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Revealed: Egypt is the fastest growing tourist destination, but France receives the most visitors

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 7/09/2018 Jennifer Newton for MailOnline
View of the Mosques of Sultan Hassan and Al-Rifai in Cairo - Egypt © Getty View of the Mosques of Sultan Hassan and Al-Rifai in Cairo - Egypt

Egypt is the fastest growing tourist destination and France is the most visited country, new UN figures have revealed.

Visitor numbers to Egypt jumped 55.1 per cent to 8.6 million in 2017 - a huge turnaround.

The number of foreign tourists in Egypt went from 14.7 million in 2010 to 5.2 million in 2016 after the suspension of flights following the downing of a Russian charter jet and the turmoil following the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. 

France retained its 2016 No1 ranking in the most-visited list with 86.9million visitors, beating Spain into second place (81.8million) and the USA into third (75.9million).

The figures were published by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in its annual tourism highlights report.

Egypt attracts tourists to the likes of Giza and Luxor, who come to discover the great pyramids and the Sphinx.

Meanwhile resorts around the Red Sea pull in visitors looking for beach holidays and offer spectacular diving.

The second-fastest growing destination is the African country of Togo, which saw a 46.7 per cent jump in visitors.

Here, visitors can enjoy palm-fringed beaches on the Atlantic coast as well as lush forests further north.

a large stone building: The fourth fastest growing destination is Palestine. One popular attraction there is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, pictured

The fourth fastest growing destination is Palestine. One popular attraction there is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, pictured
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

A rise of 29.1 per cent in visitors sees Vietnam, known for its beautiful beaches and rivers, named the third-fastest growing destination.

While in fourth place is Palestine, which saw a 25.7 per cent rise in tourists in 2017.

Tourists travel to Palestine to visit the holy site of Bethlehem, which is home to the Church of the Nativity, as well as the Mar Saba Monastery and the Mosque of Omar.

Rounding off the top five fastest-growing tourist destinations is the tiny island of Niue in the South Pacific, which saw tourist numbers rise by 25.7 per cent in 2017.

Other places that saw huge rises in tourist numbers included Nepal (24.9 per cent, 6th), Israel (24.6 per cent, 7th), the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean (24.3 per cent, 8th) as well as Turkey and Iceland (both 24.1 per cent, tied in 9th).

In the most-visited countries list China comes fourth with 60.7million visitors in 2017 then Italy, which welcomed 58.3million people.

In sixth place is Mexico on 39.3million visitors followed by the UK on 37.7million visitors in 2017.

Other countries in the top ten most visited destinations are Turkey (37.6million, 8th), Germany (37.5million, 9th) and Thailand (35.4million, 10th).

WORLD'S MOST VISITED AND FASTEST GROWING TOURIST DESTINATIONS

The fastest-growing tourist destinations 

1. Egypt — 55.1%

2. Togo — 46.7%

3. Vietnam — 29.1%

4. Palestine — 25.7%

5. Niue — 25.4%

6. Nepal — 24.9%

7. Israel — 24.6%

8. Northern Mariana Islands — 24.3%

9= Turkey (tie) — 24.1%

9= Iceland (tie) — 24.1%

The most-visited countries in the world   

1. France — 86.9million

2. Spain — 81.8million

3. U.S. — 75.9million

4. China — 60.7million

5. Italy — 58.3million

6. Mexico — 39.3million

7. U.K. — 37.7million

8. Turkey — 37.6million

9. Germany — 37.5million

10. Thailand — 35.4million

Source: The United Nations World Tourism Organisation 

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