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  • In July 2015, President Barack Obama announced the re-establishment of ties between Cuba

  • and The United States, and loosened travel restrictions after a 53-year long embargo.

  • Although the embargo is still in effect, more than 3 million tourists are expected to visit

  • the country through 2015. And while 3 million may be a sizeable number, it actually pales

  • in comparison to some tourist hotspots around the world. So, what are the most visited countries in the world?

  • Well, travel and tourism is a huge industry, which currently is thought to account for

  • 9% of the global GDP, or $7 trillion dollars. In 2015, over a billion tourists travelled

  • the world, up by roughly 50 million compared to earlier years. Every region in the world

  • recently saw about a 5% increase in tourism, with the big exception of Africa, where tourism

  • dropped by 6%. As the global economy recovers from the 2008 recession, the UN World Tourism

  • Organization predicts tourism will grow 3 to 4% in the coming years.

  • France reigns supreme for worldwide tourism, and has for many years. In 2014, it drew over 84 million travellers.

  • The country has a rich cultural history with nearly 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  • The most visited city is Paris, where top destinations include the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

  • It also shares a border with eight other European countries, making it easily accessible for many people.

  • France offers a multitude of vacation options, from ski resorts to Mediterranean beaches.

  • Ironically, reports indicate

  • that France is generally not especially fond of its own tourism industry,

  • and in June 2015, the French Ministry of Affairs announced that improving

  • attitudes towards foreigners is a “national priority”.

  • Second on the list of most visited countries is the United States, with 74 million travelers.

  • And although the US ranks second behind France in number of tourists, it actually makes more

  • than twice much money. Experts say this is because trips to the US often last longer

  • than many French weekend getaways. America has about 2,500 National Historic Landmarks,

  • and its most visited attraction is Times Square in New York City.

  • The third most popular destination for tourists is Spain. With

  • the third highest number of UNESCO world heritage sites and sunny beaches year round, Spain

  • draws a major crowd of about 60 millons a year. It accounts for as much as 11% of their GDP. In recent years Spain

  • has seen a large jump in visitors because terrorist attacks have affected competing

  • beach vacation spots in Egypt and Turkey. Additionally, Spain draws Spanish-speakers

  • from Latin America, giving it a boost over Italy’s tourist industry.

  • As the travel business booms, developing countries are also seeking much-needed profits from more

  • tourism investment. China in particular has spent huge sums of money on their travel industry

  • in the last decade. They are currently the primary source of tourists, and the fourth

  • largest recipient of foreign travellers. Although the tourism industry took a huge hit in the

  • late-2000s global economic downturn, it has been slowly recovering, and today is known

  • to be an invaluable source of capital for many countries.

  • One strategy many cities use to attract tourists is to build massive mega-structures, like

  • Shanghai Disneyland. Learn more about these attractions in this video.

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In July 2015, President Barack Obama announced the re-establishment of ties between Cuba

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What Are The Most Visited Countries?

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    richardwang posted on 2015/11/28
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