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The World's Most Touristy City Is Not Where You Think

Few things unite locals in any city like a deep hatred of tourists. It's a pure, unadulterated sort of spite that seems to span cultural and political divides. This is all well and good, until you, yourself travel abroad -- in which case this sort of animosity should, of course, be withheld. 

You might expect the largest tourist economies to stream from cities like Paris or New York, where culture abounds and nightlife never ends, but this is not the case. According to a World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) report released earlier this week, the world's most touristy city is, apparently, Cancún, Mexico. Spring break, ya'll. 

Before you take to Twitter to deny the plausibility of this information, consider the metric at play, here. The WTTC has ranked each global city by what percentage of their Gross Domestic Product (the total value of goods and services produced locally) is accounted for by tourism. Bangkok, Thailand may be one of the world's most visited cities, but its tourism market doesn't compare to that of Cancún, where you may or may not have spent a week of college subsisting exclusively on body shots. 

Per the report, tourism accounts for almost half of the entire city's GDP, so your spring break trip was actually an act of urban philanthropy. 

Following Cancún, the WTTC claims that 30.2%  of Marrakech, Morocco's GDP is from tourism, while Macau, China (29.3%), Orlando, Florida (18.7%), and Antalya, Turkey (17.6%) round out the top five. These aren't the cities that come to mind when you think peak tourism, but they are the cities staying afloat as a direct result of travelers. 

Beyond ranking touristy destinations, the report also details the fact that cities now represent 45% of global travel. Apparently, urban spaces on the rise in the travel market tend to possess some of the world's fastest growing economies, which is a good thing for Spring Breakers 'round the globe.  

Cheers to you, Cancún, may you never grow up. 

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Eliza Dumais is a news writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter for proof.