Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The world's most popular tourist destinations

A graphic in today's Globe and Mail illustrates some interesting and unexpected facts about the world's most visited destinations.
As in previous years, France was the single most popular tourist destination in 2014, followed by the USA and then Spain. Perhaps no big surprises thus far. But then comes Chile, and that was a surprise to me. As was Russia at No. 9, and Malaysia at No. 12. Saudi Arabia makes No. 16, presumably by merit of the annual haj.
Canada is currently languishing in 17th position, down from 8th place back in 2000 (although it has apparently rebounded some in 2015, thanks to the low Canadian dollar). The main reason for Canada's slide is a fall in American visitors - America remains by far the most important source of tourists to Canada, followed by Britain and then China, although China seems poised to take over second position.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all: Canada only very narrowly beats out Poland and Macau. Now, I know that Macau is a popular casino destination for the gambling-mad Chinese (as well as - fun fact - the most densely populated region in the world, and one of the richest). But Poland? Really?
Anyway, for the record, the top 20 tourist destinations are as follows:
  • France
  • USA
  • Spain
  • Chile
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Germany
  • Britain
  • Russia
  • Mexico
  • Hong Kong
  • Malaysia
  • Austria
  • Thailand
  • Greece
  • Saudi
  • Canada
  • Poland
  • Macau
  • Korea

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