According to Statista, international tourist arrivals to Europe increased significantly in 2022 compared to the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, but remained below pre-pandemic levels.
In 2022, France holds first place as the most visited country in Europe, with approximately 79.4 million international tourist arrivals, while maintaining its global lead in visitor numbers international travel.
France is expected to see a significant annual increase in international arrivals, at a rate of 12.1% from 2022 to 2025, according to GlobalData. Forecasts show that France is on track to attract about 93.7 million international visitors per year by 2025, cementing its position as the world’s leading tourist destination.
Spain follows France closely, with 71.66 million international tourists, followed by Turkey with 50.45 million and Italy, with 49.81 million international tourists in 2022.
France and Spain remain top tourist destinations and lead the Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI), which measures the factors that contribute to long-term success and adaptability of the global travel and tourism industry.
In 2022, Spain maintains the same first position as in 2021 with a TTDI score of 5.2, followed closely by France and Germany.
Free’s analyst further explains that France and Spain are expected to maintain their popularity in the coming years, thanks to a combination of events, festivals and culinary experiences will continue to attract tourists.
Breaking down the number of visitors to Europe by sub-region, Southern European and Mediterranean countries top the list with 265.1 million visitors, followed by Western Europe with 168.9 million, from Central and Eastern Europe with 90.8 million and from Northern Europe with 70 million.
In fifth place, the UK welcomed 30.74 million tourists in 2022, up significantly from 6.3 million in 2021, but still below the pre-pandemic level of 39.4 million.
In fifth place, the UK saw a notable increase in tourist arrivals in 2022, with 30.74 million visitors. This represents a significant improvement to the 6.3 million visitors in 2021, although still lower than the pre-pandemic level of 39.4 million.
Followed closely by Germany with 28.46 million, Greece with 27.84 million, Austria with 26.21 million, Portugal with 22.25 million and the Netherlands round out the top 10 with 16.07 million.
Before and after the health crisis, Europe remained the world’s leading destination for international tourist arrivals, welcoming some 595 million visitors in 2022.