Many travelers like to plan their vacations based on which cities and countries are moving up in terms of annual international visitors.
Well, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (h/t Ben Groundwater of Stuff.co.nz) just made things a lot easier for travelers that like to go the trendy vacation spots.
The UNWTO published their International Tourism Highlights report for 2019. Per Groundwater, it points out the nations that saw a jump in tourism - as well as the ones that saw a decline.
Ecuador saw the best increase of 51 percent with 2.42 million visitors - compared to 1.6 million visitors from a year ago. Groundwater points out that the historic Galapogos Islands - which were studied by Evolution scientist Charles Darwin - were instrumental in attracting visitors. The beautiful location brought in a reported 276,000 tourists in 2018.
Other countries that saw major include Iran (by 49.9 percent), Egypt (36.6 percent) and Uganda (31.9 percent). The nation of Georgia - with an estimated population of 4 million people - brought in close to five million.
Surprisingly, the United Kingdom fell by 3.5 percent. This is despite the Greater London area bringing in 19.09 million for the year 2018, according to GlobalData. Only Bangkok, Thailand brought in more international visitors at 22.43 million. What a difference a year can make.
It's also worth noting that 12.41 million visitors came to Seoul in 2018. Well, South Korea reportedly saw its tourism numbers increase by 15.1 percent.
France was the most visited country for the year 2018 with a reported 89.4 million, followed by Spain at close to 82 million and the United States at 79.6 million. The United Kingdom was seventh with 37.7 million for 2018, but that number is apparently going to be coming down.
Obviously, these are among the bigger, historic and more populated nations on the planet - so it's no wonder they're at the top for world tourism. But travelers looking for new adventures can now look at the data published by the UNWTO. So start planning those trips to Ecuador.