Which country is officially the world's favourite holiday destination?

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Which country is the world's favourite holiday destination?

Drum roll, please. The country that is officially the world's favourite tourist destination has been revealed - with France receiving more visitors in 2012 than any other country.

The study by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation revealed that 83 million people holidayed in France last year, which is more than its population of 66 million, reports the BBC.

It received 16 million more visitors than the US in second place, with China, Spain and Italy making up the top five.

And it's not hard to see why France came out on top. Apart from its delicious cheese and wine, sun-soaked Mediterranean beach resorts and stunning skiing spots, France has 37 sites inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List and features cities of high cultural interest (Paris being the foremost, but also Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lyon, and others), and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity, like the stunning lavender fields of Provence (pictured).

Small and picturesque French villages of quality heritage (such as Collonges-la-Rouge or Gordes) are promoted through the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France ("The Most Beautiful Villages of France").

The Remarkable Gardens label also offers a list of the over two hundred gardens classified by the French Ministry of Culture.

The country is also extremely famous for its celebrity honeypot area, the French Riviera.

A host of stars own holiday homes here (Carla Bruni and the Jolie-Pitts included), while celebs flock to Cannes every year for its glittering film festival.

Meanwhile, the most visited city destination of 2012 was Bangkok, with London in second position. Paris, Singapore and New York finished the top five most-visited city destinations.

Special places to stay in rural France

Special places to stay in rural France


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