Which country has the most international tourists?

People stand in line outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. France is the world's number one destination.
Reuters

People stand in line outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. France is the world's number one destination.

Both in numbers and spending, the number one source of international tourists is China, whose people spent $165 billion on travel in 2013.

In the league tables of the continents, Europe holds the number one spot with 563 million visitors, 29 million more than in 2012.

The most attractive region was Southern and Mediterranean Europe, which welcomed 201 million international visitors in 2013. 

The world's number one destination was France, the world's favourite holiday spot for most of the post-war period, drawing 85 million international visitors in 2013.

In second place, and a long way behind, is the United States , with 69.8 million visitors, followed by Spain, China and Italy.

After China, Thailand is Asia's best performer, with 26.5 million arrivals in 2013, an increase of almost 20 per cent on the previous year, making it the meteor of world tourism that year.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, in 2013 the global tourism industry accounted for 9 per cent of world GDP and one in every 11 jobs. 

In that year international tourism numbers grew by 6 per cent to 1.087 billion, predicted to increase to 1.8 billion by 2030.

In 2013, Asia and the Pacific recorded 6 per cent growth in tourism numbers, the strongest of any continent, followed by Europe and Africa.

Visitor numbers to the Americas grew by 3 per cent, with no growth in the Middle East.

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Over the next two decades international tourism to emerging destinations is predicted to increase at twice the rate of well-established destinations.

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