More than 1.3 billion people travelled to a foreign country in 2017, marking a 7% increase in international tourist arrivals from the previous year.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) released new figures recently, showing that 2017 saw an additional 84 million people take to the skies, seas or roads to visit an international destination compared to 2016.

International tourist spending also reached US$1.6tril (RM6.56tril) in 2017, making it the world’s third largest export sector, says the UNWTO.

The growth marks the highest increase since 2010 and was led by Europe and Africa which received increases in international tourist arrivals of 8% and 9% respectively.

The most visited countries in 2017 were France, followed by Spain and the United States.

When it comes to international tourism receipts, however, the US tops the leaderboard by a huge margin at US$210.7bil (RM863.87bil), followed by Spain at US$68bil (RM278.8bil) and France at US$60.7bil (RM248.87bil).

China continues to lead outbound travel, having spent US$258bil (RM1.06tril) on international tourism in 2017. – AFP Relaxnews

Top 10 destinations for international travel in 2017:

1. France
2. Spain
3. USA
4. China
5. Italy
6. Mexico
7. UK
8. Turkey
9. Germany
10. Thailand

Top spenders of 2017:

1. China
2. USA
3. Germany
4. UK
5. France
6. Australia
7. Canada
8. Russia
9. South Korea
10. Italy