France was top international travel destination of 2017, says UNWTO | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Glass walls measuring 6.5 centimetres (2.5 inches) thick will run along the riverside Quai Branly boulevard as well as the Avenue Gustave Eiffel which separates the tower from a park. Image: IStock via AFP
Image: IStock via AFP

More than 1.3 billion people traveled to a foreign country in 2017, marking a seven percent increase in international tourist arrivals from the year previous.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) released new figures Monday, showing that 2017 saw an additional 84 million people take to the skies, seas or roads to visit an international destination compared to 2016.

International tourist spending also reached $1.6 trillion in 2017, making it the world’s third largest export sector, says the UNWTO.

The growth marks the highest increase since 2010 and was led by Europe and Africa which received increases in international tourist arrivals of 8 and 9 percent respectively.

The most visited countries in 2017 were France, followed by Spain and the United States.

When it comes to international tourism receipts, however, the U.S. tops the leaderboard by a huge margin at $210.7 billion, followed by Spain at $68 billion and France at $60.7 billion.

China continues to lead outbound travel, having spent $258 billion on international tourism in 2017.

Here are the top 10 destinations for international travel in 2017:

1. France
2. Spain
3. U.S.
4. China
5. Italy
6. Mexico
7. United Kingdom
8. Turkey
9. Germany
10. Thailand

Here were the top spenders of 2017:

1. China
2. U.S.
3. Germany
4. U.K.
5. France
6. Australia
7. Canada
8. Russia
9. South Korea
10. Italy


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