When we think about the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Paris immediately springs to mind. The famous cuisine, iconic buildings, and rich history have made France a tourism giant for years, but that may be about to change. Unfortunately for France, a new country is about steal its thunder. According to data from the World Tourism Organization, China will be the world’s most popular destination by 2030.
Last year, France topped the list with 86.9 million travelers, followed by Spain, the US, and China. According to the report, China already leads in outbound travel, but now seems poised to overtake France when it comes to inbound tourism as well. A Euromonitor report explains China’s upward trend in tourism by attributing it to “rapidly growing economies, and an expanding middle class seeking to spend its increasing disposable income on travel.” It also states that “the gradual process of loosening visa restrictions has made traveling in the region easier.”
China’s rising position in the rankings is also largely due to intra-regional travel, with around 80 percent of China’s tourism coming from other Asian countries. Travel to the country will also be boosted by upcoming major sporting events in the region, like the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.