Top Tourist Destinations

The goal of this project was not to create a visualisation that makes any statements about the data but rather an application that allows you to explore it, discover questions to ask of it and ultimately provide insight about how to further develop and visualise it.


We created an interactive map that allows the user to examine the region of origin of tourists in the world’s 10 most visited countries for 2005. The data comes from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Design Process
Very early on in the process we started using Flash to explore our data set and possible ways to interact with it. Because we were new to ActionScript and had limited time, we designed a layout in Photoshop and did our best to develop it with Flash.

What did you learn by seeing the data in a visual way?

  • It was most interesting to compare countries from the same region. For example, France and Germany – France had more visitors than Germany from every region except for the Americas
  • Of the ten countries chosen, UK has the most even distribution of visitors
  • Even though Russia borders the Asian regions, it has significantly less visitors from those regions than most European countries
  • Our visualisation looks at the total number of visitors, breaks them up by region of origin and compares the numbers. Perhaps it would have been better to compare the percentages that make up the total amount of visitors
  • Finding statistical data from the UN about the total population of a given region was not possible. However, we could have done this for individual countries and compared the 10 most visited countries based on amount of visitors per resident
  • Unfortunately the tourism data only told region of origin and NOT country of origin
  • Initially we wanted to compare the flow of tourists to other data, such as the flow of imports, refugees, immigrants, etc… However, this was the only UN data that made use of these “region” categories which made it difficult to compare it to anything else
  • Additionally, it would have been nice to visualise how this data changes over a long period of time. However our data set only covered 2000-2005.