10 most visited countries by international tourists - World Tourism rankings

Every year Millions of people travel across countries to explore themselves for many reasons. Some people travel to get away from the stress of everyday life. Many travelers look to experience new cultures, traditions, or may me be food varieties. If no reason, then visiting friends and relatives during vacation is the best idea to get away from home. In this article, we will be exploring the top 10 most visited countries by international tourists according to the World Tourism rankings.

Most visited countries by international tourists - World Tourism rankings
Most Visited Countries by International Tourists

World Tourism Rankings

The World Tourism rankings is a list compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). This list ranks the countries based on the number of international tourist arrivals in a particular year. These rankings are published annually and provide a useful overview of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

These rankings are very useful for understanding global travel trends and can be used by companies and professionals for making informed decisions about travel destinations and strategies. The headquarter of UNWTO is in Madrid, Spain.

Top 10 most visited countries

The top 10 most visited countries by international tourists in the world, as per World Tourism rankings, which is compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) via Wikipedia are as follows:


“Rendez-Vous en France”

France is one of the world’s most visited countries, with over 89 million international visitors in 2018. This made Tourism contribute over 9% to the GDP of France. Also, Travel and Tourism support over 2.9 million jobs in the country. Most of the tourists coming to France are mainly from the countries like UK, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg with around 40 million visitors annually.

Louvre Museum in Paris
Louvre Museum in Paris

Some of the most popular tourist destinations among visitors in France are as follows:

Louvre – Musée du Louvre
The Louvre Museum, Paris is very popular and the most visited Art Museum in the world. This museum, Once the Royal residence (Louvre palace) today displays 35000 works of art and has a collection of 615,797 Objects.
The display works of art collection include Sculptures, decorative arts, paintings, drawings, Egyptian antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman display pieces, etc. The Mona Lisa and The Venus de Milo are among the most famous artwork masterpiece of the Louvre

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower, Paris is the most recognizable landmark structure of France and the most-visited paid monument in the world. Eiffel Tower is 330 meters or 1083 ft tall and is named after Alexandre Gustave Eiffel a French civil engineer, whose company designed and built the tower. It was completed in 1889 and more than 300 million tourists have visited the tower since then.

Eiffel Tower, Paris
Eiffel Tower, Paris

Other Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in France are Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles), French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur), Mont Saint-Michel, Loire Valley Châteaux and Chartres Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres)


“The beautiful country of wine and songs.”

Spain is first in The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 (includes 140 countries), published by the World Economic Forum, and second among the most visited countries in the world. In 2019, Spain had 83.7 million tourists contributing over 10% to its GDP (11.8% in 2017). Especially the tourists from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Turkey, France, and Germany are among the top visitors to Spain since the 1960s and 1970s.

Summer resort and beach tourism is very popular in Spain and generates the most income from travel and tourism for the country. Some of the most visited tourist places in Spain are as follows:

Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real) most visited countries
Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real)

The headquarter of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is in Madrid, Spain.

Summer resort and beach tourism is very popular in Spain and generates the most income from travel and tourism for the country. Some of the most visited tourist places in Spain are as follows:

The Royal Palace of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real) is the largest royal palace in Europe and the official residence of the Spanish royal family. As the name suggests, it is located in the city of Madrid and is now used only for state ceremonies and is also open for public visitors except at state ceremonies. The palace is very big, it has 3418 rooms and 135,000 sq mtr (1,450,000 sq ft) of floor space.

Sagrada Família

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, or Sagrada Família, Barcelona Spain, is the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world. The construction of the church was started in 1882 and is believed to be completed after 2026.

Sagrada Família is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is among the most visited site in the country and Europe.

Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família
Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família

Other major tourist attractions of Spain are the Aqueduct of Segovia, The Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, The Great Mosque of Córdoba (La Mezquita), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, the Beaches of Gran Canaria and The White Towns of Andalucía.

3. USA (United States of America)

“Dreams are the foundation of America.”

The USA is the most popular hub for tourism, education, and business in the whole world since the early 90s. In 2019, there were about 79.3 million international tourist visitors in the United States, making it the most visited country just after France and Paris. Tourism in the USA is more popular as city tourism, or urban tourism. Popular cities like New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, invites many tourists for many decades.

The major arrivals in the US for tourist or Business purposes are from Mexico, Canada, the UK, Japan, and China.
The US offers a wide variety of tourist attractions national parks, amusement parks, historical buildings, museums, galleries, outdoor recreation, gambling sports, etc.

Times Square, New York - most visited countries
Times Square, New York

The most visited destinations of the US are:

Times Square, New York

Times Square, New York is the most popular tourist destination, entertainment hub, and main spot of New year celebrations in Manhattan, New York City of US. Time square is visited by around 130 million people in a year, and witnesses 360,000 pedestrian visitors a day. It is also the favourite site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop in the US and across the world.

Las Vegas Strip

The strip refers to a stretch in Las Vegas Nevada, United States, which is 6.8 Km (4.2 miles) long. The strip is known for its contemporary architecture, large and luxurious hotels, casinos, and resort properties.

The Las Vegas most visited countries
The Las Vegas

Walt Disney World

The Walt Disney World Resort, or Walt Disney World, is an entertainment theme park resort by Walt Disney. Walt Disney Florida is very popular and among the most visited theme park in the world.

Disney Castle most visited countries
Disney Castle

Other notable tourist attractions in the US are the Golden Gate Bridge and Park in San Francisco, Venice Beach California, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Statue of Liberty in New York, and Lincoln Park in Chicago.


“China is a great country with a great culture, populated by fascinating, industrious and talented people.”

Tourism in China is growing at a very fast pace and has become one of the world’s largest outbound tourist markets. In 2019 65.7 million international tourists arrived in China making it the most-visited country in Asia and 4th in the world. In 2022 China stood second in the world for its contribution to GDP ($814.1 million) from travel and tourism and first in employment.

In China, the majority of the tourist visitors are from Asian countries like Hongkong, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. China’s popular tourist attractions include mainly Historical, cultural sites, natural sites, and Folk customs.

Great Wall of China most visited countries
Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

This is the most famous, historic landmark in China. The great wall of China is not just a wall but a series of fortifications, built across the northern border of ancient Chinese states. The total length of the great wall of China is 21,196.18 km (13,170.70 miles) and it took more than 2000 years to construct it.

Other main Tourist Attractions in China are Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Mount Huang, Pudong Skyline, Mount Tai, and Xi’an City Walls.


“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life”

In 2019, 65 million international tourists arrived in Italy, according to ISTAT (Italian National Institute of Statistics) making Italy, the fifth among the most visited countries in international tourism arrivals. Also, Italy is the second country in the world after Spain in terms of nights spent in hotels (220,7 million foreign visitors nights spent).

The tourism sector of Italy directly generates more than five percent of the national GDP.
Tourism in Italy provides culture, cuisine, history, architecture, art, religious sites and natural beauties with nightlife and underwater sites for visitors. Italy is also the world leading Cruise tourism destination in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2019, Most visitors arriving in Italy were citizens from Germany, the United States, France, the UK, and China.

Colosseum, Rome
Colosseum, Rome


Colosseum, Rome is the largest amphitheater in the world, and it took just 8 years to build it. Construction of the Colosseum was completed in 80 A.D., making it more than 1942 years old. The main attractions of the Colosseum were Gladiator fights and people came to watch these fights as entertainment. At its maximum capacity, 50,000 spectators can accommodate in the Colosseum.

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa

Some other Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Italy are Florence Cathedral or Florence Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, The Grand Canal in Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Vatican City, Lake Como, and Trevi Fountain, Rome.


“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul”

Turkey Tourism is famous for Historical sites and sea or beachside resorts. In 2019, Turkey was visited by 51.2 million international tourists. Turkey has 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ranking 6th in Europe after Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and the UK.

Istanbul is the most important historic and largest city in Turkey. In 2019, Istanbul witness around 15 million tourists. Being the capital of the Ottoman Empire, it offers many historical sites like the Sultan Ahmed Mosque or the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, the Galata Tower, the Topkapı Palace, and the Dolmabahçe Palace.

Most international tourist arrivals in Turkey are from Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, and Iran.

Some of the Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Turkey are Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) Mosque, Ephesus, Cappadocia, Topkapı Palace, Pamukkale, and Antalya.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Cappadocia, Italy most visited countries
Cappadocia, Italy


“Mexican food is one of the best culinary experiences that people can have.”

In 2017, Mexico was the 6th most visited country in the world and the 2nd most visited country in the American continent, the first being the United States. It was visited by about 45 million tourists in 2019. Mexico has always been loved by tourists for its cultural celebrations, beaches, nature reserves, and cities.

For Mexico, the tourism season is at its peak during December and the mid-summer. Around Easter and Spring Break, it becomes a popular destination for college students internationally. 

The capital and most important city is Mexico City, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cathedrals, churches from colonial times, and architectural ruins. The National Palace, formerly the palace of the Viceroy of New Spain, is also located in New Mexico.

The most famous attractions in Mexico are Chichen Itza, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and Copper Canyon

Chichen Itza, Mexico
Chichen Itza, Mexico
Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City
Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico


“Amazing Thailand”, “Discover Thainess”

In 2019, Thailand was the eighth among most visited countries in the world as per World Tourism rankings compiled by the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization). There were 39.8 million international tourists who visited Thailand, ahead of the United Kingdom and Germany.

Travel and Tourism is a major economic contributor to the GDP of the Kingdom of Thailand. As per 2014 estimates travel and tourism, contributed 19.3% (2.3 trillion baht) of Thailand’s GDP including indirect receipts also.

The slogan “Amazing Thailand” was used to promote Thailand internationally by The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) which is a state enterprise under the cabinet Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Kingdom of Thailand.

The majority of incoming international visitors are from Malaysia, India, Singapore, South Korea, and Laos.

The Top tourist sights in Thailand are The Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Khao Yai National Park, Wat Pho, Chiang Mai, Phi Phi Islands, and Phuket.ns in Mexico are Chichen Itza, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and Copper Canyon

Grand Palace Bangkok
Grand Palace Bangkok
Wat Arun, Bangkok
Wat Arun, Bangkok


“Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”)

According to a 2017 report, Germany is the 3rd safest travel destination in the world. It attracted 39.6 million tourists in 2019. The tourism industry in Germany contributes about 4.5% to its GDP and supports 4.8% of its employment. ITB Berlin is considered the world’s largest tourism trade fair.

Tourists all over the world love to visit Germany for its popular history from the times of World War and its remarkable architectural heritage. The big cities represent the country’s modern perspective while preserving the classical feel and historical appearance. Meanwhile, the countryside is full of beautiful pastures and scenery. Many people consider Germany as the perfect starting point for their European trip due to its location in the middle of the continent.

The most visited tourist places in Germany are Brandenburg Gate, Black Forest, Rhine Valley, and Museum Island.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Neuschwanstein Castle, most visited countries
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany


“There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.”

In 2019, The United Kingdom is the 10th in the world and the 6th among most visited countries in Europe. The total number of foreign visitors in the UK was 39.4 million as per compiled data of UNWTO.

In 2019 Most foreign visitors to the UK were from the United States, France, Germany, Ireland, and Spain.

London is the most visited city by international tourists in the United Kingdom. In London, the British Museum is most popular among visitors. It is among the largest museum in the world and contains a collection of 8 million artworks of human history art and culture. Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the UK royal family since the 19th century is also a very popular tourist attraction in London. Most of the visitors also enjoy the ride on the river bus from Westminster to Tower Bridge, with scenic views of London along the River Thames.

Apart from London, the other major tourist destinations in the UK are Edinburgh (Scotland’s Capital), Ancient Stonehenge, Royal Windsor, The Magical Lake District, and The University Towns of Cambridge & Oxford.

Tower Bridge, London most visited countries
Tower Bridge, London
Stonehenge, England
Stonehenge, England

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