There are all sorts of reasons why people choose the destinations that they do. For some it’s simply price, for other’s weather is their primary concern. Some choose destinations based on their proximity whilst other travellers choose places based on their ‘safeness’. It is therefore interesting to note the results of the latest biannual report from the World Economic Forum which rates countries around the world based on a wide ranging set of metrics that include many of the above criteria including additional ones such as infrastructure, cultural resources and hygiene — to mention but a few.
So, which countries made it into the world’s top ten and how many foreign visitors do each of them attract each year? You may be quite surprised by some of the results. in 10th place, is Canada, which attracts 17 million visitors per annum, many of which presumably originate from its neighbour next door — the USA. In ninth position, is Japan which gets eight million visitors a year which is actually more than Australia (7th position) which only attracts six million! In eight position is Italy with a whopping 46 million visitors. So who then gets sixth position? It’s Switzerland with a respectable nine million tourists, whilst the UK enjoys fifth position with a very healthy 29 million! The USA comes in 4th with 67 million whilst Germany — surprisingly — makes it into 3rd position with 30 million visitors, just slightly ahead of the UK. The world’s most visited country — France — attains 2nd place with a humongous 83 million visitors a year and the top spot goes (deservedly in my humble opinion) to Spain which gets 58 million overseas visitors per annum. Remember, the ranking isn’t based on visitor numbers but rather on a comprehensive range of criteria that cover all the relevant metrics.
So, if you are a bit of a traditionalist who wants to break out of your comfort zone, then Germany looks like being a very good bet if you want to experience something a bit different this years but without venturing too much away from home. On the other hand, if you don’t mind long haul travel and can afford the budget, then Japan should really be on your ‘To Do’ list — if not this year, then sometime in the not-too-distant future. Newcomer to the Irish market, Wendy Wu Tours, feature some attractive itineraries to the land of the rising sun and prices are competitive.
Perhaps 2015 is the year to start moving out of your self imposed comfort zone!