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World tourism statistics and rankings[edit]

Total volume of cross-border tourist travel[edit]

International tourist arrivals reached 1.035 billion in 2012, up from over 996 million in 2011, and 952 million in 2010.[7] In 2011 and 2012, international travel demand continued to recover from the losses resulting from the late-2000s recession, where tourism suffered a strong slowdown from the second half of 2008 through the end of 2009. After a 5% increase in the first half of 2008, growth in international tourist arrivals moved into negative territory in the second half of 2008, and ended up only 2% for the year, compared to a 7% increase in 2007.[4] The negative trend intensified during 2009, exacerbated in some countries due to the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, resulting in a worldwide decline of 4.2% in 2009 to 880 million international tourists arrivals, and a 5.7% decline in international tourism receipts.[5]

World’s top tourism destinations[edit]

Main article: World Tourism rankings

The World Tourism Organization reports the following ten destinations as the most visited in terms of the number of international travelers in 2017.

RankCountryUNWTO
Region [24]
International
tourist
arrivals
(2017)[25]
1 FranceEurope86.9 million
2 SpainEurope81.8 million
3 United StatesNorth America75.9 million
4 ChinaAsia60.7 million
5 ItalyEurope58.3 million
6 MexicoNorth America39.3 million
7 United KingdomEurope37.7 million
8 TurkeyEurope37.6 million
9 GermanyEurope37.5 million
10 ThailandAsia35.4 million