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Most popular countries for tourists

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    Most popular countries for tourists

    With another summer come and gone, many tourists packed their bags and set out for vacation spots all around the world. While tourism is certainly fun for travelers, many countries also depend on it to fuel their economies. The World Tourism Organization estimates that tourism is the third-ranking export category worldwide.

    There are, however, countries that end up seeing more visitors than others. The World Tourism Organization has put together a travel report that measures which regions of the world saw the most tourists come into their countries in 2016—the most recent period for which data is available for all countries.

    Some countries, including Belgium, made the list despite terrorism or security concerns that kept a number of travelers away while Western European countries like Spain and France have remained popular. Read on to see the full list.

    ALSO: Most dangerous countries for Americans to travel to 

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    #50. Egypt

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,258,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 14,051,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: -62.6%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $2.645 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $12.528 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -78.9%

    From the Nile Valley to the Red Sea, Egypt has plenty to offer tourists. Visitors can see the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, and the Valley of the Kings, and with nine international airports in Egypt, most parts of the country are a breeze to reach. Tourism in the country is also on the upswing again following the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, which kept many fearful visitors away.

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    #49. Chile

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,641,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 2,801,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 101.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $2.665 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $1.552 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 71.7%

    Chile has a fair bit for sightseers, from culture and cuisine in Santiago to nature and hiking in Patagonia. Easter Island, a Chilean territory in the Pacific Ocean, is a remote volcanic island that’s also worth a visit. It’s known for its huge statues that resemble human figures with oversized heads and is around a six-hour flight from Santiago.

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    #48. Tunisia

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,724,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 7,828,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: -26.9%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $1.236 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $2.645 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -53.3%

    Tourists are slowly returning to this small North African country after two tourist massacres in 2015. There are plenty of archaeological sites to view in the capital Tunis, and sunbathers will delight in the nation’s coastal resorts.

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    #47. Dominican Republic

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,959,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 4,125,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 44.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $6.72 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $4.162 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 61.5%

    Golfers adore this Caribbean nation for its scenic courses, and nature lovers delight in the rainforests and jungles. There’s lots of culture to be witnessed in the capital, Santo Domingo, which is the oldest European city in the Western Hemisphere.

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    #46. Norway

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,960,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 4,767,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 25%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $5.204 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $4.707 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 10.6%

    Norway is the spot to be for Viking fans. There’s a Viking Ship Museum in the capital Oslo and other Viking settlements to take in. Norway has plenty of spectacular nature scenery, and the fjords and glaciers are not to be missed.

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    #45. Philippines

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 5,967,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 3,520,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 69.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $5.143 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $2.645 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 94.4%

    There’s more than 7,000 islands to peruse in this nation with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Manila, the capital of the Philippines on the island of Luzon, has a diverse culinary scene loved by many, including the late chef Anthony Bourdain.

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    #44. Brazil

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 6,547,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 5,161,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 26.9%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $6.024 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $5.261 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 14.5%

    Brazil made a name for itself with the 2016 Olympics and 2014 FIFA World Cup, and tourism is on the upswing. Rio de Janeiro is a popular tourist attraction, in part for its famous Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado. In Rio, visitors will also find Copacabana, one of the world's most famous beaches.

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    #43. Sweden

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 6,559,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 4,951,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 32.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $12.754 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $8.366 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 52.5%

    Many tourists head to the northern town of Kiruna to witness the northern lights. Near here, many also head to see the Jukkasjärvi Icehotel, which is built every year in the winter from snow and ice. Time Magazine listed it as one of its 100 best places in the world to see in 2018.

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    #42. Argentina

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 6,638,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 5,325,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 24.7%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $4.686 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $4.942 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -5.2%

    The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of Argentina’s most popular tourist attractions in the country’s Patagonia region. The capital Buenos Aires has tango, strong coffee, artsy museums, lots of steak, and the famous La Recoleta Cemetery, which holds the grave of “Evita” or Eva Perón, who was an Argentinian film star.

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    #41. Belgium

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 7,481,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 7,186,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 4.1%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $11.612 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $11.425 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 1.6%

    Brussels, the nation’s capital, has had its fair share of terrorist attacks, in 2018 and 2016. Bruges, the setting for the 2008 Colin Farrell film, "In Bruges," remains a popular tourist city, with its quaint canals and the Belfry of Bruges, a medieval bell tower in the center of town.

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    #40. Bulgaria

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 8,252,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 6,047,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 36.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $3.634 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $3.407 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 6.7%

    The Danube river flows through this scenic Balkan nation, which has seven monuments on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's list of world cultural heritage sites, and around 330 museums and galleries. The capital, Sofia, has plenty of culture with museums such as the National History Museum and the National Museum of Bulgarian Fine Art.

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    #39. Australia

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 8,269,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 5,872,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 40.8%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $37.04 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $32.584 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 13.7%

    Tourism is booming in Australia, with 9.1 million tourists this year ending in June. That’s 6% more than last year, according to the Australians Bureau of Statistics. The Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Outback consistently rank among the country’s hottest tourist spots.

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    #38. Vietnam

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 10,013,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 5,050,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 98.3%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $8.25 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $4.45 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 85.4%

    This southeast Asian country's notable beaches include Nha Trang Beach, Mui Ne Beach, and Doc Let Beach. The capital, Hanoi, is full of elaborate temples like Bach Ma Temple located in the Old Quarter.

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    #37. South Africa

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 10,044,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 8,074,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 24.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $7.91 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $9.07 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -12.8%

    Although a water shortage called unwanted attention to Cape Town, South Africa remains a popular tourist destination. Kruger National Park is a top wildlife-watching destination while oenophiles—or lovers of wine—might struggle to stand upright after sampling the wine the South African Winelands have to offer.

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    #36. Ireland

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 10,100,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 7,134,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 41.6%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $5.186 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $4.118 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 25.9%

    Beer lovers can sip Ireland's most famous beer, Guinness, in Dublin, the country’s capital. The Wild Atlantic Way, which passes through nine counties, also offers some breathtaking scenery on the western coast. Be sure to stop at the Cliffs of Moher and the Skellig Islands, which appeared in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

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    #35. Morocco

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 10,332,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 9,288,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 11.2%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $6.549 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $6.703 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -2.3%

    Having been ranked Africa’s top tourist destination, Morocco is a delight for travelers wanting to experience culture and shopping in cities like Casablanca, Tangier, and Marrakech. The country is also helped by its position as one of the most politically stable countries in northern Africa.

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    #34. Switzerland

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 10,402,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 8,628,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 20.6%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $16.257 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $14.724 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 10.4%

    For skiers and hikers, it doesn’t get much better than the Swiss Alps for views, unless you’re at the Jungfraujoch railway station. It’s the highest station in Europe, located at an elevation of 3,454 meters (11,332 feet). Cities like Zurich and Geneva, which have impressive views of Mont Blanc—the highest mountain in the Alps—are also popular with travelers.

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    #33. Taiwan

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 10,690,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 5,567,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 92%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $13.375 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $8.721 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 53.4%

    Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, has loads for visitors to see, like the National Palace Museum, which has around 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts, artwork, and items that once belonged to the emperor of China. For a more scenic spot, Sun Moon Lake near the Central Mountain Range has hiking trails and a cable car that offers a view of the water.

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    #32. Denmark

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 10,781,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 8,744,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 23.3%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $7.047 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $5.853 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 20.4%

    Tourism in Denmark is thriving and the country is prepared. The Chamber of Commerce estimates that the country will have enough hotel beds to accommodate up to twice its population in just three years. Copenhagen, the country’s capital, is a hotspot with plenty to see and do, and the Scandinavian country features places like the Tivoli Gardens, a 19th century amusement park, and Kronborg Castle, which was made popular by the Shakespearean play “Hamlet.”

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    #31. Indonesia

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 11,072,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 7,003,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 58.1%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $11.206 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $6.958 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 61.1%

    Mount Bromo, Komodo, and Bawean are popular tourist attractions in Indonesia, which has thousands of islands. Jakarta, the capital, is suffering from climate change and rising sea levels, so much so that some believe it might end up underwater.

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    #30. Czech Republic

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 12,808,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 8,629,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 48.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $6.309 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $7.172 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -12%

    When most people think of the Czech Republic, Prague is what comes to mind, with its cobblestone streets, Gothic churches, and stately bridges. Prague Castle is on many people’s to-see list. Last year, there were 2.3 million people who visited the castle, which is 13% more people than the previous year.

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    #29. Singapore

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 12,914,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 9,161,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 41%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $18.945 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $14.178 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 33.6%

    The new film “Crazy Rich Asians” will likely boost tourism for Singapore, the location where the movie was filmed. The film showcased the city’s beauty and culinary scene. Singapore Zoo, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and the National Gallery Singapore are all traditional spots that tourists flock to when visiting.

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    #28. Ukraine

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 13,333,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 21,203,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: -37.1%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $1.078 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $3.788 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -71.5%

    travel advisory from the U.S. State Department suggests caution when visiting Ukraine. In Kiev, the capital, tourists will find gorgeous religious structures such as Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and Kiev Pechersk Lavra, a historic Orthodox Christian monastery.

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    #27. Croatia

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 13,809,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 9,111,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 51.6%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $9.634 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $8.075 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 19.3%

    Croatia gained a few moments in the spotlight this year when it bested England and made it to the World Cup final. Dubrovnik is popular for its distinctive, stone-walled Old Town, but the real beauty lies in Croatia’s beaches, especially Zlatni Rat.

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    #26. India

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 14,570,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 5,776,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 152.3%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $22.427 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $14.49 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 54.8%

    While parts of India are experiencing the worst floods in a century, people are flocking to India to see the Taj Mahal in Agra. There’s also plenty of diverse terrain to explore, from the Himalayan peaks to the Indian Ocean coastline.

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    #25. United Arab Emirates

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 14,870,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 7,432,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 100.1%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $19.496 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $8.577 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 127.3%

    In the seven emirates that make up this nation, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is the most famous because it is the world’s tallest building and houses the highest observation deck. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is also a tourist attraction worth seeing.

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    #24. Hungary

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 15,256,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 9,510,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 60.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $5.664 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $5.628 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 0.6%

    The country’s capital, Budapest, is known for Buda Castle, Hungarian Parliament Buildings, and its thermal baths. Wine lovers can also enjoy a glass or two in the Eger or Tokaj wine regions. However, recent tourists have flocked to the House of Terror, which documents the impact of Nazi and Soviet regimes in the country.

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    #23. Macao

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 15,704,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 11,926,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 31.7%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $30.373 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $22.276 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 36.3%

    Even if you’re not into casinos and gambling, there’s still a fair amount that attracts people to this once Portuguese colony. Macau is also known for its landmarks like the Ruins of St. Paul’s and Macau Tower, which has a restaurant and a rotating top.

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    #22. Netherlands

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 15,828,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 10,883,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 45.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $14.054 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $11.732 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 19.8%

    Many flock to Amsterdam to get lost on the canals or to have a good time and party, but the city has plenty of cultural significance. The Anne Frank House is located in Amsterdam, as is the Rembrandt House Museum and the Van Gogh Museum, which houses the largest collection of the painter’s work.

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    #21. Republic of Korea

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 17,242,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 8,798,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 96%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $17.332 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $10.328 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 67.8%

    Known as South Korea, this nation hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics. Popular attractions in Seoul, the capital, include Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Gyeongbokgung Palacebuilt in 1395, and Jogyesa Temple.

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    #20. Poland

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 17,463,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 12,470,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 40%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $10.977 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $9.576 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 14.6%

    Poland’s past in World War II is commemorated throughout the country at places that include the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the Auschwitz concentration camp. Nearly all of Warsaw’s Old Town was destroyed during the war and had to be rebuilt.

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    #19. Saudi Arabia

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 18,044,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 10,850,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 66.3%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $11.096 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $6.712 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 65.3%

    Saudi Arabia, long known as a conservative country, has simplified its process for tourists and will now readily issue tourist visas since curtailing tourist traffic in 2010. There are gorgeous mosques to see, including the Great Mosque of Mecca, which is visited by millions every year.

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    #18. Portugal

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 18,200,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 6,832,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 166.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $14.036 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $10.077 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 39.3%

    The cities Porto and Lisbon are some of Portugal’s best offerings for tourists, with plenty of cultural and culinary options such as São Jorge Castle and the National Azulejo Museum. The Alentejo region is also emerging as a world-class wine region.

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    #17. Canada

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 19,971,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 16,219,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 23.1%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $18.021 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $15.829 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 13.8%

    Canada has amazing cities like Toronto, which has the CN Tower, and French-speaking Montreal, but when it comes to nature, Canada can’t be beat. There’s Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, and plenty of other scenic spots. The country attracts around 18 million visitors every year.

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    #16. Japan

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 24,039,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 8,611,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 179.2%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $30.679 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $13.199 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 132.4%

    To Tokyo or Kyoto? The answer in Japan is both. In cosmopolitan Tokyo, there’s glittering skyscrapers, the Tokyo National Museum, fun nightlife, and the stately Tokyo Imperial Palace. In Kyoto, you’ll find temples and shrines, perfect for learning about the country's culture and making time for meditation.

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    #15. Russia

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 24,571,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 22,281,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 10.3%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $7.785 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $8.83 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -11.8%

    As the host of the 2018 World Cup, Russia has attracted more tourist attention than usual in the last year. Saint Petersburg remains the cultural capital of the nation, with operatic works held at the Mariinsky Theatre and famous Russian art showcased at the State Russian Museum. The Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow are also not to be missed for a valuable historical perspective.

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    #14. Greece

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 24,799,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 15,007,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 65.2%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $14.619 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $12.742 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 14.7%

    In Athens, there are notable landmarks like the Parthenon, but for jaw-dropping views, the island of Santorini and its white-washed buildings dangling off a cliff can’t be beat. The island of Mykonos remains popular with partiers who prefer late-night dance sessions over sightseeing.

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    #13. Hong Kong

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 26,553,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 20,085,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 32.2%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $32.846 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $22.2 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 48%

    Artsy Hong Kong, Art Basel in particular, continues to attract plenty of attention among creatives. Hong Kong attracts foodies, too—some even call Hong Kong the culinary capital of Asia. Hong Kong Disneyland is popular as is architect I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower located in the business district.

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    #12. Malaysia

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 26,757,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 24,577,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 8.9%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $18.075 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $18.115 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -0.2%

    From city nightlife to an adventure in the rainforest, Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country with a lot to offer. Kuala Lumpur, the capital, has plenty of shopping opportunities like Bukit Bintang. The Petronas Twin Towers remain the defining feature of the city’s skyline.

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    #11. Austria

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 28,121,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 22,004,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 27.8%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $19.260 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $18.596 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 3.6%

    You can’t go long in Austria without hearing about Mozart. His birthplace was in Salzburg, but he spent much of his time in Vienna, where tourists can visit a museum about his life. Fans of “The Sound of Music” can take tours in Salzburg that visit famous sites from the movie.

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    #10. Turkey

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 30,289,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 31,364,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: -3.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $18.743 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $22.585 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -17%

    Turkey stands at the crossroads between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, and blends influences from both regions. Istanbul, in particular, even has a "European side" and an “Asian side.” The city also has the Grand Bazaar, which is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.

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    #9. Thailand

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 32,588,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 15,936,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 104.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $48.792 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $20.104 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 142.7%

    Thailand has always been popular with tourists, but a recent boat disaster that killed more than 40 people was the worst tourist accident in years and raised some safety concerns. Bangkok, the lively capital, is a tourist attraction with its beautiful temples such as Wat Arun, but the country’s white sand beaches remain one of the main reasons people visit.

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    #8. Mexico

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 35,079,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 23,290,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 50.6%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $19.65 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $11.992 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 63.9%

    Cancun is one of the country’s popular tourism destinations but has been hurt by an increase in crime. Tourists still flock to Mexico City to see Aztec ruins and the Frida Kahlo Museum. Visitors also frequent Playa Del Carmen to experience seaside relaxation.

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    #7. Germany

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 35,595,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 26,875,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 32.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $37.455 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $34.679 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 8%

    Tourism is booming in Germany, which lies at the center of Europe. World War II history buffs can’t go wrong in Berlin, which is steeped in reminders of the period and still has pieces of the Berlin Wall. Beer lovers will find paradise in Munich, known around the world for Oktoberfest.

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    #6. United Kingdom

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 35,814,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 28,296,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 26.6%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $47.906 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $33.978 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 41%

    London, Dublin, and Edinburgh are all part of the United Kingdom. From pubs to royal palaces, there’s so much to see in U.K.’s top cities—just don’t forget to bring your umbrella. In England, Stonehenge and Abbey Road, the birthplace of the Beatles, still command regular audiences.

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    #5. Italy

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 52,372,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 43,626,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 20%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $40.246 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $38.786 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 3.8%

    Home to the Vatican, which has made news lately for the way in which they've dealt with abuse allegations, Italy’s capital Rome is generally well received by foreigners. Art lovers delight in all of Florence’s galleries, and in Venice, tourists frequently take gondola rides down canals or get lost in St. Mark’s Square.

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    #4. China

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 59,270,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 55,665,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 6.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $44.432 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $45.814 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -3%

    The Great Wall of China is this nation’s most recognizable landmark. Beijing’s Tiananmen Square gained notoriety for its student-led, pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989 and is a spot that tourists frequently visit. China is also a country where you will need to apply for a visa to enter as a tourist.

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    #3. Spain

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 75,315,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 52,677,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 43%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $60.503 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $54.641 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 10.7%

    In Barcelona, you’ll find plenty of art, architecture, and tapas bars, especially in the Gothic Quarter. However, wine lovers should set off to the Rioja wine region. For beaches with some of the world’s best nightlife, Mallorca and Ibiza can’t be beat.

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    #2. USA

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 75,868,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 60,010,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 26.4%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $206.902 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $137.01 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: 51%

    From cosmopolitan cities like Boston and Chicago to the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon, the U.S. is incredibly varied in terms of tourist destinations. On the East Coast, the Big Apple remains one of the most popular tourist destinations, with people eager to see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. While out west, Pike Place Market in Seattle and Hollywood, California, are always at the top of travel bucket lists.

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    #1. France

    2016 international tourist arrivals: 82,700,000 people

    2010 international tourist arrivals: 77,648,000 people

    Change in arrivals 2010–2016: 6.5%

    2016 international tourism receipts: $54.531 billion

    2010 international tourism receipts: $57.059 billion

    Change in receipts 2010–2016: -4.4%

    The Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum, and French Riviera are well-known and popular sites to visit in France, which has something for everyone. The country doesn’t disappoint with beaches in Nice, films in Cannes, wines in Provence and Bordeaux, and even a French version of Disneyland. Places like Omaha Beach provide a valuable history lesson for those who venture there.

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