The list of the most popular places visited by tourists in 2012 has just been released and whilst there are many you’d expect to be in the list of favourite countries and top cities, there are some unexpected entries and quite a few that seem to be missing from the lists.
The top three countries visited are: France
, which is way ahead of the US
in second place followed by China
in third. Among the top cities, Bangkok
tops the list, switching places with last year’s number one; London
, with Paris
|TOP VISITED COUNTRIES 2012
||TOP VISITED CITIES 2012
There have been some raised eyelids over the number one city but it’s the sheer weight of Chinese travellers that have skewed far eastern figures and especially Bangkok which was the setting for a huge movie hit last year.
Surprise omissions include Florence and Pisa in Italy; epitomising the Renaissance and Prague which fails to make the list whilst its near neighbour Vienna does. Prague has suffered a little over the last few years with the invasion of hen parties and stag nights and has lost its sheen a little with more discerning travellers. Dubrovnik, once lauded as an undiscovered Mediterranean gem, seems to remain undiscovered to many whilst Sydney and Melbourne also don’t make the list with travellers citing their remoteness as a reason not travel.
Australia as a whole nor New Zealand make the countries list for the same reasons as their constituent cities despite having some of the most unique sights on the planet.
An indication of which countries and cities may make next year’s list can be seen in the manifold lists of ‘Must See Destinations in 2013’ and among them the old favourite but recently having lost some of its glory is Amsterdam. Now a much cleaned up city, it’s cheap to get to and to stay there. Toronto is a major Canadian hub destination but travellers are now being recommended to stay over for a few days before moving on. The cost of flights there are relatively cheaper than to US cities meaning it’s also worth considering as a standalone city break from the UK or Europe.
For up and coming country destinations, you’re likely to see the Balkan country of Montenegro heading up the list along with its almost neighbour; Slovakia. Both are currently classed as undiscovered and that’s likely to change. Iceland is due a comeback with the budget traveller making up numbers there whilst tipped for the top next year, again courtesy of those Chinese, is South Korea for the scenery, culture and beautiful beaches.
If you’ve not made up your mind yet, try anyone of our suggestions and make sure next year’s list is worthy of its contents.