Special Report

The Most Tourist-Friendly Countries in the World

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11. Italy

The Colosseum, Pompeii, Venice Canals, Lake Como, Amalfi Coast, good food and wine — the riches of Italy are endless. The country’s excellent travel and tourism standing is largely driven by its exceptional culture, according to the WEF. The world-class tourism infrastructure continues to attract international tourists. They attract so many tourists that some cities, like Venice, can barely handle the influx and are sick and tired of tourists.

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12. Luxembourg

Luxembourg, a small landlocked nation in Western Europe, has a population of just over 590,000 people. The country, which has several official languages, is known for its very high living standards and for having one of the best business environments in the world. Luxembourg ranks at the top of the 25 richest countries in the world. But people make more than just business trips to Luxembourg. They come to see the capital’s ancient fortifications, art museums, cliffs and cannon-loopholes, the Grand-Ducal Palace, and the many picturesque villages in the Moselle region.

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13. Iceland

Volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, the Northern Lights, geysers, whale-watching, and, of course, the Skaftafell Ice Cave are some of the country’s top attractions. With a population of about 340,000 people, Iceland welcomed 2.3 million visitors in 2018, a 5.5% increase from 2017.

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14. Bulgaria

Until recently, Bulgaria was known as a cheap tourist destination in Eastern Europe, attracting tourists from Russia and Scandinavian countries who love to spend their summer vacations on the beaches of the Black Sea. But the country has significantly improved its infrastructure — and image — since becoming a member of the European Union in 2007. Most recently, all the attention has been on Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city and the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe. It was voted by the EU the 2019 European Capital of Culture. More than 12 million international tourists visited the country of just 7.1 million people in 2018.

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15. Ireland

By 2017, after seven year of increased tourism, Ireland welcomed 10.6 million overseas visitors, the country’s best tourism year ever. The number of tourists is more than double the country’s population of just about 4.8 million. Almost half of the visitors were there for pleasure — a 7.0% increase from the previous year. Some of the most visited places include Aran islands, Blarney Castle, the Burren region, the Cliffs of Moher, and various attractions and pubs in Dublin, the capital city. Tourism is a major component of the Irish economy, and has contributed to Ireland’s rank as one of the richest countries in the world.

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