And the world’s most visited country is?

A recent report by the World Tourism Organization threw up a surprise result with France being named as the most popular country on the planet. Nearly 80 million people from all over the world visited the country in 2011, 17 million more than those who visited nearest rival USA, and over double of the sixth-placed country, Turkey. The UK was seventh in the list with 29.2 million visitors, beating Germany and Malaysia into eighth and ninth positions respectively. The UAE, Australia, New Zealand and Japan all failed to make the top 20.

data_popularcountries, graphic via infogr.am

With UK holiday makers looking to continually get the best deals, an interesting comparison can be made with the report’s key destinations and how much of a good deal they can get. By comparing the cheapest flights for a week in May, one can get great deals to many of Europe’s key destinations at attractive prices. After looking at flight comparison site Skyscanner, flights to Barcelona, Krakow and Berlin deliver a base return fare of under £65 from London. Offers further afield in May are few and far between but still affordable, with Singapore, Bangkok and New York all coming in under £560 return. An interesting comparison can be made when taking into account a hotel stay in one of the top destinations. For a central 4* hotel in Beijing, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and Cancun (based on a Saturday night during the corresponding cheapest week to fly in May via booking.com) all coming in under £30 per room, there are great savings to be made. However, travellers to Toronto, New York and Amsterdam will have to fork out over £100 for the cheapest Saturday night hotel.

data_flightsvsatnight, graphic via infogr.am

 Graphics courtesy of infogr.am/.

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