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France is the world’s most visited country

France received over 16 million more visitors than its closest rival to the title, the U.S, in 2012, boding well for the 2013 rankings.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation is the dedicated UN agency responsible for promoting sustainable tourism and making the industry globally accessible. Its membership is made up of 156 countries and its annual report detailing world tourism figures is widely accepted as the most established measure of a country’s popularity with foreign visitors.

Big jump in global tourism levels

France has welcomed over 80 million visitors each year for the past three years, retaining its place at the top of the prestigious most-visited table that it secured in 2010 after recording 83 million visitors in 2012 and 81.6 million in 2011.

The results of the 2013 study are yet to be officially announced but, with 2012 seeing the country welcome 83 million people into its cities and countryside, as well as Paris often topping surveys as the most visited European capital - and taking into account the many journeys made down the river Seine on French river cruises - it is likely that France will be named as a record breaker once more.

While the official figures for 2013 are yet to be released, it is thought that Spain has finally knocked China out of the top three in the list, with the European country welcoming a record number of visitors from overseas over the last 12 months.

The UNWTO has also reported a rise in overall international tourism by approximately 52 million trips. This strong five percent jump in total holidays taken suggests that even more jetsetters will be looking to book cruises and tours in 2014.

To book your cruise in what is officially the world’s most popular travel destination, take a look at Scenic Tours’ 2014 French river cruise offerings today.

Image Credit: Guillaume Speurt (