Do you ever feel like you’re surrounded by tourists?

Well, maybe you are. At least, if you are visiting one of these European countries that actually host more travelers than natives each year.

Many European countries have experienced incredible growth in recent years and, in some cases, international travelers have more than doubled.

Using data from the World Bank*, we put together a list of some of the most popular European countries to visit.
Malta is the big winner, receiving about 3.4x the native population. Austria, Iceland, Croatia, and Ireland follow with an impressive number of tourists visiting these countries every year. Looking at the world map below, one thing stands out; people really seem to like traveling to Europe.


Now, you try.

Here is a map where you can see the tourist/native ratio for every country in the world. Just hover over any coutry and the number will pop up.

Tourists vs. localst

The Importance of Tourism

But what if we rank countries by how important tourism is to their economy? Malta and Croatia keep their spot in the top 5, but Albania, Bulgaria, and Luxembourg now replace Iceland, Ireland, and Austria. Tourism actually accounts for an impressive 17% of the total GDP of Croatia and Malta.

It’s not surprising that countries with weaker economies now rank higher. Check out the map below to see how important the tourist industry is for each country in the world. The numbers indicate the percentage of tourist spending as a percentage of total GDP.

Tourist Receipts vs. GDP

Europe: Tourist Receipts as percentage of GDP


Europe: Tourists vs. Population


*Most recently updated data used (2013) and some countries are missing due to missing data

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