Create or retrieve your password by clicking here

WTO Releases Top Tourist Destinations

May 24, 2005

WTO Releases Top Tourist Destinations
May 24, 2005 – The latest data on international tourist arrivals to the various destinations in the world collected by the World Tourism Organization showed significant changes in the table of the world’s top tourism destinations in 2004.


Asian destinations significantly strengthened their position in the ranking as a result of the strong rebound experienced last year. Although the order of the three main world tourism destinations remained unchanged with France continuing its lead, the most significant changes in 2004 included China replacing Italy’s position as the world’s fourth most visited destination, and Hong Kong among the top ten tourism destinations.


France maintains its leading position as the world’s most visited destination with 75.1 million tourist arrivals in 2004. Spain, where tourist arrivals grew by 3.4 percent, ranks second with 53.6 million arrivals. It is followed by the USA, with 46.1 million arrivals, showing a significant recovery from the poor results of the past three years.


The most notable change in the ranking by international tourist arrivals was China’s move from 5th to the number 4 position, trading places with Italy. In 2004, China fully recovered from the setbacks caused by the SARS outbreak and posted a 27 percent increase, achieving an all-time record of almost 42 million tourist arrivals, while tourist arrivals to Italy declined by more than 6 percent to a total of 37.1 million.


The United Kingdom maintained the 6th position with almost 28 million arrivals in 2004. Hong Kong entered into the top ten taking over the 7th position after a 40 percent jump in arrivals in 2004 to almost 22 million. Mexico (20.6 million) and Germany (20.1 million) kept the same positions as last year, while Austria (19.4 million) fell back to the 10th position.


In 2004, the top 10 tourism destinations accounted jointly for more than 363 million international tourist arrivals or almost half of the 760 million arrivals reported worldwide.


For further information contact Rok Klancnik, Alla Peressolova, WTO Press and Communications Section,, Tel. (+34) 91-567-8191/3, Fax: (+34) 91-567-8218 or visit

« »