a colorful tiled rooftops of Park Güell

If you live in Europe, and you’re in the tourism business – business is good. European countries are climbing the global tourism rankings, pouring in hundreds of billions of dollars. As one country falls, another one gains and this year, Spain alone took in 82 million tourists. That’s not even number one!

a city with a tall towerThe number one tourism country in the world? It’s France! World tourism rose to more than 1.3 billion travelers. That’s billion! Despite fear mongering, Europe saw a leading 8% rise, as did Africa. Asia, Pacific and the Middle East experienced growth between 5-6%. The United States however rose just 3%, experiencing a 5% decline in the first 8 months of the Donald Trump presidency. The decline is estimated to have cost U.S. tourism at least 2.7 Billion dollars.

a football stadium with people in the stands with Camp Nou in the backgroundBut U.S. tourism woes have firmly planted Spain as the second most visited destination in the world. The country brought in a staggering 82 million tourists in 2017. These 82 million tourists represent €87 Billion in income for the Western European state. Europe represents 5 of the top 10 spots in the world tourism rankings, conducted by the United Nations, thanks to Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.

a colorful tiled rooftops with Park Güell in the backgroundBut tourism comes at a cost. Spain has seen tourism protests, as locals flood into beloved areas, steeped in local tradition. It doesn’t look as if things will change anytime soon. This leaves only one question: where will you go in 2018? We’ve got a few places to pass up, and a few that no year would be complete without – in case you need suggestions.

Where will you go?

Featured image used under Wikimedia Commons 2.0

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. Not too surprising given low fares to Europe coupled with the weak Euro for most of the year. I did Spain in May and EUR/USD was 1.09/1 on a majority of my transactions. Unfortunately my Paris trip for this year is looking a bit more expensive with it currently 1.23/1 and probably going higher. I think that also factored in to the stagnate US tourism and it was 20-30% more expensive for Europeans to vacation here.

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