Which will be the most visited country in 2024?


If you thought Europe’s most popular destinations were crowded this year, you’d be right.

With tourism booming throughout 2023, Europe’s visitor numbers are finally catching up to pre-pandemic levels. Measured in terms of expenditure, inbound travel will cost 19% more than in 2019, according to the recently published WTM Global Travel Report in association with Tourism Economics.

But one country is seeing stunning growth in visitor numbers and is expected to overtake France as the second most visited country in Europe in 2024.

Although the total number of visits in Europe fell by 3% – from 440 million in 2019 to 428 million in 2023, Turkey saw a sharp jump in the number of visits.

The country registered a 73 percent increase in the number of visitors compared to 2019.

In this way, it overtakes the two largest markets in Europe – France and Spain, which recorded growth of 33% and 31%, respectively, compared to 2019.

Photo: iStock by Getty Images

Croatia, the region’s tenth largest market, is another standout, with 2023 expected to reach 51% growth from pre-pandemic levels.

What is behind the tourism boom in Turkey?

With the decline of the Turkish lira, holidays in Turkey have become more affordable for many tourists.

The coast of the country with crystal water and elite resorts has become a more budget alternative to the Italian Riviera or the Cote d’Azur in France.

Istanbul attracts visitors with its lively neighborhoods and impressive Ottoman architecture, while Ephesus on the west coast is an ancient wonder with colossal monuments, notes Euronews.

In the heart of Turkey, visitors can enjoy the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia, remarkable hotels and a hot air balloon adventure.

It is also one of the few European destinations where flights from Russia are not banned, with a total of 7 million Russians expected to visit Turkey in 2023, compared to around 5 million in 2022.

Which will be the most visited country in 2024?

The WTM report predicts that Turkey’s appeal will continue in 2024 and overtake France as the second most visited country in Europe.

The organization predicts continued growth for Spain, France and Turkey, with their value increasing by 74, 80 and 72% respectively.

Photo: iStock by Getty Images

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