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Countries with Most Tourists with Exceptions

Name the non-European countries that receive the most international tourists.
For the year 2016, according to the UN World Tourism Organization
Last updated: December 21, 2017
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Rank
# Arrivals
Country
2
75.6 m
United States
4
59.3 m
China
8
35.0 m
Mexico
9
32.6 m
Thailand
10
≈ 30 m
Turkey
12
26.8 m
Malaysia
15
24.0 m
Japan
16
20.0 m
Canada
17
18.0 m
Saudi Arabia
19
17.2 m
South Korea
Rank
# Arrivals
Country
22
14.9 m
United Arab Emirates
23
14.6 m
India
26
12.9 m
Singapore
29
10.7 m
Taiwan
32
10.3 m
Morocco
33
10.0 m
South Africa
34
10.0 m
Vietnam
35
9.96 m
Indonesia
36
8.26 m
Australia
40
6.58 m
Brazil
+24
level 58
Jan 7, 2017
I was surprised that North Korea wasn't on the list. I mean Who Doesn't wanna go there?!
+4
level 64
Jan 8, 2017
Yeah, I've seen people on Youtube go there, and it looks amazing. Everybody should go there.
+3
level 57
Jan 7, 2018
Especially South Koreans.
+3
level 59
Jan 7, 2018
My ex-boss went there for his holiday. For a while we were the only workplace in the western civilization that ate North Korean cookies during coffee breaks.
+18
level 58
Jan 7, 2018
I got worried when I saw "EX-boss".
+2
level 47
Apr 27, 2017
Same with Iran for me.
+11
level 71
Sep 4, 2017
@DavidShuer123 Actually Iran is a wonderful place to visit in my experience. Hospitality is pivotal in Iranian culture. Caring, generous folks.
+1
level 73
Jan 12, 2018
It's become so cliche to travel to Iran and talk about how amazing it is, and act like you're some kind of brave cultural pioneer for going there. Getting pretty sick of seeing this on my newsfeed from the various travel groups I'm in on Facebook.

North Korea, on the other hand, is still pretty difficult to get to. I know a couple people who have. They don't have the same experience as people going to Iran.
+5
level 78
Aug 31, 2017
The money you pay to go there helps the government to continue brutally suppressing the populace. You're basically paying to be guided around the country and see fabricated scenes trying to make the country not look like the awful place that it is. Your guides don't let you wander and see anything real. It's very dystopian and just a really inappropriate place to go as a tourist. People don't pay to go to any other brutal dictatorships and be guided around to be shown how 'amazing' that country is; so why do that in North Korea?
+1
level ∞
Sep 1, 2017
Not to mention that if you commit a minor transgression you could be imprisoned and beaten to death.
+2
level 61
Jan 7, 2018
Even though I understand the sentiment, I think it's quite possible to see beyond the "staged" parts. During my visit we had some minor interactions with locals and the countryside poverty was absolutely visible. A visit can be aducational if you're open to really listen and observe.
+1
level 22
Aug 16, 2018
i wanna go there once the 1 year ban is over in the USA
+2
level 63
Jan 17, 2017
No Fiji, New Zealand, Madagascar, or Brazil. India way down the list. Hmmm.
+3
level 53
Apr 27, 2017
Fiji is the tiniest island in a very remote place, you must live in New Zealand to think 3 of those 4
+3
level 56
Jan 7, 2018
Yeah, I put all of those and from new zealand
+2
level 39
Apr 29, 2017
Argentina receive more tourist than Brazil and it is not in the list either.
+2
level 43
Jan 7, 2018
Brazil receives more tourists than Argentina...
+1
level 75
Jan 8, 2018
Brazil is on there now
+3
level 70
Jan 21, 2017
Saudi Arabia??? But tourist visas are all-but-impossible to obtain to visit there. I wonder if religious pilgrimages to Mecca are counted as "tourism" in these statistics?
+1
level 48
Jan 22, 2017
I was always under the impression that a tourist was anyone who visited a country for less than a year. Anyone who stayed longer was considered an immigrant. But I don't know where I got those term definitions from.
+1
level 72
Feb 25, 2017
Yes, the pilgramage counts as tourism, you can look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Saudi_Arabia#Religious_tourism
+1
level 73
Apr 27, 2017
Yes this is an error in my opinion. Saudi Arabia has no tourists, they only have pilgrims. I don't think they should count.
+2
level 40
Apr 27, 2017
Pilgrims are still visitors/tourists to the country, so of course with Mecca being in Saudi I knew they'd be included in this list ...doesn't matter what the reason is for these ppl visiting
+1
level 73
Apr 27, 2017
Visitors, okay. Tourists? I think not. I made it clear that this was an opinion. And I think it matters a lot. Is a businessman attending a meeting a tourist? Is someone commuting to work a tourist? Is a reporter doing an investigative report from another country a tourist? Is a soldier invading a country a tourist? There are many reasons that you could go to another country that don't fall under "tourism." Fulfilling a religious obligation with strictly prescribed ritualized things to do and places to go to is, in my opinion, definitely one of those reasons.
+2
level 50
Apr 27, 2017
Thank you for the insightful comments, kal. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy reading the comments section.
+1
level 73
Aug 25, 2017
Saudi doesn't even issue tourist visas. There are hajj visas, umrah visas (both pilgrimage), transit visas, business visas, work visas, family visit visas... but tourism visas are not a thing in Saudi Arabia.
+1
level 55
Sep 21, 2017
Soldiers invading a country are tourists? Then we're missing out on alot!
+2
level 71
Sep 26, 2017
Tourists in lets say wider sense include all temporary visitors (I'm sure there's a nice definition by WTO that excludes the military) - tourists, travellers, businessmen, pilgrims, shoppers, health treatment, family visits etc. The limit between them is not so clear as the "non-tourists" would sometimes like to claim. Maybe you go on business trip to discuss contracts, visit factories, negotiate etc, but you may also go to sauna, play golf, fine dining etc. Or you're a pilgrim to Rome, Jerusalem, Lourdes or on foot to Santiago, but besides prayer and mediation you go sightseeing, buy souvenirs, take selfies etc. I have similar issues with pretentious backpackers ...
+1
level 73
Jan 7, 2018
There is nothing in the Christian religion like the duty for hajj in Islam. It's different. "Pilgrims" going to visit the Vatican are not similar to Muslims going to circumambulate the kabaa, IMO. And actually if you go on hajj or umrah visa usually you are not technically allowed to visit other areas of the country besides Jeddah (the port of arrival) and Mecca.
+2
level 69
Jan 25, 2018
I agreed that either the quiz should be changed to "visitors" or Saudi Arabia should be removed. If a country doesn't even issue tourist visas, how can they have tourists?
+2
level 54
Mar 16, 2017
I know Turkey is mostly in Asia, but I didn't type it in as an answer, because Turkey is considered to be a European country. So, why is it on the list?
+3
level 57
Apr 27, 2017
Turkey isn't considered to be a European country by anybody.
+4
level 40
Apr 27, 2017
Turkey is a transcontinental country so it's both European and Asian...whether or not the quizmaker wanted to include them in this quiz was up to him/her
+1
level 50
Apr 27, 2017
I concur with Correde's opinion. Nobody considers Turkey an European country.
+5
level 57
Jan 7, 2018
If you subscribe to purely cultural boundaries, then yes, Turkey is entirely Asian, but if you subscribe to geographic boundaries, then Turkey has land in both Asia and Europe, and, significantly, Istanbul is in Europe. "Continents" are terms of convenience and organization. Why is Panama considered North American while Colombia is South American? There's no real reason. So I think it's a mistake to categorize continents in absolute terms. Many people think part of Turkey is in Europe.
+1
level 28
Jan 7, 2018
Only a small part of turkey, connected to Bulgaria is in Europe.
+1
level 58
Apr 27, 2017
All 20 with 1:54 remaining....proud of myself!
+2
level 73
Apr 27, 2017
I'm a bit skeptical about Turkey. Turkey qualifies because most of the country is in Asia, so all visitors to the country count, including the European part of Turkey. There's nothing that can be done about it -- I assume there are no statistics for people who went to Turkey but didn't go to Istanbul, for instance -- but it somehow doesn't feel right to include tourists who went to Europe in a quiz for tourists of non-European countries.
+2
level 73
Apr 27, 2017
A very large percentage of Turkey's visitors go to Antalya. The rest mostly go to Istanbul with small numbers visiting Ankara and other cities. Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia. It would be unusual I think to only visit the European side... though that is where the airport and most of the tourist attractions are.
+2
level 73
Apr 27, 2017
Antalya, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Trabzon, Hattusa, Alanya, Mersin, Konya... all in Asia.
+1
level ∞
Apr 27, 2017
@sumguy. Turkey definitely makes the list. They have 39.8 million tourists. I am 100% certain that at least 6.87 million of those tourists go to the Asian part.
+2
level 45
Apr 27, 2017
We should have a quiz with "Countries with Least Tourists per capita" or just "Countries with Least Tourists".
+1
level 70
Apr 27, 2017
Go on then! You can do it, I know you can!
+1
level 73
Aug 25, 2017
I think it's been done.
+1
level 48
Apr 27, 2017
What?I missed Turkey just because it said outside of Europe. Turkey has some part IN Europe. Gotta fix that.
+1
level 69
Apr 27, 2017
On the flip side, I guessed Russia since part of it is in Asia (just in case) and I guessed Turkey because it is in both Europe and Asia. I've gotten so many right throughout many questions just by typing the answers that I didn't think it could possibly be but wasn't getting the right answers otherwise.
+1
level 58
Sep 1, 2017
Not that again... Just ask yourself: Are there more Russian/Turkish people living on the Asian or the European side of the country? Tadaaa.
+1
level 77
Apr 27, 2017
I got them all, but very surprised Israel isn't on the list.
+1
level 62
Apr 27, 2017
Very surprised not one South American country made the list. Just curious where Brazil places? I assume Brazil has the most international visitors in South America.
+2
level 39
Apr 29, 2017
In fact, Argentina has more! Only in 2014 and 2016 Brazil received more tourist because of the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. Argentina receives more over than a million people per year than Brazil.
+1
level 62
Apr 30, 2017
Interesting. Where does Argentina rank overall?
+1
level ∞
Aug 31, 2017
Brazil had more than Argentina in 2015 as well.
+1
level 73
Aug 25, 2017
The major source countries for tourists include the USA, Canada, many countries in Western Europe, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Turkey, and some countries around the Persian Gulf. South America is just so far away from all of these countries. I think that's the major obstacle. Could also have something to do with out of control crime, but more likely it's just a question of geography.
+1
level ∞
Aug 31, 2017
I updated the quiz to use new data. Brazil now appears.
+1
level 68
Sep 1, 2017
Minor note, South Africa with 10.4m is listed below Morocco with 10.3m. Typo perhaps?
+1
level 55
Dec 4, 2017
Either that or the numbers are with the wrong country.
+1
level 67
Dec 21, 2017
South Africa's decimal point was accidentally moved. According to the source it should be 10.04 instead of 10.4. Morocco being at 10.3 and on top is correct
+1
level ∞
Dec 21, 2017
Fixed
+2
level 58
Jan 7, 2018
Brazil could receive so much more tourists, it's a shame :/
+1
level 36
Jan 8, 2018
20/20 with 20 seconds left, Illuminate confirmed
+1
level 36
Jan 8, 2018
Illuminati*
+1
level 43
Jan 8, 2018
Live in the United States, forgot about United States until 0:05 remaining *facepalm*
+1
level 26
Jan 21, 2018
What about Egypt?
+2
level 69
Jan 25, 2018
I was surprised about that, too. Maybe it's only just fallen off the list in the last bunch of years due to civil unrest and government turnovers?
+1
level 73
Aug 16, 2018
Egypt used to be the #1 tourist destination in Africa ahead of Morocco and South Africa but it still hasn't recovered from the hit its tourism industry took following the 2010 revolution and subsequent turmoil. Russia's ban of flights going there also didn't help. A very large percentage of the tourists visiting beach resorts on the Sinai were Russian.
+1
level 70
Mar 12, 2018
Commenting on this topic for the second time today, but I feel something in the instructions should clearly exclude Turkey. I'm fine with it not being classed as a European country - 97% of its territory is outside Europe and 86% of its population - but it definitely caught me out. Especially given that a significant portion of those tourists would be visiting Istanbul - in Europe.
+1
level 73
Aug 16, 2018
See comments above.