The World Tourism Organization breaks down tourism information into tourist arrivals and tourist receipts. ArrivalsÂ are simply the number of non-domestic tourists visiting a specific area each year, and receipts are how much money they spend in that area. Arrivals and receipts don’t always perfectly match up, however. For example, the United States rates first in receipts out of the countries surveyed, but only second in arrivals.
Here is the top 4 Tourist Destinations in the world:
1. The most popular & number one vacation destination in the world for several years running is France. In 2008, France had more than 79 million visitors. Tourism accounts for more than 6 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). 2009 tourism numbers aren’t quite as strong — but just about every country is suffering from the same downturn in the industry.
2. The number two vacation destination is the United States. The U.S. briefly fell to No. 3 for several years after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. However, in 2008 it regained its number two slot — putting Spain back at third. The United States is located mid-North America and lies between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It’s the fourth largest country in the world. People travel to the United States to see things like New York’s Times Square, the Grand Canyon, California wine country or big theme parks.
3. The third most popular vacation destination is Spain. Spain is located in southwest Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. It borders the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. Spain lures tourists each year with exotic and exciting events like bullfights, flamenco dancing and the Running of the Bulls. Spain also is renowned for its tapas bars and lovely architecture.
4. China was the fourth most popular vacation destination in 2008. What makes this destination so attractive? The People’s Republic of China is the third largest country in the world. It’s located in eastern Asia and has a vast coastline with more than 5,000 islands. China’s official language is Mandarin, although there are actually six major Chinese languages. People visit China to take advantage of the myriad regions and sights. Tourists enjoy numerous cultural festivals, visit shrines and temples, shop the hundreds of markets and, of course, visit the Great Wall of China.