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Most popular countries for tourists

  • Most popular countries for tourists

    With another summer come and gone, many tourists packed their bags and set out for vacation spots all around the world. While tourism is certainly fun for travelers, many countries also depend on it to fuel their economies. The World Tourism Organization estimates that tourism is the third-ranking export category worldwide.

    There are, however, countries that end up seeing more visitors than others. The World Tourism Organization has put together a travel report that measures which regions of the world saw the most tourists come into their countries in 2016—the most recent period for which data is available for all countries.

    Some countries, including Belgium, made the list despite terrorism or security concerns that kept a number of travelers away while Western European countries like Spain and France have remained popular. Read on to see the full list.

    ALSO: Most dangerous countries for Americans to travel to 

  • #50. Egypt

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,258,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 14,051,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: -62.6%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $2.645 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $12.528 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -78.9%

    From the Nile Valley to the Red Sea, Egypt has plenty to offer tourists. Visitors can see the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, and the Valley of the Kings, and with nine international airports in Egypt, most parts of the country are a breeze to reach. Tourism in the country is also on the upswing again following the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, which kept many fearful visitors away.

  • #49. Chile

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,641,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 2,801,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 101.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $2.665 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $1.552 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 71.7%

    Chile has a fair bit for sightseers, from culture and cuisine in Santiago to nature and hiking in Patagonia. Easter Island, a Chilean territory in the Pacific Ocean, is a remote volcanic island that’s also worth a visit. It’s known for its huge statues that resemble human figures with oversized heads and is around a six-hour flight from Santiago.

  • #48. Tunisia

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,724,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 7,828,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: -26.9%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $1.236 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $2.645 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -53.3%

    Tourists are slowly returning to this small North African country after two tourist massacres in 2015. There are plenty of archaeological sites to view in the capital Tunis, and sunbathers will delight in the nation’s coastal resorts.

  • #47. Dominican Republic

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,959,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 4,125,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 44.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $6.72 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $4.162 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 61.5%

    Golfers adore this Caribbean nation for its scenic courses, and nature lovers delight in the rainforests and jungles. There’s lots of culture to be witnessed in the capital, Santo Domingo, which is the oldest European city in the Western Hemisphere.

  • #46. Norway

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,960,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 4,767,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 25%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $5.204 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $4.707 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 10.6%

    Norway is the spot to be for Viking fans. There’s a Viking Ship Museum in the capital Oslo and other Viking settlements to take in. Norway has plenty of spectacular nature scenery, and the fjords and glaciers are not to be missed.

  • #45. Philippines

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,967,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 3,520,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 69.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $5.143 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $2.645 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 94.4%

    There’s more than 7,000 islands to peruse in this nation with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Manila, the capital of the Philippines on the island of Luzon, has a diverse culinary scene loved by many, including the late chef Anthony Bourdain.

  • #44. Brazil

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 6,547,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 5,161,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 26.9%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $6.024 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $5.261 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 14.5%

    Brazil made a name for itself with the 2016 Olympics and 2014 FIFA World Cup, and tourism is on the upswing. Rio de Janeiro is a popular tourist attraction, in part for its famous Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado. In Rio, visitors will also find Copacabana, one of the world's most famous beaches.

  • #43. Sweden

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 6,559,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 4,951,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 32.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $12.754 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $8.366 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 52.5%

    Many tourists head to the northern town of Kiruna to witness the northern lights. Near here, many also head to see the Jukkasjärvi Icehotel, which is built every year in the winter from snow and ice. Time Magazine listed it as one of its 100 best places in the world to see in 2018.

  • #42. Argentina

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 6,638,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 5,325,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 24.7%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $4.686 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $4.942 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -5.2%

    The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of Argentina’s most popular tourist attractions in the country’s Patagonia region. The capital Buenos Aires has tango, strong coffee, artsy museums, lots of steak, and the famous La Recoleta Cemetery, which holds the grave of “Evita” or Eva Perón, who was an Argentinian film star.

  • #41. Belgium

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 7,481,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 7,186,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 4.1%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $11.612 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $11.425 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 1.6%

    Brussels, the nation’s capital, has had its fair share of terrorist attacks, in 2018 and 2016. Bruges, the setting for the 2008 Colin Farrell film, "In Bruges," remains a popular tourist city, with its quaint canals and the Belfry of Bruges, a medieval bell tower in the center of town.

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