The travel industry has grown immensely in recent history, but we at inTravel were wondering where exactly it had grown the most, so we decided to research the world’s most traveled to countries, using the parameters of a minimum 24 hour visit and a maximum 6 months (not our idea, that’s the official definition).
So where exactly are people traveling to? Well, not surprisingly European countries have a stranglehold on the industry with 6 of the top 10 spots on Wikipedia’s list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism#Most_visited_countries_by_international_tourist_arrivals), with France reigning in at number 1. Spain, Italy, Turkey, the UK and Germany are also in the top 10. The US (#2), China, Malaysia and Mexico also made the list.
So what sets these countries apart? The sheer size of the US, China and Mexico means more tourist attractions and more variety, thus more visitors. Europe is incredibly easy to travel through and see several countries at once, and people love to show off those passport stamps, so it’s no surprise that so many European countries are on the list. What each of these countries has in common is close proximity to other countries that draw a lot of visitors. Malaysia and Turkey left be a bit blindsided, but they are both surrounded by many other popular destinations, so it’s not that surprising.
The countries that make this list are also linked by world influence, with only Malaysia (far from impoverished) out of the top 15 in terms of gross domestic product. People seem to feel more comfortable traveling to countries with a strong government, likely because they feel safer in these areas.
So ask yourself: Are these the countries you want to visit next? Or the countries you want to avoid like the plague? Well that part’s ultimately up to you to decide, but I’ve always thought of traveling as somewhat similar to the stock market, in that you should try to find what everyone else is doing, and then do the complete opposite. So stick to your safe countries, vacationers. When you get brave, come find me where the real fun is.