Paris named world's most popular tourist destination once again
World's most popular destinations have been named after a record one billion people are set to travel across an international border as a tourist in 2012, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The top five destinations in the world are Paris, London, New York, Mediterranean resort Antalya, Turkey, and Singapore, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation said.
While the United States and France remain the two largest destinations for world travel, experts said that much of the explosive growth in tourism has been to countries such as Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and the Ivory Coast, which were off the world tourism map a decade ago.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, while evidence of leisure travel can be traced to ancient Babylon, it began to grow swiftly after World War Two.
Several factors are responsible for the boom in world travel, including prosperity that has lifted tens of millions of people in Asia from poverty into the middle class, whetting their desire to use their new wealth to travel, the report said.
According to the report, another factor is the perception that the world is a more peaceful place, even though many regional conflicts continue, David Cortright, director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame, said.