The UK has trumped the good old US of A in a ranking of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, with events such as the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games swinging the vote in Blighty’s favour.

A study by the World Economic Forum (WEF) placed the UK in fifth place in its 2013 ranking of top 10 countries for travel and tourism competitiveness, up from its 7th place position in 2011.

This position also put it ahead of the USA, which took 6th place, but meant that the UK is still lagging behind other countries on the continent including Switzerland (1st), Germany (2nd), Austria (3rd) and Spain (4th).



The report examines 140 countries in terms of how their tourist sector is developing and precisely how much the tourism sector contributes to the country’s economy.

Although the UK was praised for its “excellent cultural resources”, including its numerous international fairs, World Heritage Sites and the strength of its creative industries, it only managed to come in at 138th place for price competitiveness.

The UK’s poor ranking in this area was largely attributed to the country having the second highest tax rate on tickets and airport charges. Despite this fact, recent tourism figures show that tourists are still flocking to the UK.



In the three months from December to February, visitor numbers increased by 8 per cent compared to the same period the previous year.

The 6.6 million visitors to the UK are also spending more, with this amount increasing by 12 per cent year-on-year to reach £3.77bn.

In February alone, 2 million Europeans visited Britain, up 13.3 per cent year-on-year. The number of visitors from North America came in at 301,000 during this month, representing a rise of six per cent on the year.

The number of visitors from other countries reached 415,000, an increase of almost 5 per cent year-on-year.


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Alex FrancisBlogger and travel writer, I like my holidays either really cold or really hot. If I'm not flying down an icy mountain or relaxing on a scorching-hot beach, I'm not interested!

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