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10 Most Visited Countries [Map]

July 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

Each year, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) collects data on the international tourist arrivals for every country in the world. The most visited countries for the past year included six from Europe, two from North America, and two from Asia (see map and list below).
most-visited-countries Most visited countries in the world [Map © Enduring Wanderlust]

1. France 76.8 million visitors
2. United States 59.7 million visitors
3. China 55.7 million visitors
4. Spain 52.7 million visitors
5. Italy 43.6 million visitors
6. United Kingdom 28.1 million visitors
7. Turkey 27 million visitors
8. Germany 26.9 million visitors
9. Malaysia 24.6 million visitors
10. Mexico 22.4 million visitors
*Statistics from the UNWTO

China made the biggest jump passing Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom to reach third on the list. Another Asian country, Malaysia, is a surprising entry in the top ten most popular countries to visit. A past visit to Kuala Lumpur leads me to believe this is largely based on business travelers to the capital city. The rest of the list especially France, Spain, Italy, and the United States have been mainstays for many years.

Another important note from the UNWTO study was that world tourism arrivals went up this past year after dropping in the previous year. That was the first drop in overall tourism in the past two decades.

Check out this chart: Why do people travel?
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.


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18 Responses to “10 Most Visited Countries [Map]”
  1. Ashley says:

    Very interesting! Yeah, Malaysia is a total surprise for me. I figured Italy, Spain, and France since everyone I know either has been there or wants to go there.

  2. Jess says:

    Turkey is a little bit of a surprise especially since Greece is not on the list. Both are pretty close and the later is better known, but probably also more expensive.

    Interesting stuff…

  3. Gennaro says:

    @Ashley Same is true of the people I know.

    @Jess Good point.

  4. It always breaks my heart that South America is not more visited.

  5. Gennaro says:

    @Andi Some of my favorites countries to visit are in South America. One day.

  6. Melvin says:

    Malaysia… Interesting. I would have never thought they would be in the top 10. I would have said Indonesia instead of Malaysia, but even then I would have guessed Netherlands would have made it as well.

    And that France got so much more than the others… Wow!

  7. Gennaro says:


    Yes, that’s a pretty big gap between France and the rest. Beautiful country, but still a bit surprised by that margin.

  8. brian says:

    For the rep the French have for being rude, they sure remain high in the list of places to go for most people.

  9. Malaysia is also a surprise for me, I would thought that Yhailand would be the top destination of that part of the world

  10. Terimo says:

    Turkey has the most beautiful land scape in the world and endles beaches must be in first 3 top destination

  11. Gee says:

    I am Malaysian and actually most of tourists to our country come from the Middle East, China and other countries in Asia. So it is not surprising for those Caucasians to be surprised by the fact.

  12. Xamoja says:

    Most posters forgot about Singapore when it comes to the high number of ‘tourists’ to Malaysia.
    Malaysia consider cross border workers and weekend tourists (huge numbers!) as single tourists every time the same citizens from Singapore arrive in Malaysia.

    That adds up!

    But, re-entering tourists, expats and visitors from neighboring countries (including Malaysians) to Thailand are counted as new tourists as well.

  13. Shalu Sharma says:

    Amazing list, who would have thought France would top the list.

  14. jack says:

    Turkey ?


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