Ranking of the main tourist destinations in the world

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) revealed on Monday, January 15, the international tourism landscape in 2020 that includes the list of most visited countries in the world.

The report of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Panorama of International Tourism 2018, revealed that during the last six decades, tourism has experienced a continuous expansion and diversification, becoming one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.

According to the UNWTO, international tourist arrivals in the world have gone from 25 million in 1950 to 278 million in 1980, 674 million in 2000 and 1,235 million in 2016.

Similarly, the income from international tourism obtained by destinations around the world has grown from US $ 2,000 million in 1950 to US $ 104,000 million in 1980, US $ 495,000 million in 2000 and US $ 1,220,000 million in 2016, according to figures from this entity.

On the other hand, international tourism accounts for 7% of world exports of goods and services, after rising one percentage point from 6% in 2016. This implies that tourism has grown faster than world trade during the last five years. years and as a world export category, ranks third.

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By regions, according to the UNWTO classification, Asia and the Pacific has been at the forefront of growth, with an increase of 9% in international arrivals, followed by Africa (+ 8%) and the Americas (+ 3%). In Europe (+ 2%), the most visited region in the world, the results have been uneven, while the data available for the Middle East (-4%) point to a decrease in arrivals.

In 2016, France, the United States of America, Spain and China continued to take the top places for international arrivals. In terms of income from international tourism, the United States and Spain remain in the lead, followed by Thailand, which climbed to the third position from the sixth, and China, which ranks fourth.

France and Italy advanced to fifth and sixth place respectively in the income ranking, while the United Kingdom, Mexico and Thailand moved up to sixth, eighth and ninth places in arrivals. China, the United States and Germany led outbound tourism in their respective regions in 2016, and they remained at the top of the spending ranking in that order.

UNWTO also reveals its prospects for tourism worldwide. According to the entity, the arrivals of international tourists around the world could increase by 3.3% per year between 2010 and 2030, reaching 1,800 million in 2030, according to the long-term forecast in the report «Tourism towards 2030. «

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Between 2010 and 2030, arrivals in emerging destinations (+ 4.4% per year) are expected to increase at a rate that will double that of advanced economies (+ 2.2% per year). The market share of emerging economies went from 30% in 1980 to 45% in 2016, and is expected to reach 57% by 2030, which is equivalent to more than 1 billion international tourist arrivals.

The UNWTO report also reveals a clear trend for growth in air travelers: «In 2016, slightly more than half of the visitors who spend the night traveled to their destination by plane (55%), while the rest did so in transportation of surface (45%), either by road (39%), by rail (2%) or by waterways (4%). Over time, there has been a trend in air transport to grow at a slightly higher rate than surface transport, so its share has gradually increased. «

On the other hand, trips for vacations, recreation or other forms of leisure represent more than half of international tourist arrivals (53% or 657 million) in 2016. Around 13% of international tourists said they had traveled for business and reasons professionals, and another 27% for other reasons, such as visiting friends and relatives, religious reasons and pilgrimages, health treatments, etc.

How is South America going?

International arrivals to America increased by 7 million (+ 3%) in 2016, reaching almost 200 million, which is equivalent to 16% of the world total. Travel demand remained strong in the region, despite concerns about the Zika virus in some destinations.

By subregions, South America (+ 7%) led the results, followed by the Caribbean and Central America (both + 5%), while North America received 2% more arrivals. Revenues from international tourism in the region increased by 3% in real terms, to US $ 313,000 million, that is, US $ 8,000 million more than in 2015, according to the UNWTO report.

The results of South America were driven by Chile, which, with an increase of 26%, registered its third consecutive year of double-digit growth. Colombia (+ 11%) and Uruguay (+ 10%) also had double-digit growth rates, while Peru (+ 8%) continued to enjoy a strong increase in arrivals.

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Brazil, the subregion’s largest destination, had a 4% growth in the number of arrivals, after hosting the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Ecuador suffered a small decline after the April earthquake, which affected some coastal areas.

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