Boy have we got some stats for you! The travel industry is one of the largest in the world, shifting millions of people around the world every single day. To give some idea of the big and the small, the fast and the slow, the longest and the shortest of the travel game, we've compiled an astonishing list of records and figures, stats and factoids from across the globe to dazzle and amaze:
Most visited countries
Starting with the most popular countries and cities to visit, the favoured nation for tourists across the world is the elegance and class of France, with over 82 million travellers landing on its shores yearly. This is followed by the USA with an equally impressive 77.5 million, and Spain, with and astonishing 75.6 million according to the Daily Telegraph.
If you're looking to get off the beaten track, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation has you covered with a list of the least visited nations on earth. It's worth noting, that many of these countries are exceptionally small, a fact which gives some background as to why they are visited less. The least visited nation on earth is the rather wonderful Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean between Fiji and Hawaii. Attracting only one thousand visitors in 2017, this archipelago nation in only 9 miles long.
Most visited cities
On a city scale, the most visited city in 2017 as reported by the World Economic Forum was Hong Kong with 26.6 million visitors. Runners up include Bangkok with 21.2 million and our very own London with 19.2 million! Sadly, there are no readily available figures for the least visited cities in the world, but I'm inclined, (and with no disrespect) to say that Tuvalu's capital of Funafuti with a population of 6,025 people is up there on that list.
Most visited landmarks
A handy guide from LoveHomeSwap.com tells us the most visited tourist attraction in the world is the shiny Las Vegas strip which brings approximately 39 million visitors every single year to its casinos, bars and hotels. Almost all of the top ten most visited locations in the world are all in the United States of American apart from number ten which is Beijing's ever-impressive Forbidden City in China which takes 15 million visitors annually. The most visited European landmark, by contrast, is the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France which draws in 13.65 million tourists.
Largest and smallest hotels
The largest hotel in the world is the frankly ridiculous Izmailovo Hotel in Moscow with a staggering 7,500 rooms, made up of 4 towers each with 30 floors. Surprisingly perhaps, it's only 3-Stars and was built in 1980 for visiting Olympic athletes at the Olympic games that year. Second place goes to the equally crazy MGM Grand & Signature in Las Vegas, with 6,772 rooms, and third place goes to the fantastic and multi-coloured First World Hotel in Pahang Malaysia with a measly 6,118 rooms.
The smallest hotel by contrast is the tiny Eh'häusel Hotel in Amberg, Germany which is a miniature house built into a 2.5 metre gap between two buildings. It currently holds the world record for the smallest hotel.
It's no secret that trains are our thing, so here's a couple of rogue railway stats. The longest railway line is the famous Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostock according to Railwaytechnology.com. The Daily Telegraph tells us that the shortest railway line is that of the Vatican City's, made up of two 300-metre tracks and one station. The highest is the China to Tibet line at a dizzying 5072 metres above sea level while the lowest is Japan's Seikan Tunnel connecting two islands, and travelling at 240 metres below sea level. The fastest is Japan's maglev train running between Shanghai and its airport, travelling at a spectacular 270mph.
The largest railway station in the world by platform number is Grand Central according to the Guinness World Records, which has 44 platforms on two levels. Despite that, the busiest is in fact the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo which sees a mind-blowing 3.5 million people passing through it every single day on 36 platforms. It's practically impossible for us to track down the smallest railway station, simply because it could well just be a sign or an unofficial stop anywhere in the world.
Largest and smallest airports
The biggest and busiest airport in the world according towanderwisdom.com is the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport of Atlanta in the USA, which saw around 101 million people pass through its gates in 2015.
The smallest airport is the Juancho E Yrausquin Airport on the Dutch island of Saba in the Caribbean. It has the shortest runway available to commercial flights, measuring less than an aircraft carrier.
Largest sea ports and ships
The world's largest commercial sea port from shiptechnology.com can be found in China, in the megalopolis of Shanghai. This port was responsible for the transportation of a staggering 744 million tonnes of cargo in 2012 to destinations around the world.
The largest cruise ship sailing the seas today is the jaw-dropping Symphony of the Seas operated by Royal Caribbean, which embarked on its first cruise in 2018. This behemoth of a ship is a terrifying 362 metres long and has 2,759 rooms for 6,680 passengers and includes a basketball court, ice-skating rink and a central park of nearly 20,000 plants. The smallest sea-cruise ship is the Skorpios III, with capacity for around 90 passengers.
If you know any fancy stat which we've left out, drop a comment below!