Essay

Discover the 4 Most Visited Countries in Asia

Asia is comprised of multiple nations. When it comes to tourism, a few stand out, though. The average number of visitors to each of the top four Asian countries is millions; the lowest number is around 30 million, while the greatest number is more than double that.

Continue reading to find out more about the most visited nations in Asia, their annual visitor counts, and the reasons behind their appeal.

Which nations fall within the Asian category?

Generally speaking, nations are categorised by continents. But it’s not always clear when it comes to islands and remote regions. Unless you are aware of the locations of the tectonic plates that divide continents, looking at a map is not very helpful.

Asia consists of 48 countries in all. People usually divide them into regions like Southern Asia, Eastern Asia, South-Eastern Asia, Western Asia, and Central Asia because there are so many of them.

Southern Asia

There are a total of nine Asian countries that are considered a part of Southern Asia.

The nine countries are:

  1. India
  2. Pakistan
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Iran
  5. Afghanistan
  6. Nepal
  7. Sri Lanka
  8. Bhutan
  9. Maldives

Eastern Asia

Eastern Asia contains some of the more arguably developed and well-known Asian countries.

There are five countries classed under Eastern Asia:

  1. China
  2. Japan
  3. South Korea
  4. North Korea
  5. Mongolia

South-Eastern Asia

South-Eastern Asian countries are fairly well known, though arguably not as developed.

There are 11 of these countries:

  1. Indonesia
  2. Phillippines
  3. Vietnam
  4. Thailand
  5. Myanmar
  6. Malaysia
  7. Cambodia
  8. Laos
  9. Singapore
  10. Timor-Leste
  11. Brunei

Western Asia

Western Asia is made up of the most countries, compared to the other sections of Asia.

There are a total of 18 Western Asian Countries:

  1. Turkey
  2. Iraq
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4. Yemen
  5. Syria
  6. Jordan
  7. Azerbaijan
  8. United Arab Emirates
  9. Israel
  10. State of Palestine
  11. Lebanon
  12. Oman
  13. Kuwait
  14. Georgia
  15. Armenia
  16. Qatar
  17. Bahrain
  18. Cyprus

Central Asia

Central Asia is a little more unknown. Part of this may be the similarity in the names, especially the ending of the names of the countries.

There are five Central Asian countries:

  1. Uzbekistan
  2. Kazakhstan
  3. Tajikistan
  4. Kyrgyzstan
  5. Turkmenistan

The 4 Most Visited Countries in Asia

Now that you know all of the countries in Asia, take a look at which ones are visited the most every year.

1. Japan

The Japanese islands rank as the fourth most visited country in Asia. It was receiving somewhat more than 30 million visits annually on average, and the amount was rising. They were sadly stopped in their tracks in 2019, and they haven’t been able to attain 30 million visitors since.

Japan’s post-COVID stats show that it is not doing too badly. Just after opening for business in 2023, Japan welcomed 25 million tourists. This is a little better than anticipated—roughly 79 percent of pre-COVID tourism.

The Japanese government was not overly perturbed by this, as evidenced by the fact that, despite a decline in tourism compared to pre-COVID levels, visitor revenue had increased by 10%. In 2025, Japan hopes to surpass its 2019 tourism record.

2. Thailand

With respect to tourism, Thailand comes in third, with an average small advantage over Japan. Thailand welcomed 38.2 million tourists in 2018. There were 39.8 million in 2019.

Regretfully, COVID severely affected Thailand. The results of the country’s 2023 complete reopening were not what was anticipated. There were just 24.5 million tourists, as opposed to 35 million or more.

Despite the startling disparity in numbers, this is around what the nation anticipated.They were really near to the 25–30 million mark that they had aimed for.

Within the next five years, the government predicts that they will return to pre-COVID levels. More crucially, by the end of 2024, they hope to have tourism earnings equal to pre-COVID levels.

3. Turkey

Turkey is a topic of intense discussion. Even though it borders both continents, it is typically seen as an Asian nation. Most people perceive the country to be Asian because a substantial portion of it is in Asia.

Nevertheless, you’ll frequently see that Turkey appears on lists related to tourism in Europe if you look at other lists.

Turkey is included in Asia in this article for consistency and ease of use. If you disagree, though, feel free to move straight to the top of the list and act as though Turkey never existed.

Turkey receives over 50 million tourists a year on average. The figures fell to between 17 and 30 million during COVID-19. The numbers immediately returned to the 50 million milestone in 2022 and beyond. Turkey certainly deserves a spot on this list and is clearly doing well now.

Russia, which is seen on many maps of Asia, is another nation that is geographically located in both Europe and Asia. Unlike Turkey, meanwhile, it is more frequently regarded as European than Asian.

4. China

China has been the country with the most tourists for a long time, ranking right up there with the US, Spain, and France. More than 62.9 million foreign visitors visited it in 2018. It reached a high of 65.7 million in 2019.

Regretfully, there was a sharp decline in foreign tourists to China after COVID. The number was only 35.5 million by 2023.

Despite the fact that the decline was rather sharp, China should benefit from it. Even while it’s just around half of what it was before COVID, it’s still seven times more than what travellers will be in 2022.

Whether China can recover and maintain its position as the tourist leader in comparison to other Asian nations is still to be seen. On the basis of the growth in just a single year, though, things appear promising.

Highlights of the Most Visited Countries in Asia

Country Number of People Per Year
Japan About 30-35 million
Thailand About 35-40 million
Turkey About 50 million
China About 60-70 million