World tourism 世界旅遊業

更新時間 2013年 11月 18日, 星期一 - 格林尼治標準時間14:50
The Eiffel Tower in Paris

Paris, the world's third most visited city

Vocabulary:Travel 詞匯: 旅遊

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Perhaps you'd like to sample fine cuisine in France, experience the ancient splendour of the Egyptian pyramids, or breathe the pristine air of the Himalayan mountain range?

Well, if you said France, you're not alone. According to a study by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the country had more foreign visitors than any other in 2012.

A total of 83 million people visited France last year, even more than the country's population of 66 million. The country's diverse appeal - from the lure of glitzy Alpine ski resorts to the attraction of Mediterranean beaches, ensure that France keeps a firm grip on the top spot.

Some way behind was the US, in second place, which received 67 million visitors, while 57 million chose to make the trip to China, which was third.

But while France was overwhelmingly the world's favourite holiday destination, it seems that the French have a problem convincing visitors to part with their cash.

When looking at the amount spent by travellers per head, France came a lowly 16th, with people spending around $650 each on their visit. This was a long way behind the likes of Hong Kong ($1349 per head) and the US ($1884 per head).

And while Paris is known as the 'city of love', only 16.8% of visitors to France stopped by the capital, according to the UN study.

The most visited capital city in the world was in fact Bangkok, according to figures from Mastercard. Bangkok overtook London in 2012 and has seen its visitor numbers rise rapidly, thanks to the influx of Chinese tourists.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand thinks the rise is due to the success of the Chinese comedy film Lost in Thailand. It became China's highest-grossing film in 2012 and tells the tale of a businessman who travels to Thailand and ends up having a series of bizarre adventures.

If one film can have such an effect, might we see more 'Lost in…' movies in the future? Who knew getting lost could be so lucrative? Maybe it's time for tourist boards around the world to start making movies.

Quiz 測驗

1. Which word described the clean air of the Himalayas?


2. True or false? France has a wide range of options for tourists.

True. It has a diverse range of places including with ski resorts and beaches.

3. True or false? Tourists spent more money in Hong Kong than Paris.


4. Which city was the most visited in 2011?


5.Which movie made the most money in China in 2012?

Lost in Thailand.

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