Turkiye has leap-frogged Italy and the United States to rank fourth worldwide in the number of tourists visiting the country. The country hosted nearly 30 million tourists in 2021, according to a report by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The UNWTO report shows France holding the top spot after receiving around 40 million tourists last year. Mexico is runner-up with 31.9 million tourists, and Spain is ranked third with 31.2 million.
Turkiye, which was previously ranked sixth in 2020, rose two places in 2021 after hosting 29.9 million tourists.
Italy ranked fifth with 26.3 million tourists, followed by the United States with 22.1 million, Greece with 14.7 million, and Austria with 12.7 million tourists.
Germany and Croatia make up the remaining top ten places with 11.7 million and 10.6 million visitors respectively.
China, which was in fourth position in 2019 with 65 million travellers, has been effectively erased from tourism destinations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Thailand is another formerly popular Asian country that has seen its tourism figures plummet during the pandemic. The country had previously hosted some 40 million visitors back in 2019, yet only received 400,000 tourists in 2021, resulting in its international ranking nosediving to 53rd place.
Main image top, of female tourist overlooking Konyaalti beach in Antalya, southern Turkey, Feb. 2021. Photo © frantic00 / iStock