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International tourism: the most popular countries

Tourism

Drastic declines due to COVID-19

The most popular travel countries.

Traveling by plane

Germany is the world travel champion

Booming tourism and slump in 2020.

Development of global tourism

A look at the costs

Ranking: Safest travel countries

List of Countries by Tourism Income

Below you can find a list of countries by total tourism income and ratio of tourism income by total GDP. You can also find an interactive map below where each country is colored by its tourism income. The ratio of tourism income to the total GDP gives a rough figure which economies are most dependent on tourism income.

  • United States of America has the highest total tourism income with over 210 billion $ yearly. This huge figure however is only 1.1% of the country's total GDP
  • Spain has the second largest tourism income in the World with almost 68 billion $ yearly, making up tourism 5.2% of the total economy.
  • Another Mediterranean country, France, is the third on the list with over 60 billion yearly tourism income.
  • It is no wonder that the popular holiday destination Maldives is the leader when it comes to share of tourism in the total GDP. 2.7 billion $ tourism income of Maldives makes up 60% of the country's total GDP.
  • Palau and Grenada, two island countries of Caribbeans, come second and third after Maldives. Palau with 141 million $ and Granada with 448 million $ obtain respectively 48% and 40% of their GDP by tourism.

Countries by Tourism Income Thumbnail

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Countries by Number of Incoming Tourists

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top tourism revenue countries

By Bastian Herre, Veronika Samborska and Max Roser

Tourism has massively increased in recent decades. Aviation has opened up travel from domestic to international. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of international visits had more than doubled since 2000.

Tourism can be important for both the travelers and the people in the countries they visit.

For visitors, traveling can increase their understanding of and appreciation for people in other countries and their cultures.

And in many countries, many people rely on tourism for their income. In some, it is one of the largest industries.

But tourism also has externalities: it contributes to global carbon emissions and can encroach on local environments and cultures.

On this page, you can find data and visualizations on the history and current state of tourism across the world.

Interactive Charts on Tourism

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  • Tourism Revenue By Country

For those arriving into the U.S. via New York City, Manhattan's bustling Times Square is often one of the first sights they see.

Tourism plays an important role in the economy and it is a major source of revenue for most countries around the world. Countries have invested in tourist attraction sites and infrastructure within their countries to attract both domestic and international tourists. International tourists account for more than 50% of revenue earned from tourism in most countries. An expense incurred by inbound international visitors on goods and services and sometimes passenger items received in the country visited is referred to as international tourism receipt. These payments may include airfare, accommodation fees, shopping fee, money spent on food, and entrance fee paid for public facilities.

Countries Earning The Most From International Tourism

United states.

International tourism is an important part of international trade in the United States . The range of tourist attraction sites, including parks, museums, historical sites, hotels, recreation centers, gambling, and sports venues, are among the factors that are responsible for an increase in international tourist receipt in the US. The majority of the international tourists came from Mexico , Canada , and the UK.

Spain is the second highest earning country in the world when it comes to tourism. The number of international tourists visiting Spain have increased over the years. Environmental factors such as favorable weather, romantic coastline, beaches, and the 44 world heritage sites were significant factors that influenced the arrival of international tourists in Spain.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) earns the third highest amount from tourism in the world. The majority of those who visited the UK went for holiday, business, and studies. London was the most visited city in the UK with Manchester following closely. Some of the famous sites most frequently visited include the British Museum, the National Gallery, Tower of London, and the Science Museum.

Foreign Tourists Serve as an Economic Boost

International tourism is a major source of revenue that directly affects the growth of a country’s economy. The revenue generated from tourism can be used to develop other sectors of the economy such as transport, health, and education. International tourism has also opened up employment in most countries especially in the local communities. France recorded a total of 1.2 million jobs created as a result of tourism leading to the further generation of revenue through taxes. Hotels have also been built to meet the high demand for accommodation in the visited countries. International relations have also been strengthened through international tourism.

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Economic Impact Research

  • In 2023, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 9.1% to the global GDP; an increase of 23.2% from 2022 and only 4.1% below the 2019 level.
  • In 2023, there were 27 million new jobs, representing a 9.1% increase compared to 2022, and only 1.4% below the 2019 level.
  • Domestic visitor spending rose by 18.1% in 2023, surpassing the 2019 level.
  • International visitor spending registered a 33.1% jump in 2023 but remained 14.4% below the 2019 total.

Click here for links to the different economy/country and regional reports

Why conduct research?

From the outset, our Members realised that hard economic facts were needed to help governments and policymakers truly understand the potential of Travel & Tourism. Measuring the size and growth of Travel & Tourism and its contribution to society, therefore, plays a vital part in underpinning WTTC’s work.

What research does WTTC carry out?

Each year, WTTC and Oxford Economics produce reports covering the economic contribution of our sector in 185 countries, for 26 economic and geographic regions, and for more than 70 cities. We also benchmark Travel & Tourism against other economic sectors and analyse the impact of government policies affecting the sector such as jobs and visa facilitation.

Visit our Research Hub via the button below to find all our Economic Impact Reports, as well as other reports on Travel and Tourism. 

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UN Tourism Data Dashboard

The UN Tourism Data Dashboard – provides statistics and insights on key indicators for inbound and outbound tourism at the global, regional and national levels. Data covers tourist arrivals, tourism share of exports and contribution to GDP, source markets, seasonality and accommodation (data on number of rooms, guest and nights)

Two special modules present data on the impact of COVID 19 on tourism as well as a Policy Tracker on Measures to Support Tourism

The UN Tourism/IATA Destination Tracker

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International Tourism Results

UN Tourism Tourism Data Dashboard

  • International tourist arrivals and receipts and export revenues
  • International tourism expenditure and departures
  • Seasonality
  • Tourism Flows
  • Accommodation
  • Tourism GDP and Employment
  • Domestic Tourism

International Tourism and COVID-19"

International Tourism and COVID-19

  • The pandemic generated a loss of 2.6 billion international arrivals in 2020, 2021 and 2022 combined
  • Export revenues from international tourism dropped 62% in 2020 and 59% in 2021, versus 2019 (real terms) and then rebounded in 2022, remaining 34% below pre-pandemic levels.
  • The total loss in export revenues from tourism amounts to USD 2.6 trillion for that three-year period.
  • International tourist arrivals reached 88% of pre-pandemic levels in January-December 2023

COVID-19: Measures to Support Travel and Tourism

  • Friday, April 12, 2024

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Cities in the eclipse’s path are getting an economic ‘shot in the arm.’

Millions of tourists trying to experience the totality could bolster smaller economies across North America.

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People in front of a store with big, red letters spelling “Gibson’s” on the roof. Numerous items, including patio furniture and an inflatable dinosaur, are displayed in the front of the store.

By Santul Nerkar and J. Edward Moreno

  • April 8, 2024

A vast swath of North America will soon be plunged into darkness. Though momentary, the total solar eclipse on Monday has already proved lucrative.

Across the United States, Mexico and Canada, towns and villages have been planning what could be the biggest tourist attraction for many small cities. Larger areas that are more accustomed to hosting events are nonetheless expecting a significant windfall.

“We don’t usually have this kind of tourism — it’s not common,” said Edgar Augusto González-Zatarain, the mayor of Mazatlán, Mexico. “Nature is giving us this opportunity, and we have to take advantage of it.”

Various indicators suggest the eclipse will bolster the economies in the path of totality, a roughly 110-mile-wide belt that will stretch from Mazatlán to Montreal. Hertz said car reservations had jumped 3,000 percent from a year ago. Airbnb has reported a 1,000 percent increase in searches for listings. In Oklahoma, the Choctaw Nation had seen a 200 percent increase as of mid-March in reservations at its resorts and casinos.

Mazatlán has long relied heavily on its port and fisheries, but the beach town has had growth in tourism, which now accounts for 80 percent of its economy. Still, it is often overshadowed by other Mexican resort towns and has had recent instances of cartel violence that may spook tourists. Mazatlán will experience the eclipse longer than many other cities, at more than four minutes. Hotels there are fully booked, and officials expect 120,000 visitors and an economic output of 500 million pesos (about $30 million).

Indianapolis is expecting roughly 100,000 visitors for the eclipse, said Chris Gahl, the chief executive of the city’s tourism marketing organization, who estimates the visitors will bring in $28 million to $48 million for the city. The city is used to hosting major events — including this year’s N.B.A. All-Star Game and the N.F.L.’s scouting combine — but the eclipse is a chance for the city to promote more of its arts and culture scene.

“We view hosting and being in the path of totality as an opportunity to diversify and broaden the audiences that might consider visiting Indy,” Mr. Gahl said.

Tourism officials in Austin, Texas, reported higher-than-usual hotel occupancy rates for the weekend before and the day of the eclipse. The city has the highest hotel inventory per capita in the state and is used to handling large influxes of tourists for events like South by Southwest and the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

“Our city is very much prepared and very experienced with large events and large influxes of people coming into the city,” said Wesley Lucas, a spokeswoman for Austin’s tourism marketing organization.

Bulent Temel, an economics professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, estimated that eclipse tourism would add $285 million to the state’s economy. In an opinion essay, he called the event “ the most profitable 22 minutes in Texas history .”

But towns in the Texas Hill Country, which offers a better view of the eclipse, are far less accustomed to such events. Kerrville, a town of roughly 25,000, is preparing for its population to more than triple, town officials said.

top tourism revenue countries

The tourist-attracting event also presents a potential nuisance for public safety. Business owners and town officials have been preparing for several years, drawing on the experiences of the 2017 eclipse.

“This is going to be a great big economic shot in the arm for us,” said William Thomas, the emergency management coordinator for Kerr County, which includes Kerrville. “At the same time, it’s also going to be a tremendous drain on resources.”

Doug Hetzler, the manager of Gibson’s Discount Center in Kerrville, said his store was staying open longer during the week leading up to the eclipse and stocking its shelves with Moon Pies and wind chimes.

Mr. Hetzler said the store would offer a deal for tourists looking for precious space to park their cars during the event: Parking costs $50, but if you spend $100 in the store, you get that $50 back.

Mr. Hetzler hopes that the eclipse, more than creating a financial windfall, gives visitors a lasting impression of a town — and an old-time store — that they otherwise might not visit.

“Our opportunity is really to expose people to a store like this and a culture like this,” he said.

Santul Nerkar is a reporter covering business and sports. More about Santul Nerkar

J. Edward Moreno is a business reporter at The Times. More about J. Edward Moreno

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Most promiscuous countries in the world revealed: here’s how america scores.

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Talk abut a Turkish delight.

Turkey is the most promiscuous country on the planet, according to an amorous analysis of the world’s sexual habits.

The average Turk has slept with more than 14 people according to World Population Review , putting the naughty nation well above the United States.

“The average number of sexual partners can vary significantly from country to country, as cultural norms can have a significant impact on the number of people someone has sex with,” the website declared, saying the figures were comprised after compiling “datasets from multiple third party sources.”

Turkey’s top spot may surprise some, given that more than 99% of residents are Muslim and the country is widely conceived to have traditional views when it comes sex and relationships.

World Population Review pulled data from multiple third party sources to come up with their list.

But the list was full of sultry surprises.

Countries thought to have more liberal views on sex, such as Brazil and France, were surprisingly low down on the list.

The average Brazilian has bedded 9 people, putting the nation in 25th place.

France, meanwhile, was far from frisky, clocking in 29th position. Citizens of that country have slept with an average of 8.1 people.

After Turkey, Australia took second place on the lusty list, with the average Aussie having sex with more than 13 people over the course of their lifetime.

Neighboring New Zealand came in at third, followed by Iceland and South Africa.

The United States scored 13th place, with World Population Review saying Americans sleep with an average of 10.7 people over the years.

That has us tied with Canada, which also clocked the exact same stat.

A woman putting a ring on a man's hand

The World Population Review’s data jibes with research released last year by NapLab, which also found that Americans had slept with 10.7 people over the course of their lifetime.

The least promiscuous countries in the World Population Review’s list were China and India, with citizens sleeping with 3.1 and 3.0 people respectively.

The Top 10 Most Promiscuous Countries

Turkey (14.5 people)

Australia (13.3)

New Zealand (13.2)

Iceland (13.0)

South Africa (12.5)

Finland (12.4)

Norway (12.1)

Italy (11.8)

Sweden (11.8)

Switzerland (11.1)

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top tourism revenue countries

The 13 summer trips Americans are searching for the most, according to Google Flights

  • Google Flights revealed the top searched destinations on its platform for summer 2024.
  • The data is based on the most searched travel destinations from US users between June and August.
  • Neither New York nor Paris took the top spot.

Insider Today

If you're looking to get away this summer, you may find inspiration from Google Flights' list of the top searched destinations for the summer of 2024.

The list is based on US users' most searched destinations on Google Flights for travel between June 1 and August 31.

The list remained largely consistent from 2023, but Chicago and San Francisco didn't make the top 20 this year. The insights also revealed that searches about travel itineraries and "solo travel" reached an all-time high in January 2024.

Here are the top 13 destinations.

13. Barcelona

top tourism revenue countries

There's a long list of tourist attractions in Barcelona including renowned museums featuring Picasso and Joan Miró, exploring the Gothic Quarter's architecture. Barcelona is also well known for its iconic nightlife.

top tourism revenue countries

Miami is known for its clear beaches and vibrant culture. It's also rated second in US News and World Report's "10 Best Party Cities " in the US.

The travel destination is also a popular site for families, and made the third spot in Google searches for top places to do things with kids, according to Google trend insights from for January 14 to March 14.

11. Los Angeles

top tourism revenue countries

Located in Southern California, LA is known for its beaches, Hollywood glamour, Mediterranean climate, and wellness culture. The city has a number of tourist sites, including the iconic Hollywood sign, Universal Studios, and the Getty Center.

If you plan to visit LA, make sure you factor in the cost of transportation — and the time you may spend in traffic .

top tourism revenue countries

Athens is rich in history and has a number of tourist attractions. BI has previously suggested visiting the Athens National Garden National Garden, the Acropolis, Panathenaic Stadium, Areopagus Hill, and Mount Lycabettus.

top tourism revenue countries

Seattle , often referred to as the Emerald City, is home to major companies like Amazon, Starbucks, and Tableau. Surrounded by water, mountains, and forest, it's also known for classic attractions like the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and its grunge music scene.

8. Las Vegas

top tourism revenue countries

Las Vegas is known for its extravagant gambling scene and luxurious hotels . It was also ranked the number one city to party as of August 2023, according to US News and World Report.

It's not just a hot spot for bachelor parties though — according to Google travel insights from January 14 to March 14, it was the number one location people searched in the US for places to go as a couple.

top tourism revenue countries

Orlando was the first ranked location for searches that led with the prompt "things to do" with kids, according to Google travel insights from January 14 to March 14. The Florida destination is filled with family-friendly tourist attractions , like Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld.

top tourism revenue countries

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Cancún is a popular vacation destination known for its Caribbean waters, luxurious all-inclusive resorts , and vibrant nightlife. That, and it's often budget-friendly for the experience you're getting.

Cancún moved down from second to sixth place in Google Flights' 2024 destination list. The popular vacation spot was also listed in the top five locations for couples and families searching to get away, according to Google search insights from January 14 to March 14.

5. New York

top tourism revenue countries

New York City, also known as the Big Apple or the city that never sleeps, has a seemingly endless list of tourist attractions. It has iconic landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty; world-renowned museums; a vibrant theatre scene; eclectic nightlife; and some of the world's best restaurants.

New York has something for everyone — but it's expensive. Prepare to spend more on everyday items if you visit New York City.

top tourism revenue countries

Rome is filled with rich history and architecture that makes it an easy site for tourists to occupy themselves. Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Colosseum are a few of the most popular spots.

If you do visit Rome, make sure you avoid common tourist mistakes and tip the servers.

top tourism revenue countries

Tokyo rose from eighth place to third in the last year, according to Google Flights.

The city in Japan has a convenient public transportation system and is relatively affordable. It also includes culturally rich sites like Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo Tower, and Sensō-ji Temple .

top tourism revenue countries

Paris is known for its authentic culture, charming architecture, and buttery croissants.

If you visit Paris, you'll want to visit some of the famous tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Palace of Versailles. That, and you may want to brush up on your French too.

top tourism revenue countries

London maintained its spot as the number one searched tourist destination for summer travel. While living in London can be expensive and cloudy, the city is lively and vibrant during the summer.

Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and the thriving theatre scene are just a few of the activities this city has to offer.

top tourism revenue countries

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Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

  • City destinations with the highest direct travel and tourism GDP worldwide 2022

Leading city tourism destinations worldwide in 2022, ranked by direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP (in billion U.S. dollars)

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Tourism in Paris

  • Basic Statistic City destinations with the highest direct travel and tourism GDP worldwide 2022
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Amusement and theme parks

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  2. Richest Countries by Tourism Income (1994-2019)

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  3. Visualizing the Countries Most Reliant on Tourism

    top tourism revenue countries

  4. Mapped: The World's Top Countries by Tourist Spending

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  5. Check Out Our Latest Map to Know Which Countries Rely the Most on Tourism

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  6. Chart: Where Tourism Gives The Biggest Economic Boost

    top tourism revenue countries

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    Tourism Statistics. Get the latest and most up-to-date tourism statistics for all the countries and regions around the world. Data on inbound, domestic and outbound tourism is available, as well as on tourism industries, employment and complementary indicators. All statistical tables available are displayed and can be accessed individually ...

  8. Global and regional tourism performance

    The UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard - provides statistics and insights on key indicators for inbound and outbound tourism at the global, regional and national levels. Data covers tourist arrivals, tourism receipts, tourism share of exports and contribution to GDP, source markets, seasonality, domestic tourism and data on accommodation and employment.

  9. Map: The World's Top Countries for Tourism

    America's Top Companies by Revenue (1994 vs. 2023) Top Emerging Markets for Investment in 2024. The Most Popular TV Brands in the U.S. ... Here are the world's top countries for tourism, based on total money spent: Rank Country International Visitors Dollars Spent #1: United States: 74.7 million: $210.7B #2: Spain: 81.8 million: $68.0B #3:

  10. Top travel markets by tourism GDP worldwide 2022

    Leading countries in the MEA in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2018 Macao's revenue from international tourism 2010-2020 Average daily expenditure of Dutch residents traveling to Italy ...

  11. World Tourism Rankings by Country: Top 20 Countries

    Astute readers will note that this also makes China as the most visited tourist destination in Asia. In terms of numbers, 83.5 million people visited Spain in 2019 - the second most popular ...

  12. Countries ranked by International tourism, receipts (current US$)

    Definition: International tourism receipts are expenditures by international inbound visitors, including payments to national carriers for international transport. These receipts include any other prepayment made for goods or services received in the destination country. They also may include receipts from same-day visitors, except when these ...

  13. International tourism revenue, percent of GDP by country, around the

    International tourism revenue, percent of GDP, 2020: The average for 2020 based on 125 countries was 3.37 percent. The highest value was in Aruba: 42.09 percent and the lowest value was in Guinea: 0.01 percent. The indicator is available from 1995 to 2020. Below is a chart for all countries where data are available.

  14. Mapped: The World's Top Countries by Tourist Spending

    Expenses per visitor: $1,216. Africa. Total expenditures: $38 billion. Total visitors: 67 million. Expenses per visitor: $567. Of course, these numbers only paint a rudimentary picture of global tourism, as they vary greatly even within these regions. Let's look closer at the individual country data for 2018, compared to previous years.

  15. Tourism

    Tourism has massively increased in recent decades. Aviation has opened up travel from domestic to international. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of international visits had more than doubled since 2000. Tourism can be important for both the travelers and the people in the countries they visit. For visitors, traveling can increase their ...

  16. Tourism Revenue By Country

    Tourism Revenue By Country For those arriving into the U.S. via New York City, Manhattan's bustling Times Square is often one of the first sights they see. Tourism plays an important role in the economy and it is a major source of revenue for most countries around the world. Countries have invested in tourist attraction sites and infrastructure ...

  17. Travel & Tourism Economic Impact

    WTTC's latest annual research shows: In 2023, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 9.1% to the global GDP; an increase of 23.2% from 2022 and only 4.1% below the 2019 level. In 2023, there were 27 million new jobs, representing a 9.1% increase compared to 2022, and only 1.4% below the 2019 level.

  18. Tourism's Importance for Growth Highlighted in World Economic ...

    10 Nov 2023. Tourism has again been identified as a key driver of economic recovery and growth in a new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). With UNWTO data pointing to a return to 95% of pre-pandemic tourist numbers by the end of the year in the best case scenario, the IMF report outlines the positive impact the sector's rapid ...

  19. Global tourism industry

    Travel and tourism revenue worldwide 2019-2028, by segment Revenue of the global travel and tourism market from 2019 to 2028, by segment (in billion U.S. dollars)

  20. The UN Tourism Data Dashboard

    International Tourism and COVID-19. Export revenues from international tourism dropped 62% in 2020 and 59% in 2021, versus 2019 (real terms) and then rebounded in 2022, remaining 34% below pre-pandemic levels. The total loss in export revenues from tourism amounts to USD 2.6 trillion for that three-year period. Go to Dashboard.

  21. Revenue Rankings of Countries from Tourism: A Comprehensive ...

    1. Top Revenue Earners. Several countries consistently rank among the top earners from tourism, based on total revenue generated from international tourists. As of the latest available data, the ...

  22. World's 'most powerful' tourism city revealed

    Although luxury-packed Dubai and soccer World Cup host Doha topped the list of most amount of tourism revenue, they didn't score as highly in the other categories and wound up outside the top 10.

  23. Africa's top tourism revenue destinations post-covid

    We delve into the African countries with the most international tourism receipts in post-pandemic recovery. 1. Egypt. Egypt leads the charge for most international tourism receipts in Africa recording $12.2 billion in tourism revenue as of 2022, according to the UN's global and regional tourism performance report.. When COVID hit, Egypt's revenue dropped to $4.4 billion in annual receipts ...

  24. The World's Top Flight Routes, by Revenue

    The World's Top Flight Routes, by Revenue. This was originally posted on our Voronoi app.Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.. In 2024, a record 4.7 billion people are projected to travel by air—200 million more than in 2019.. While revenues surged to an estimated $896 billion globally last year, airlines ...

  25. Cities in the Eclipse's Path Are Getting an Economic Boost

    Mazatlán will experience the eclipse longer than many other cities, at more than four minutes. Hotels there are fully booked, and officials expect 120,000 visitors and an economic output of 500 ...

  26. Most promiscuous countries in the world revealed: Here's how America scores

    South Africa (12.5) Finland (12.4) Norway (12.1) Italy (11.8) Sweden (11.8) Switzerland (11.1) Turkey is the most promiscuous country on the planet, according to an amorous analysis of the world's ...

  27. The Top 13 Summer Trips Americans Searched for

    8. Las Vegas. Fontainebleau Hotel in Las Vegas is one of the hottest new hotels. Connie Zhou. Las Vegas is known for its extravagant gambling scene and luxurious hotels. It was also ranked the ...

  28. Top city destinations by tourism GDP worldwide 2022

    That year, the direct travel and tourism GDP in the capital of France - the country with the highest number of international tourist arrivals worldwide - amounted to roughly 35.65 billion U.S ...

  29. Russia advises against Mideast travel as Iranian threat stokes tensions

    Russia and Germany on Thursday urged countries in the Middle East to show restraint and Israel said it was preparing to "meet all its security needs" in a region on edge over an Iranian threat to ...