally, it’s relevant to conclude our analysis of the global tourism industry by taking a look at what’s happening on the ground. On this front, the management of Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) outlined during its first quarter of 2023 earnings call conference:

And I’m pleased to have started the year with strong performance. We posted our highest ever quarter for lodging gross bookings and free cash flow and our best first quarter for revenue. Throughout the quarter, we saw strong consumer demand with acceleration in international and big city travel and more of Asia reopening. The reemergence of major international cities has meant increased hotel demand, offset in part by flattening demand in vacation rentals as travel demand mix to urban destinations over extended beach and mountain trips.

Similarly, air has continued to mix towards international travel and away from COVID era concentration in domestic. By and large, prices have held up quite well after several years of inflation. We’ve seen lodging ADRs hold fairly steady across geos.

Air ticket prices, however, continued to increase as strong demand continues to outstrip capacity. The only area where we have seen any meaningful decline in average daily rate is in the car rental space where larger inventories have allowed rental companies to drive more volume at the expense of price. Overall, we are pleased to see broad travel demand remain strong in what appears to be a more structural post pandemic environment of people prioritizing travel above most other categories of spend.

This has held up despite inflation and recession worries and even, more recently, bank system concerns. While economists continue to debate potential recession outcomes and clearly many unknowns are still out there, consumers have so far shaken it off and continue to travel.

With these details in mind, let’s take a look at the world tourism rankings according to countries.

Our Methodology
To compile our global tourism ranking by country, we used data from the 2020 version of the United Nations’ World Tourism Barometer report. While it lists out international tourism receipts for 2019, this is actually helpful since 2019 was the last economically stable year for the global tourism industry which is still recovering. For our world tourism rankings, we have used international tourism receipts which is the amount spent by international visitors in a country. On a side note, both countries and special territories are included, since the spending is quite substantial.

World Tourism Rankings by Country
20. Portuguese Republic
International Tourism Receipts: $20.6 billion
The Portuguese Republic is a Southwestern European country. It has a $257 billion economy and is famous for its Gothic architecture and diverse cuisine.

19. Republic of Korea
International Tourism Receipts: $21.6 billion
The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea is a technologically developed Asian country. South Korea is quite popular with visitors from China – with thousands flocking to the country each year.

18. United Arab Emirates
International Tourism Receipts: $21.8 billion
The United Arab Emirates is not a surprising industry in our list of world tourism rankings. After all, its economic hub Dubai is one of the most highly visited cities in Asia.

17. Republic of Austria
International Tourism Receipts: $22.9 billion
The Republic of Austria is a Central European landlocked country. Some of its most popular tourist destinations include its capital Vienna, known for the Schönbrunn Palace.

16. United Mexican States
International Tourism Receipts: $24.6 billion
The United Mexican States, or Mexico, is a North American country. It is well known for historical tourism, being the birthplace of the Mayan civilization as well as beautiful beaches.

15. Canada
International Tourism Receipts: $28.0 billion
Canada is a prosperous North American nation. Canada is best known for its Niagra Falls, which has been a popular tourist destination for more than a hundred years.

14. Hong Kong SAR
International Tourism Receipts: $29.0 billion
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. It is known for its vibrant nightlife, historic temples, and of course, Disneyland.

13. Republic of Türkiye
International Tourism Receipts: $29.8 billion
The Republic of Türkiye is an Asian and European nation. Its Istanbul International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world.

12. Republic of India
International Tourism Receipts: $30.7 billion
The Republic of India is one of the biggest countries in the world and is full of iconic tourist destinations such as the Taj Mahal, the Ganges River, and more.

11. People’s Republic of China
International Tourism Receipts: $35.8 billion
The People’s Republic of China is the most populous nation in the world. It has a centuries old culture lending it iconic destinations such as the Great Wall of China.

10. Macao SAR
International Tourism Receipts: $40.1 billion
Macao is another special territory of China. It is best known for its vibrant casino and gaming industry.

9. Federal Republic of Germany
International Tourism Receipts: $41.6 billion
The Federal Republic of Germany is Europe’s largest economy It is known for its beer festivals and winter markets, that is quite a spectacle.

8. Commonwealth of Australia
International Tourism Receipts: $45.7 billion
The Commonwealth of Australia is a prosperous Oceanic country. It is known for having the world’s largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef.

7. Japan
International Tourism Receipts: $46.1 billion
Like China, Japan is also a historic country full of ancient temples and a historic culture.

6. Italian Republic
International Tourism Receipts: $49.6 billion
Another unsurprising entry on our list is Italy. Known for its Roman culture and art galleries, it is one of the best destinations for cultural tourism.

5. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
International Tourism Receipts: $52.7 billion
The U.K. is another country with a deep and historic past. It is known to be the land of the kings, with the British Monarchy having existed in one form or the other for centuries. This also lends Great Britain a diverse set of historical landmarks that have played a central role in the feuds between its rulers as well as have signified key points in the nation’s industrial development. Not to mention, key British cities such as London have a vibrant nightlife and Scotland is known for some of the most beautiful pastures in the world.

4. Kingdom of Thailand
International Tourism Receipts: $60.5 billion
The Kingdom of Thailand is an Asian country that has transformed its economy on the basis of tourism. Thailand is known for its scenic destinations such as the Gulf of Thailand famous for its clear waters. Thailand’s capital Bangkok is one of the most famous cities in the world for tourists. It is known all over the world for its nightlife, and a relatively unknown fact about Thailand is that it is also a top global destination for medical tourism as people frequently visit the country for cosmetic surgeries.

3. French Republic
International Tourism Receipts: $63.8 billion
Just as French museum heists are a popular topic for movies, France as a whole is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Its capital Paris is one of the hubs for global art, and the renowned Louvre museum houses art works that have played a crucial role in Europe’s cultural reawakening in the aftermath of the infamous Dark Ages. France is also a fiercely democratic country, and it is full of landmarks of former royalty that was thrown out of power by revolutionaries. Not to mention, its colonial past and role in the second world war nicely round off its tourism significance.

2. Kingdom of Spain
International Tourism Receipts: $79.7 billion
The Kingdom of Spain is another former colonial power. The WTO’s headquarters are located in the country, and tourists mostly from Europe primarily flock to the country each year. Spain is known for its vibrant beaches, festivals, nightlife, and museums.

1. United States of America
International Tourism Receipts: $214 billion
While not as old as either China or Japan, the United States of America still ranks at the top of our list. And even though it’s not old, America is one of the few countries that fought a war for years to overthrow the British monarchy – lending it its own unique flavor of sites. Additionally, countless people also flock to its shores for entertainment, business, and medical purposes.

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