According to the World Tourist Organization (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals fell by 72 percent between Jan. and Oct. of 2020, but things are slowly but surely picking back up to where it was before the pandemic. As people begin to feel more comfortable with flying and exploring once again, eager travelers are starting to flock to all the top travel destinations across the world. But which countries are the most popular to visit? Here is what Travelicious says.
Number 5: Italy
Start with the number five spot in Europe: They’ve got pizza, they’ve got gelato, they’ve got a whole lot of visitors. Italy’s international tourist numbers reached almost 64.5 million people just in 2019. Aside from the food, Italy has amazing things to do including but not limited to visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa, taking a gondola ride in Venice, or checking out the Colosseum in Rome. If I ever went back, I would concentrate on the smaller regions, and perhaps Sicily.
Number 4: China
China, another country with delicious cuisine and fascinating historical sites. But unlike Italy, China is a massive country, with huge cities to explore like Beijing and Shanghai. In 2019, 67 million people decided to make China their travel destination, perhaps visiting the Great Wall or the Yangtze River. The only place I would visit is Harbin, for the ice festival.
Number 3: United States
With its wide range of tourist attractions from coast to coast, you may have thought the United States would be the top spot, but it landed in third with 79 million visitors in 2019. Whether people are choosing to experience the hustle in bustle of New York, the mountain ranges of Wyoming, the beaches of California, or anything in between, there is something for everyone in he good ol’ US of A. I have been to all FIFTY states, but I still enjoy our National Parks, and big cities.
Number 2: Spain
Spain has so many historic and beautiful cities filled with churches, castles, and eye-catching architecture, it’s no wonder it is ranked as the second most visited country in the world. Whether traveling to Barcelona, Seville, Grenada, Madrid, or more, the UNWTO reported that over 83.5 million people visited Spain just in 2019. “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.” Spain is a great visit, good food, better weather than central Europe, nice people, rich history. I would visit again!
Number 1: France
France is the most visited country in the world. From the cafés of Paris to the countryside vineyards to the beaches in the South of France, more people have visited this alluring country than anywhere else in the world. France just has that je ne sais quoi that speaks to travelers—not to mention the bread, wine, and cheese—in 2019, 89 million international visitors chose it as their vacation destination. “I see London, I see France.” Not my favorite place in the world, perhaps due to my visits during the deGaulle era. I have many stories with UNhappy endings, but it has been better during my visits to Bordeaux and Champagne regions.
And from CNN:
Move over, Guangzhou. Georgia’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is once again the world’s busiest airport.
The US airport was knocked off its No. 1 perch to the No. 2 slot in passenger volume in 2020 by Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China, breaking the Atlanta airport’s 22-year streak in the top slot.
But in the 2021 rankings released on Monday by trade association Airports Council International, ATL is back on top, a sign of recovery from 2020’s precipitous plunge in air traffic as the pandemic took hold.
In 2021, the Atlanta airport saw 75.7 million passengers. That figure is up a whopping 76% from 2020 but still nearly 32% below pre-pandemic 2019 figures.
Atlanta, much like Chicago’s O’Hare (fourth busiest) and DFW (second busiest), are a virtual maze of terminals and gates. Transfers at either airport can require at least an hour or more. And it may get worse. LAX (fifth busiest) is a PIA also, since it is so spread out.
Here is the Top Ten:
1. Atlanta (ATL): 75.7 million passengers, up 76% from 2020
2. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW): 62.5 million passengers, up 59% from 2020
3. Denver (DEN): 58.8 million passengers, up 74% from 2020
4. Chicago O’Hare (ORD): 54 million passengers, up 75% from 2020
5. Los Angeles (LAX): 48 million passengers, up 67% from 2020
6. Charlotte (CLT): 43.3 million passengers, up 59% from 2020
7. Orlando (MCO): 40.4 million passengers, up 87% from 2020
8. Guangzhou (CAN): 40.3 million passengers, down 8% from 2020
9. Chengdu (CTU): 40.1 million passengers, down 1.5% from 2020
10. Las Vegas (LAS): 39.8 million passengers, up 79% from 2020Eight of the top ten are here in the US.
Wherever you go, have fun.