It’s the end of January and travel enthusiasts are probably already planning their next big trip abroad. But where to? While Europe and Asia are still hot spots, some of the countries that people are crazy about have changed.
As global travel becomes easier and a burgeoning middle class in countries like China boosts travel to nations around the world, international tourism continues to grow. Popular tourist destinations, such as France and the United States, which are among the happiest countries in the world, still hold top spots among visitors, but countries like Spain are catching up.
Security concerns and political unrest have negatively impacted tourism at some popular hotspots in recent years — the U.S. government doesn’t even want you to go to certain places — but countries such as Russia and Turkey are bouncing back.
Negative media attention hasn’t deterred Americans from places like Mexico or Russia, but seems to be impacting visitors coming to the United States. Growth is slowing down as of 2017. Reports have predicted more drops and put the blame on President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric.
In order to determine the most visited countries in the world, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed data on international tourism and number of arrivals in 264 countries between 1995 and 2016 provided by the World Bank. The number of international arrivals in 2016 was used to determine the most visited destinations. Data on population composition and 2016 tourism revenue comes from the World Bank, and Gross Domestic Product for 2017 from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).