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10 Asian Countries with the Most Tourists

Which countries in the continent of Asia receive the most tourists annually?
For 2016, according to the UN World Tourism Organization
Last updated: November 01, 2018
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# Arrivals
Country
59.3 m
China
32.6 m
Thailand
≈ 30 m
Turkey
26.8 m
Malaysia
24.0 m
Japan
# Arrivals
Country
18.0 m
Saudi Arabia
17.2 m
South Korea
14.9 m
United Arab Emirates
14.6 m
India
12.9 m
Singapore
+8
level 78
Aug 31, 2017
To be fair, all those Saudi arrivals aren't tourists... the kingdom doesn't issue many tourist visas, if any. They're virtually all hadjis.
+24
level 76
Sep 1, 2017
Religious tourism is still tourism
+4
level 78
Dec 7, 2017
I was quite surprised Israel wasn't there for the same reason...religious tourism.
+7
level 76
Dec 18, 2017
It's not religious tourism it is the performance of a religious duty. Hajj and Umrah are as much tourism as taking communion is brunch, baptism is going to the pool, or burial is spelunking. It's not the same thing even if it seems similar to you. And the grand total of tourist visas that Saudi Arabia issues every year is 0.
+9
level 74
Dec 18, 2017
yes but from a logistics and services point of view the needs of someone travelling for tourism are pretty much the same ones that a pilgrim has: transportation, hotels, food&beverages, tourist guides and so on. economically speaking, we can say thad saudi arabia has a quite flourishing tourism industry.
+2
level 65
Dec 18, 2017
Agreed,
+1
level 68
Dec 18, 2017
I agree with iuvas here. The hajjis are issued visas to perform Hajj and Umrah. And the hajjis spend their money in the country as all tourists in other countries do. So they could be regarded as "tourists".
+4
level 68
Dec 18, 2017
I'm with kalbahamut on this. Here is the definition of tourism that Google provides: "the commercial organization and operation of vacations and visits to places of interest." Merriam-Webster defines it as "the practice of traveling for recreation." Dictionary.com defines it as "the activity or practice of touring, especially for pleasure." NONE of those definitions includes religious pilgrimage.
+4
level 66
Dec 18, 2017
I dunno, I don't see why adding religion makes it any different. They are still personally interested in going to the place and pay money to do so, whether the reason is religious or recreational I don't see why it matters.
+2
level 66
Dec 18, 2017
I am a Muslim and I 100% agree with Kal on the Hajj. If it wasn't for the religious obligation and the spiritual rewards no one in their right-minds would paying so much money and effort to go through it, as it is very draining physically. However, I disagree on Umrahs because they are not actually a religious duty. Performing an Umrah falls under the 'favorable' or 'beloved' acts in Sharia. Umrahs are also quite a pleasant experience as they typically take around an hour or so to complete and are not especially draining, but you get similar spiritual satisfaction to the Hajj. They can be done in any time of the year and you also get to visit Mecca, shop in its Souks, and experience something different. I know countless people that are financially able who do an Umrah every year (or more) just to refresh themselves.
+1
level 66
Dec 18, 2017
It's like if the Pyramid of Giza (an ancient monument that draws in large numbers of people every year, just like the Kaaba) also happened to be the centre of an active religion. So overall I'd say there's a fine line between Tourism and Religious duty here, so we shouldn't totally exclude Saudi Arabia from touristic countries.
+1
level 65
Sep 1, 2017
I got seven, was stumped for a while, and then got the last three in succession. Well then.
+1
level 56
Sep 1, 2017
Ah, Saudi Arabia....wasn't on my mind. I assume Muslims travelling on the Hajj?
+1
level 70
Oct 28, 2017
D'OH! Should have thought of that. 9 of 10.
+2
level 32
Sep 1, 2017
Good quiz. Did not get Singapore or Malaysia, didn't realise loads of tourists went there
+1
level 67
Dec 18, 2017
Lots from Australia.
+2
level 70
Oct 27, 2017
I don't understand why I keep forgetting about Korea (both of them). On like every. single. quiz.
+4
level 43
Dec 18, 2017
Really surprised not to see Turkmenistan or Tajikistan in there.
+4
level 58
Dec 18, 2017
Very surprised not to see Indonesia on there. Thought Bali etc. was a massive holiday destination for Australians.
+1
level 75
Jan 20, 2019
Me too. According to the source Indonesia had 9.9M in 2015 total. According to the one below it aims to have 20M by the year and last year had 1.15M in one month which makes it around 14M per year https://tradingeconomics.com/indonesia/tourist-arrivals And apparently 400k per month to Bali. That may well be mostly Australians, but does not necessarily mean lots of others go there.
+1
level 68
Dec 18, 2017
Biggest surprise on the quiz to me is that Japan is so low. What is there to see in Malaysia that more people go there than to Japan?
+1
level 48
Dec 19, 2017
Beaches
+2
level 50
Dec 18, 2017
I think it's people from Singapore crossing the border to Malaysia and vice-versa.
+1
level 44
Dec 18, 2017
Singapore also has a lot of western and Indian tourists, mostly for work and formula 1
+1
level 57
Dec 19, 2017
It really suprised me not to see North Korea in this list !
+1
level 28
Dec 20, 2017
In 2013, Russia was visited by 33 million tourists, why is it not on the quiz
+2
level 47
Jan 1, 2018
Because it's considered a European country. Yes, the majority of its land is in Asia, but that's mostly Siberia, which is just too darn cold for a whole lot of people to want to live there. The capital, Moscow, along with most of Russia's population, is in Europe.
+1
level 48
Mar 20, 2018
because most of its tourist are in european side of russia. maybe a few only on the asian side.
+1
level 61
Apr 9, 2018
I try North Korea for fun.
+1
level 72
Jul 23, 2018
And was it?
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