Travel enthusiasts are always excited about new places to visit to explore food, culture, art, history, architecture, a little bit of adventure, and more. The World Economic Forum (WEF) publishes a list of the most travel-ready countries in the world. The 2019 report is finally here. Let’s check out the countries that made it to the top 10 this year.
How the WEF ranked the most travel-ready countries
The WEF said in its report that the tourism industry is growing rapidly worldwide. It accounts for 10% of global GDP, and worldwide expenditure on tourism is expected to jump 50% over the next decade. Countries continue to invest in tourism-friendly infrastructure such as hotels, airports, roads, and ports.
The World Economic Forum ranked 140 countries based on 90 different indicators such as infrastructure, international openness, health & hygiene, natural resources, cultural resources, environmental sustainability, and more.
The report warns that the excessive number of tourists in some regions could damage the same things that help attract tourists in the first place. For instance, Thailand was forced to close the scenic Maya Bay cove due to “extensive ecological damage to corals, seawater and plant life.” Venice is also planning to reroute cruise ships to other ports to reduce overcrowding.
These are the top 10 most travel-ready countries of 2019:
Switzerland is one of the world’s best places to live and work. It offers high living standards, world-class education, great infrastructure, and is home to some beautiful tourist spots. Millions of tourists flock to Switzerland every year. It has also been ranked the world’s most innovative country.
Canada is the 9th most travel-ready country this year. It attracted 21.1 million tourists in 2018 alone. By comparison, Canada’s entire population is 37 million. The North American nation ranked highly in terms of environmental sustainability, infrastructure, safety and security. Most foreign tourists visiting Canada are Americans.
Thanks to its rich history and beautifully-preserved cultural sites, Italy is one of the world’s hottest tourist destinations. Italy attracted 62.1 million tourists in 2018. The country is home to 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Rome is known for its culture, architecture, and art. Italy has been encouraging international tourists to visit during off-peak seasons to avoid overcrowding, especially in Venice.
Australia ranked favorably in terms of air transport infrastructure, price competitiveness, safety, and natural resources. The country is known for its beautiful beaches, rich wildlife, and diverse landscapes.
6- United Kingdom
The United Kingdom slipped to 6th place this year. It’s the only country that declined on this list, primarily because of its low performance in price competitiveness. The UK attracts tourists from Europe and North America. Its world-class infrastructure and historical sites were praised by the WEF. However, the looming Brexit could affect the travel industry in the UK.
5- United States
The United States had 79.6 million international tourists in 2018, the third-highest in the world. The US has everything from beautiful beaches to megacities like New York and Los Angeles to natural vacation spots like Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, Alaskan icebergs, Niagara Falls, and the Yellowstone National Park. Most international visitors to the US come from Canada, the UK, Mexico, and Europe.
Japan was the third most popular Asian country among international tourists, attracting 31.2 million international visitors last year. More than two-thirds of the country is mountainous. Japan is also home to over 200 volcanoes. Mount Fuji, which is the highest point in Japan at 3,776 meters, is an active volcano and is particularly popular among tourists.
The international tourism industry brought 38.9 million tourists and $43 billion in revenue to Germany last year. Germany has been the third most travel-ready country on the WEF’s list since 2017. It is one of the safest countries in Europe. Germany has a number of cultural, historical, and natural tourist sites including protected forests and mountain ranges.
France attracted more tourists than any other country in the world in 2018. According to the French government data, the country had a staggering 89.4 million international tourists last year. The cultural and historical sites in Paris are particularly popular among tourists. France also has many attractive beaches, luxury destinations, and small picturesque villages.
Spain is the most travel-ready country in the world, according to WEF. It has retained the top spot since 2015. The European country is home to 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It also has a high quality of life, world-class infrastructure, and sunny beaches. Spain had 82.8 million international tourists in 2018. It’s best equipped in almost every aspect to welcome international tourists in 2019.
So, which of these countries are you planning to visit? Let us know in the comments below.