World's most visited countries: The just-released United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 2018 Tourism Highlights Report reveals the most visited tourist destinations in 2017. Click through the gallery to find out which countries attracted the most travelers.
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10. Thailand: This popular Southeast Asia country welcomed 35.4 million visitors in 2017. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the six-century-old temple atop Doi Suthep Mountain, offers exceptional views of the city of Chiang Mai below.
9. Germany: Welcoming 37.5 million visitors in 2017, Germany ranked ninth on the list. Here's an aerial view over the Dresden and Striezelmarkt Christmas market at night.
8. Turkey: The eighth most visited country in 2017, Turkey witnessed huge growth tourism growth last year, receiving 37.6 million tourists. That's a rise of 24.1% over the previous year.
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7. United Kingdom: Home of the world's most famous royal family, the United Kingdom received 37.7 million visitors in 2017, making it the seventh most popular destination in the world.
6. Mexico: With a 12% increase in international tourist arrivals, Mexico hosted 39.3 million visitors last year. Cuetzalan, Puebla (pictured here), is one of several must-visit beautiful small towns in Mexico.
5. Italy: The land of pasta, gondolas and gelato, Italy greeted 58.3 million tourists in 2017, making it the fifth most visited country in the world.
4. China: China received 60.7 million international tourists in 2017. This picture was taken at Huangguoshu Cataract -- Asia's largest waterfall -- in Guizhou, one of China's fastest growing provinces.
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3. United States: As the third most popular tourist destination in the world, the United States welcomed 75.9 million international travelers in 2017. It also look in the world's biggest share of international tourist receipts, bagging an income of $210.7 billion.
2. Spain: Spain's tourism figure increased from 75.3 million in 2016 to 81.8 million, making it the second most popular tourist destination in the world.
1. France: With 86.9 million visitors in 2017, France is, yet again, the world's top travel destination.

World's 10 most popular tourist destinations (and their future rivals)

(CNN) — Those hoping their favorite global city will be a bit less crowded the next time they visit are in for a disappointment.
International tourism growth shows no signs of slowing, according to the just-released United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 2018 Tourism Highlights Report.
Global tourist arrivals grew 6.8% in 2017, hitting 1.32 billion. That's 84 million more travelers than the previous year, the highest increase since the 2009 global economic crisis hit.
Though this means those crowds around the Mona Lisa won't be thinning at the Louvre any time soon, it's good news for a number of destinations that have been suffering from security challenges or recovering from natural disasters in recent years.
The report attributes the growth to an economic upswing, resulting in strong outbound demand from major source markets. Simply put, many of us have more money to burn on plane tickets.
"The recovery of outbound demand from Brazil and the Russian Federation after a few years of decline and the ongoing rise of India, also contributed to inbound growth in many destinations," says the report.
And things aren't slowing down, either. Available data for early 2018 shows a year-on-year increase of 6% in arrivals between January and April, says the UNWTO.

International Tourist Arrivals in 2017

So which countries attracted the lion's share of those travelers? France leads the way, receiving 86.7 million international tourists in 2017, followed by Spain at 81.8 million.
Here's the top 10:
1. France -- 86.9 million
2. Spain -- 81.8 million
3. United States -- 75.9 million
4. China -- 60.7 million
5. Italy -- 58.3 million
6. Mexico -- 39.3 million
7. United Kingdom -- 37.7 million
8. Turkey -- 37.6 million
9. Germany -- 37.5 million
10. Thailand -- 35.4 million
The above list focuses purely on arrival numbers, not to be confused with tourism receipts -- the amount international inbound visitors spent, including payments to national carriers for international transport.
When it comes to cash, the United States received the most of it -- $210.7 billion -- in 2017. Rounding out the top 10 are Spain, France, Thailand, UK, Italy, Australia, Germany, Macau (China) and Japan.
As for which country's citizens spent the most in 2017, China continues to lead global outbound travel expenditures, spending a whopping $257.7 billion in 2017.
Coming in second is the United States, with its citizens spending $135 billion while traveling abroad last year. It's followed by Germany, the UK, France, Australia, Canada, Russia, South Korea and Italy.

Fastest growing tourist destinations in 2017

World's 10 fastest-growing tourist destinations: The UN's latest Tourism Highlights Report sheds some light on the fastest-growing tourist destinations in 2017, based on international arrivals. Iceland, with a 24.1% increase from 2016, just missed the top 10 (it ranked 11th, tied with Turkey). Click through to see the top 10 fastest-growing tourist destinations, based on available data.
The biggest surprises can be found in the list of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in 2017, based on available data.
Egypt continues to recover from recent years of political unrest, leading the way with growth of 55.1% in 2017 international arrivals over the previous year.
"Visitor numbers rebounded from both traditional markets in Western Europe and emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia," says the report of Egypt's big comeback. "Promotional efforts and a return of confidence contributed to this recovery."
Other up-and-comers on the list include Vietnam, Georgia and Nepal:
1. Egypt -- 55.1%
2. Togo -- 46.7 0%
3. San Marino -- 31.1%
4. Vietnam -- 29.1%
5. Georgia -- 27.9%
6. Palestinian territories -- 25.7%
7. Niue -- 25.4%
8. Nepal -- 24.9
9. Israel -- 24.6%
10. Northern Mariana Islands -- 24.3%
For more facts and figures on international tourism in 2017, check out the full UNWTO report here.
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