Only a week remains until we say goodbye to 2018. The end of the year is a good time to see where most people have traveled in the past 12 months and those who have slipped out of the spotlight. Among the big winners of the year is Turkey.
In 2015, after a number of security concerns, the country saw a decline in tourists from 39.5 million to 30.3 million. Last year, it returned much of this loss with 37.6 million foreign tourists.
Turkey trying to be on the top
For 2018, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts 46 million visitors, an increase of 22.4%. This is based on data up to and including September – the exact number will not be known by the beginning of next year but Turkey will have enough to overtake the UK and Mexico to become the sixth most visited country in the world. Tunisia is also reborn as a destination.
Following terrorist attacks, the number of visitors dropped to 5.4 million in 2015. They stabilized to 5.7 million in 2016, rose to 7.1 million last year and are expected to rise again to around 8.3 million in 2018 (16.9% growth), British Telegraph writes.
But what is the fastest growing destination in 2018? The answer is surprising – Ecuador. The country marks 56.1% growth for tourists in the coming year – from 1.6 to 2.5 million people. Other tourists with large tourist stays are some traditional destinations such as Egypt, Turkey and Vietnam, as well as less known travelers, such as Tuvalu, Tonga and Albania. Top 20 of the fastest growing destinations in 2018 vs 2017:
France with 93.8 million foreign tourists. In fact, it seems that the 20 most visited countries last year will remain the 20 most visited countries in 2018. But there may be movement in the table. The US, which lost its second place to Spain in 2017, may well recover it. Forecasts is showing a 6.9% increase in arrivals in the US, which will increase them to 82.2 million, ahead of Spain, which is expected to show little or no growth to 81.8 million visitors last year. The United Kingdom may fall from 7th to 10th, with Turkey, Germany and Thailand. It is expected that Japan will skip Austria in 11th place; Greece to beat Hong Kong in 13th place; and the Netherlands to exchange their place with Poland. Here’s the whole Top 20:
1. France – 93.8 million
2. United States – 82.2 million
3. Spain – 81.8 million
4. China – 61.9 million
5. Italy – 61 million
6. Turkey – 46 million
7. Mexico – 42 million
8. Germany – 38.9m
9. Thailand – 38.3 million
10. United Kingdom – 35.1 million
11. Japan – 31.7 million
12. Austria – 30.7 million
13. Greece – 30 million
14. Hong Kong – 29.3 million
15. Malaysia – 25.8 million
16. Russia – 24.4 million
17. Portugal – 21.2 million
18. Canada – 21 million
19. The Netherlands – 19.1 million
20. Poland – 18.4 million