According to UNWTO statistics, 1.32billion overseas trips were made around the world by travellers. That is an increase of nearly 7% on the year previous. This was the biggest year on year rise since 2010!
So where was everyone going? Below are the top 20 destinations by travellers in 2018. Please note that this data is only for overnight trips and does not include day trips.
As you can see, not much has changed in the top 10 last 12 months, except a large increase in their visitors overall.
1. Bangkok - 20.05 million visitors
Maintaining its position at the top, Bangkok in Thailand was official the most visited city in the world for tourists in 2018. That’s quite an impressive achievement.
As a country overall, Thailand’s visitors since 2010 have increased by a whopping 122%. This is due in thanks to the rising popularity of Pattaya in Phuket. With 35.5m visitors in 2018, Thailand is the 10th most visited nation on Earth.
2. London - 19.83 million visitors
Pipped to the number 1 slot only slightly by Bangkok, again, London held onto its place at number 2. Royalty was a reason for London’s success, with 2018 being another year of royal celebrations of two royal weddings and a royal baby being born. The UK as a whole came in at number 7 on the ranking of European countries.
3. Paris - 17.44 million visitors
Paris also held onto its spot at number 3 with visitor numbers increasing in 2018 by over a million. France did however top the chart for the country with the most visitors in total in all of Europe.
4. Dubai - 15.79 million visitors
Once at number 8 in 2012, Dubai has remained at number 4 since 2016. Its sandy beaches, luxurious lifestyle and high rise towers are a huge draw for visitors from all around the world. With more and more accommodation being built plus new, ‘the biggest/tallest/most bonkers’ innovations, we expect to see this city rising up the ranks in the coming years.
Dubai came out on top for the average visitor spending of an average of $537 per day.
5. Singapore - 13.91 million visitors
Another non mover, yet it is predicted to shoot up the rankings in the coming years thanks to its instagrammable views from a rather famous hotel and its excellent quality of life.
6. New York - 13.13 million visitors
Another non mover. Over 13 million people flock to the city that never sleeps each year for its vibrant nightlife, world class restaurants and famous landmarks. It can feel just like you are in a movie.
7. Kuala Lumpur - 12.58 million visitors
With Seoul slipping down the ranks, Kuala Lumpur has been pushed up a place to number 7. Kuala Lumpur has some of the cheapest 5-star hotels in the world, and an exciting mix of amazing food in every party of the city, no wonder Kuala Lumpur is up in the top 10!
8. Tokyo - 11.93 million visitors
Has your Instagram news feed been full of friends and bloggers posing in Japan this past year? Us too. Tokyo is another city to be pushed up the ranks in 2018. With the new high-speed train making much of the country accessible in just a few hours, Tokyo is the perfect based to visit the rest of Japan.
9. Istanbul - 10.7 million visitors
Moving up also is Istanbul in Turkey. Even with political instability, tourists do not stop flocking here. The city’s historic architecture remains a huge draw, plus the fact that the conversion rate has been favourable in 2018 keeps Istanbul in the top 10.
10. Seoul - 9.54 million visitors
Tensions with its neighbour North Korea have meant Seoul has slipped into 10th position. But with its rise in its trendy neighbourhoods and K-POP reaching the west, this technologically advanced city remains in the top 10.
The rest of the list
Antalya 9.42 million
Phuket 9.29 million
Mecca 9.18 million
Hong Kong 9.03 million
Milan 8.81 million
Palma de Mallorca 8.78 million
Barcelona 8.69 million
Pattaya 8.67 million
Osaka 8.42 million
Bali 8.3 million