The most visited countries in the world, updated to 2022

Tourism has always had a rather busy boom. In the previous decades it had an average of about 2.1 billion tourists, who go all over the world traveling and knowing different places, in a period of 1 year. However, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism has suffered a decline across the globe; not only because of the disease itself, but also because of restrictions at the border level.

The World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, mentions a list of 10 countries that, more or less 4 or 3 years ago, had the highest flow of tourists; now, after the pandemic the data has had a significant drop. Between 2020 and 2021 there was not much new. But at present, 2022, we are beginning to see a slight change, with signs of improvement.

In this article we will analyze an orientation of the most visited countries last year, with current figures. There are many places to visit, and perhaps getting the best of them all is somewhat complicated, since everything will depend on the traveler’s taste, and if what he wants is a solitary and quiet place, or a popular and lively one. In addition, the economy also counts in these choices. 

How can we find out the flow of travelers comparing 2019 to 2021?

We should note that the figures that have been obtained, at the level of millions of international tourists, are an approximation and have been compared with the actual statistics of 2019. This is because international organizations, such as the UNWTO or the World Bank, do not have the complete figures, including the end of 2021. Let’s remember that the pandemic time has influenced the situation of the tourism sector.

The first 3 places of the flow of international tourists between 2019 and 2021:

In the 1st place is positioned the country of France, with a figure of 54 million people who visited it in this period. Since 2019 this country has remained in the top 3 of the most visited countries in the world, because for no one is a secret the attraction of the city of Paris.

These numbers can be thanked to its emblematic Eiffel Tower, its beautiful museums such as the Louvre, walking along the Champs Elysees, in short… for all that art, culture and architecture; but also famous for its incredible gastronomy.

In 2nd place is the country of Mexico with almost 36 million people visiting it. It remains in this ranking because during the pandemic, but also prior to it, there have not been many restrictions preventing foreigners from entering the country. It is also the only Latin American country that appears in the list of the 10 most visited countries in the world.

This is due to the fact that it generally registers more than 25 million visitors per year. It also has many attractions, such as its beaches in Cancun, with white sands and the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. In addition, a trip to Cabo Lucas in elegant cruise ships, or the amusements of its clubs like the Congo Bongo or the City Hard Rock Café. 

Also, if you prefer, there are very quiet beaches like Cannery, and also the little ones have fun riding camels in the Desert Park Nature Reserve, or watching the beautiful whales, among others.

The 3rd place is occupied by the country of Spain, with a figure of 31.7 million visits for the past 2021. In 2019 it had a figure of 83 million and then drops in 2020 to 18.93 million; so the current figure is indicating its recovery. It is evident that its good climate, Mediterranean gastronomy that is so much liked and, of course, the cultural and historical jewels of its towns and cities, among other things, are attracting more and more tourists.

It has also become one of the best countries for women traveling alone, thanks to safety, low crime against women and the lowest value in terms of legal discrimination.

Flow of international tourists ranking 4th place onwards, between 2019 to 2021:

In 4th place is positioned Turkey, with 29.9 million international visits by 2021. Tourist flows to this country have increased since 2020, since, from 15.9 million by that date, gradually begins the country’s tourism, its increase and confidence to return to international travel. Istanbul is the most populous city in the country, as well as its economic, historical and cultural center.

It is an interesting city where 3% is located towards the European continent and the rest on the Asian continent, giving it a transcontinental character, in addition to the cultural mixtures that its history has left. Both continents are joined by a bridge. There is much to see; for example, the Blue Mosque, the Spice Market, the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, Taksim Square, among others.

In 5th place on the list is Italy, with an estimated 26.3 million tourist visits by 2021. It is no secret that during the pandemic both Italy and Spain were badly affected; and in the case of this country, its fall was very abrupt. In 2019 it had 64.51 million visits, and subsequently by 2020 it reached 38.42 million. 

However, Italy will flourish again, little by little. Rome, with its very interesting mix of old world and modernity, attracts a lot of attention. Likewise, the ruins of the beautiful Colosseum, its fountains, in short… Italy has many places, as well as its exotic islands to visit; of great beauty, history and the splendor of the time.

In 6th place is the United States, with a figure of 22.1 million tourist visits by 2021. Numbers that have been dropping since 2019, with 79.25 million, until today. But it should be mentioned that, although it is not one of the most visited countries in these 3 years, it does occupy the 1st place of highest income obtained by the flow of international tourists.

The 7th place is occupied by Greece, with 14.7 million visits, according to this list, by 2021; which looks like a recovery, since by 2020 there were approximately 7.4 million people who visited it. In addition, this country has a lot to offer in terms of tourism; with abundant archaeological sites, such as the island of Crete; cradle of the first and modern civilization of the European continent. 

This list ends, for 2021, with the 8th, 9th and 10th positions for: Austria, with a number of visits of 12.7 million; Germany, with 11.7 million; and Croatia, with 10.6 million international visits, respectively.

An important fact is that the country of Greece, for the list of the 10 most visited countries in the world in 2019, did not appear; but for the past 2021 it did, although in 7th place, which is indicating a frank recovery. 

The same happens with Austria, Germany and Croatia, which were also not included in the list of the 10 most visited countries in the world for 2019, but which have recovered part of their tourism, since they have taken the place from countries such as China and Thailand, which did appear in previous times.

The most visited countries in Europe in 2021:

We can observe that, of the list of the 10 most visited countries, Europe plays a very important role; with 8 of its countries. It seems that the old continent continues to be the favorite spot for tourists; despite all that the Covid-19 pandemic has produced. Therefore, it can be estimated that, by the end of 2022, the projection is very favorable. 

In addition, these countries have much to offer in terms of culture, art, architecture, history, gastronomy and in general everything that is needed for the activation of the tourism sector of the most visited countries in the world. Similarly, it can be summarized that the greatest impact was in Southern and Mediterranean Europe, with the countries of Spain, France, Italy and Greece. 

In Central Europe with the countries of Germany and Austria. For the South-Eastern part of Europe, the country of Croatia. Ending with Turkey, between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, for being a Transcontinental country. 

Posted in Worldwide.