Most Visited Countries in the World
Want to know what is the most visited country in the world 2023? The world’s 10 most visited countries have been identified using a world tourism barometer maintained by the United Nations. We have used 2019 data in this list as the coronavirus crisis forced the tourism industry to come to a screeching halt. Let’s start with the 10th country on the list of the Top 10 Most Visited Countries in the World 2023.
10. United Kingdom – 39.4 million visitors
The United Kingdom has always been a popular tourist destination. It is the 10th most visited country in the world 2023, with over 39.4 million visitors in 2019. From the lush green hills of Wales, the mountainous regions of Scotland and the famous Cliffs of Moher to the fast-paced city of London, the United Kingdom offers something interesting for all kinds of tourists.
In addition, the United Kingdom is visited for its many prestigious universities and colleges such as the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford among many others. And students from all over the world go to the UK for their studies.
The major tourist destinations of the country are London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, York and Canterbury. Also, the United Kingdom hosts a total of 32 World Heritage Sites, the 8th highest in the world. Additionally, Lonely Planet Travel Guide voted England as number 2 after Bhutan as one of the best countries to visit in 2020. Some of the most popular cities include London, Edinburgh and Manchester.
- International tourist arrivals: 39.4 million in 2019
09. Germany – 39.6 million visitors
Germany is one of the most popular places in the world to visit and ranks 9th in the list of top 10 most visited countries in the world 2023. Those wishing to see or experience art should head to the metropolitan areas of Germany such as Munich, Frankfurt or Hamburg.
Additionally, the country offers tourist activities such as going on river cruises on the Main and Rhine Gorges and enjoying the journey known as Oktoberfest. While some tourists enjoy exploring the German countryside with its sprawling old castles and sprawling vineyards, others prefer the nightlife of the cosmopolitan city of Hamburg. And admire the classical architecture in Erfurt.
According to surveys, the top three reasons tourists visit Germany are German culture, outdoor activities, and the countryside and German cities.
- International tourist arrivals: 39.6 million in 2019
08. Thailand – 39.8 million visitors
Thailand ranks 8th out of the top 10 most visited countries in the world 2023. Tourism is an economic contributor to the Kingdom of Thailand. Tourism revenue is estimated to contribute directly to the GDP of 12 trillion baht which ranges from one trillion baht (2013) to 2.53 trillion baht (2016).
Additionally, the country has beautiful beaches, spectacular views, and several breathtakingly lovely waterfalls. In addition to natural beauty, there are also archaeological sites to visit such as the ruins of Ayutthaya, such as the Buddhist Wat Benchamabophit Dusit Wanaram, and historically significant places such as the Phimai Historical Park in Thailand. It depicts the colorful history and culture of the country.
Moreover, the reasons for the increase in tourism in the 1960s included the stable political climate and the development of Bangkok as the crossroads of international air transport. The demand for tourists led to the rapid expansion of both the hotel industry and the retail industry. During this time, international tourism was becoming the new trend as living standards increased around the world and travel became faster and more reliable with the introduction of new technology in the air transport sector.
- International tourist arrivals: 39.8 million in 2019
07. Mexico – 45.0 million visitors
Mexico has a significant number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include ancient ruins, colonial cities and natural reserves, as well as many works of modern public and private architecture. Mexico is the seventh of the 10 most visited countries in the world 2023. The country is very popular among tourists because of the wide range of activities available to the tourists.
Tourism is a very important industry in Mexico. Since the 1960s, it has been heavily promoted by the Mexican government as “an industry without smoking”. Also, Mexico has traditionally been one of the most visited countries in the world according to the World Tourism Organization, and it is the second most visited country in the Americas after the United States.
- International tourist arrivals: 45 million in 2019
06. Turkey – 51.2 million visitors
Turkey has been a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world. Turkey has also become a popular destination for culture and health care. Tourism in the country is largely focused on the various historical sites, and on the seaside resorts along its Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. In addition, Turkey’s traditional and cultural heritage can be explored by visiting sites such as Aya Sophia, also known as Hagia Sophia, Cappadocia, and the Blue Mosque.
Turkey also offers tourists activities such as hiking, mountaineering, sailing and hot air ballooning. All these factors contribute to making Turkey sixth among the top 10 most visited countries in the world 2023.
Additionally, Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, has several major attractions derived from its historical status as the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. These include the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (“Blue Mosque”), Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Dolmabahce Palace, Galata Tower, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar and Pera Palace Hotel.
- International tourist arrivals: 51.2 million in 2019
05. Italy – 64.5 million visitors
Italy ranks fifth in the list of the 10 most visited countries in the world 2023. People mainly come for Italy’s rich culture, cuisine, history, fashion and art, its beautiful coastline and beaches, its mountains and priceless ancient monuments. Italy has more World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world.
In addition, the country is famous for its rich history, immersive culture, and exotic cuisine. At the same time, Italian cuisine has made its way around the world, from Asia to the Americas, and for those who enjoy the rich taste of Italian cuisine. Cities in Italy are rich with historical sites such as the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, which includes Michelangelo’s greatest works, the Vatican, and Piazza San Marco. With 94 million tourists per year according to ENIT, Italy is the third most visited country in international tourist arrivals.
- International tourist arrivals: 64.5 million in 2019
04. China – 65.7 million visitors
China is the fourth most visited country in the world 2023 and the most visited country in Asia. Tourism in China is a growing industry that is becoming an important part of the Chinese economy. People from all over the world come here to experience its rich culture and heritage as well as its colorful history and historical monuments. The Great Wall of China alone attracts 10 million visitors to the site.
Moreover, the roots of Chinese culture are deep in the metropolis of China, which makes the country attractive for tourists. The rate of tourism has expanded significantly over the past few decades since the introduction of reform and opening up. The rise of a new wealthy middle class and the easing of restrictions on movement by Chinese authorities are both fueling this travel boom. Also, China has become one of the largest outbound tourist markets in the world.
- International tourist arrivals: 65.7 million in 2019
03. United States – 79.3 million visitors
Tourism is a large industry in the United States with millions of international and domestic tourists annually. The United States is the third of the 10 most visited countries in the world 2023. Foreigners visit the U.S. to see natural wonders, cities, historical sites, and entertainment venues. Americans look for similar attractions, as well as entertainment and vacation areas.
However, people go to America for business as much as they do for leisure. The United States has a lot for tourists such as ski resorts, sandy beaches, food belonging to most cultures around the world, and designer apparel in cosmopolitan cities.
Tourists spend more money in the United States than in any other country, while attracting the third largest number of tourists after France and Spain.
- International tourist arrivals: 79.3 million in 2019
02. Spain – 83.5 million visitors
Spain ranks second in the list of the 10 most visited countries in the world 2023. Tourism in Spain is the third major contributor to the national economic life after the industrial and trade/banking sectors. Since the 1960s and 1970s, Spain has been a popular destination for summer holidays, with large numbers of tourists especially from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the Benelux and the United States.
The most popular tourist destinations in Spain include the Generalife and the Alhambra Gardens, the Great Mosque of Cordoba, also known as the Mezquita, the Paseo del Artes, and the Prado art museums. Seville Cathedral and the Alcazar which have been declared a National Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In addition, another tourist attraction in Spain is the beach named Costa del Sol, which literally means “the coast of the sun”. Also, sports enthusiasts have their reasons to visit Spain, as it is home to two famous football clubs, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
- International tourist arrivals: 83.5 million in 2019
01. France – 89 million visitors
France is the most visited country in the world 2023. It has many tourist attractions like the world famous Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Mont Saint-Michel, Rocamador and Alcs villages among many other charming villages.
In addition, the pleasant weather, French people, culture and exotic French cuisine and wine make the country a highly popular tourist destination. Tourism in France directly contributed €79.8 billion to gross domestic product GDP in 2013, of which 30% comes from international visitors and 70% from domestic tourism spending. Also, travel and tourism together account for 9.7% of GDP and support 2.9 million jobs in the country. Tourism plays an important role in the balance of payments.
- International tourist arrivals: 89 million in 2019