The Most Tourist-Friendly Countries in the World

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1. Austria

With more than 28 million international tourists a year, Austria has a booming tourism industry. Vienna, the capital, as well as Tyrol, a state in the Alps, are among the most popular destinations in Austria. Vienna is known for its history and elegance, while Tyrol is famous for its winter sports opportunities. Salzburg, which some Americans may associate with “The Sound of Music” film is also worth a trip. Visitors can go on a tour around all the movie’s filming locations in the area. It’s easy to understand why Austria is one of the most visited countries in the world.

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2. Spain

Barcelona, Ibiza, Madrid, Seville Cathedral, the Alhambra, Lionel Messi (who is actually from Argentina), and Valencia … the bucket list of things to see and activities to do in this Iberian Peninsula country can be very long. Spain welcomes over 75 million visitors a year. Some of them also come to see the La Rioja wine region. After all, no other country has more vineyards than Spain. Feel like you want to move there yet? Here is another incentive — Spain is among the countries where people live the longest.

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3. United States

More than 76 million international tourists visit the United States every year. While fewer people from Mexico and the Middle East visit, the decline is offset by many more people coming in from South Korea, Brazil, and Ireland, according to the National Travel & Tourism Office. A major share of tourists visiting the U.S. continue to come from Canada. The most popular destinations, according to TripAdvisor, are New York City, Maui and Oahu in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Orlando (which has many theme parks, including Disney), and San Diego. If tourists take a road trip, they might could also see the most beautiful roadside attractions in the country.

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4. Portugal

From historic cities and rich culture, the Harry Potter bookshop and, of course, good wine, everyone seems to be going to Portugal these days. And let’s not forget the Azores, the country’s autonomous region of nine islands in the mid-Atlantic. It is often referred to as Europe’s answer to Hawaii. Tourism has been growing in the country at a steady rate since 2011, contributing to the opening of hundreds of new hotels and thousands of renovated apartments for tourists. Portugal is now among the fastest-growing vacation spots around the world.

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5. Croatia

This small European nation has a lot to offer tourists — including several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a scenic Adriatic coast. The country’s role as a major “Game of Thrones” filming location has boosted the number of visitors to Croatia and its travel profile. Tourists can also get a lot of bang for their buck there. The country is in the European Union but not in the Eurozone and still uses the kuna as its national currency. A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs about $30. That’s better than what you’d pay in many U.S. states. To compare, take a look at the value of a dollar in every state.