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International tourist arrivals: Top 10 countries

Last updated on: October 13, 2011 12:25 IST

International tourist arrivals: Top 10 countries

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India was recently voted to head the South Asian regional commission of United Nations World Tourism Organisation for the next four years.

This will help India formulate strategies of the region comprising nine Asian member countries of the commission.

However, India does not figure in the list of top 10 countries that saw the highest number of international tourists in 2010.

It has been estimated that by the year 2016-17, the growth in the tourism sector would enable additional employment generation of around 25 million.

There would be a need for additional 42 million people in hospitality sector alone.

Hence tourism and hospitality are bound to dominate the economies of leading nations of the world.

Click NEXT to know more about the top 10 tourist-drawing countries of the world. . .



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1. France
Tourist arrivals: 76.8 million

France is the largest country in the European Union.

It is the fifth largest economy by nominal gross domestic product and eighth largest economy by purchasing power parity.

In 2010, France was listed 14th on the Human Development Index and 24th on the Corruption Perceptions Index.

France has a mixed economy which combines extensive private enterprise (nearly 2.5 million companies registered with substantial state enterprise and government intervention.

The government retains considerable influence over key segments of infrastructure sectors.

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Image: The Eiffel Tower.
Photographs: Reuters
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International tourist arrivals: Top 10 countries

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2. United States
Tourist arrivals: 59.75 million

The US economy, a capitalist mixed one, is the world's largest national economy.

The United States is the third largest producer of oil in the world, as well as its largest importer.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the US gross domestic product of $15 trillion constitutes 23 per cent of the gross world product at market exchange rates.

US is the world's number one producer of electrical and nuclear energy as well as liquid natural gas, sulfur, phosphates, and salt.

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Image: The Statue of Liberty.

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International tourist arrivals: Top 10 countries

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3. China
Tourist arrivals: 55.67 million

As of 2011, it is the world's second-largest economy, after the United States, by both nominal gross domestic product and purchasing power parity.

Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, China has become the world's fastest-growing major economy, and the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods.

The government has the authority to restrict or deny foreign investment.

Investors face regulatory non-transparency, complex laws and regulations, weak protection of intellectual property rights, corruption, industrial policies protecting local firms, and a legal system that cannot guarantee the sanctity of contracts, says the Index of Economic Freedom.

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Image: The Great Wall of China.
Photographs: Reuters
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4. Spain
Tourist arrivals: 52.68 million

Spain's capitalist mixed economy is the twelfth largest worldwide and the fifth largest in the European Union.

Spain's economy performs well in business freedom, trade freedom, and investment freedom.

Foreign and domestic investments are treated equally under the law.

Foreign investment of up to 100 per cent of equity is permitted in most sectors.

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Image: Madrid.

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5. Italy
Tourist arrivals: 43.63 million

Italy has a free market economy characterised by high per capita GDP and low unemployment rates.

Italy has been ranked the world's 23rd most-developed country and its quality-of-life index has been ranked in the top 10 in the world.

Italy enjoys a very high standard of living.

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Image: A busy street in Rome.

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6. United Kingdom
Tourist arrivals: 28.13 million

The United Kingdom is a developed country and is the sixth-largest economy in the world and the third-largest in Europe after Germany and France.

It is ranked the world's seventh-largest economy by purchasing power parity.

The UK has a partially regulated market economy.

It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Image: The London Bridge.

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7. Turkey
Tourist arrivals: 27.00 million

Turkey has the world's 17th largest nominal gross domestic product.

The country is a founding member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the G-20 major economies.

Turkey has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade and investment and the privatisation of publicly owned industries.

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Image: Picturesque landscape of Istanbul.
Photographs: Reuters
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8. Germany
Tourist arrivals: 26.88 million

Germany continues to be one of the world's most powerful and dynamic economies.

Business freedom and investment freedom in Germany are strong.

Long-term competitiveness and entrepreneurial growth are supported by openness to global commerce, well-protected property rights, and a sound business regulatory environment, says the Index of Economic Freedom.

Foreign and domestic investors in Germany are treated equally.

Certain financial institutions, passenger transport businesses, and real estate agencies require licenses.

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Image: Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station).

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9. Malaysia
Tourist arrivals: 24.58 million

Malaysia is a relatively open state-oriented and newly industrialised market economy.

The state plays a significant but declining role in guiding economic activity through macroeconomic plans.

Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with gross domestic product growing an average 6.5 per cent annually from 1957 to 2005.

In 2010, the GDP per capita was $414.400 billion.

Malaysia is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

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Image: Sunset at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
Photographs: Shubhankar Hiran
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10. Mexico    
Tourist arrivals: 22.40 million

Mexico has one of the world's largest economies.

Mexico was the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development since 1994.

Mexico is considered a newly industrialised country and an emerging power.[24] It has the 13th largest nominal GDP and the 11th largest by purchasing power parity.

The economy is strongly linked to those of its North American Free Trade Agreement partners, especially the United States.


Image: Mexico City.

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