France continued to be the leading destination in European tourism last year as a four per cent increase in visitor numbers helped to strengthen its position as the continent’s most popular destination.
According to figures from the European Travel Commission (ETC), Italy saw an increase of four per cent in visitor numbers, while Germany and Spain also welcomed more travellers.
Overall international arrivals and overnight stays in Europe increased by more than four per cent last year, which exceeded UN World Tourism Organisation forecasts.
The continent saw around 20 million additional arrivals, which represented nearly half of the total world increase in tourism.
While the likes of France and Spain welcomed more visitors than any other countries, the most substantial increases were recorded in emerging destinations such as Montenegro, Serbia and Iceland.
ETC executive director Rob Franklin said: "Governments of many emerging economies have earmarked tourism as a means of diversification and, as a result, are making huge investments in tourism infrastructure development and marketing to support the sector, as well as facilitating and stimulating private sector investment in tourism."