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Top 20 Most Visited Cities in the World – Conclusion

In our series, Top 20 Most Visited Cities of the World, we took a very exciting tour across the world. Besides bringing up a historic overview of each of these twenty cities we comprehensively covered the tourist attractions, activities, and things to do in each city. A look at the best time to visit these popular destinations is a handy guide to planning a great vacation and the Fast Facts section is likely to update you with the essentials to planning the perfect trip. The hotels and accommodation information was selected to suit every budget and the restaurants are the very best in each city.

This very exciting and insightful journey across the top 20 most visited cities of the world would be quite incomplete without a mention of an ancient city which has also been till 2010 a burgeoning tourist destination. The perfect blend of culture and science, art and education, technology and trade, home to one of the earliest civilizations of the world, located on the bank of a river that has captured the imaginations of men across time and geography – Cairo. The Egyptian capital city is indeed conspicuous due to its absence in our list.

When we at MapsofWorld.com started to enlist the top destinations we took into account the tourism figures of 2011. The year was an eventful one in many ways but politically it changed the destiny of many Arab nations. With the outbreak of the Arab Spring, Egypt flared up in its own revolution as the people united in their protest against former President Hosni Mubarak and against thirty long years of oppressive regime. Through January and early February waves of protestors thronged the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities such as Siwa, Alexandria, Mansoura, Luxor, Sinai, Suez, and Tanta. Tahrir Square in Cairo became the scene of many violent protests. With the departure of the former President, the seething country seemed to calm down only to face political uncertainty and incertitude over elections. The protests had cost Egypt over 845 lives. About 6,500 were injured and 12,000 were arrested. The loss to public property was incalculable. With the stability and security of Egypt severely compromised but the tourism industry of the country was perhaps the worst victim.

By late January 2011 reports of vandalism and looting in Cairo disheartened most avid travelers. The famed Cairo Egyptian Museum had been broken into, looted and the heads of some mummies had been ripped off. While Egyptologist and culture lovers the world over started to wonder if they would ever see the priceless displays intact, most of the countries issued travel advisories against travel to Egypt as well. The political scenario in Egypt is currently well on its way to recovery. Tourists are trickling in but travel warnings are still in place, issued by many countries for the safety of their citizens. We at MapsofWorld.com fervently hope that the treasured displays of the museums of Cairo, the sights and sounds of the local markets, the rich experience of visiting Giza, the mystique of Old Cairo, and the beauty of the city soon start to attract tourists by the hoards – bringing joy to both local enterprises and to the globetrotters.

Taking a look back at the popular tourist destinations of the world, it comes as little wonder that the list includes cities such as Paris, London, New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Singapore, and Hong Kong. With Asia opening up as a key attraction, travel to Asian destinations has become quite an attractive option. The growth of medical tourism to Asia and the increased interest in yoga, holistic healing, and eastern philosophy is also largely responsible for the boom.

The tourism industry as a whole has shown no signs of receding despite the global economic crisis. The US, however, remained the top earner in terms of international tourism for the year 2011, earning over $ 116.3 billion. Spain earned $59.9 billion; France came third having earned about $53.8 billion; China was the only country from Asia to make it to the top 5 international tourism earners with $48.5 billion, and Italy came next with $43 billion. When it comes to spending, however, Germany ($84.3 billion), the US ($79.1 billion), and China ($72.6 billion) turned out to be the biggest spenders of 2011.

As we speak of travel perhaps the foremost thought that comes up is that of maps. MapsofWorld is a keen follower of the travel industry and it is our endeavor to feature accurate maps of every continent, state, city, and region of the world. Our mapping applications for iPad and Android are very popular. Maps are the best companion for the avid traveler. But we do believe that more important than any map or guide is your quest for adventure, your desire to seek out the beauty of the world, its people, and their culture.
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