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This was the most visited country in the world in 2015

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The most popular country for visitors last year has been revealed – and we think it’s likely to do quite well in 2016, too.

You might think the USA, Australia or even the UK would be the most popular destination for tourism. But you’d be wrong.

In fact, it’s France that welcomed the most overseas visitors in 2015 – beating its nearest rival by an impressive (almost) 10 million.

France beat the USA on visitor numbers last year, with 86.3 million compared to 77.9 million.

In third place was Spain, which pulled in 68.1 million visitors from overseas. It was followed by China (56.9 million) and Italy (50.8 million).

The results were released by the United Nations World Travel Organisation’s Tourism Barometer, which was released yesterday (Monday.)

The numbers for all countries other than China are all estimates, as not all data for the year has been collected yet.

France looks set for another bumper year in 2016, with the UEFA European Championships taking place in the country in June and July.

France is also one of The National Student’s Top Destinations for 2016.

We picked it because, aside from the huge draw of the football, it’s always a reliable travel choice – its endless culture, great food, long history and sheer, unrivalled class.

Countries that saw a surge in tourism in 2015 included Paraguay and Tajikistan, whilst fewer visitors have been making their way to Tunisia, which saw at 25.2% fall in tourist numbers after the terror attacks in Sousse in June.

Whilst North Africa (perhaps unsurprisingly due to current tensions in the region) saw a fall in visitor numbers overall, Europe remained the destination of choice for those harbouring a sense o0f wanderlust – in fact, European countries had more visitors in 2015 than the rest of the world combined.

Ever-popular destinations that continued to pull in increased visitors last year included Ireland, Croatia, Greece and Portugal, according to the research.

 

 

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