Europe is the cradle of international tourism. It was born in the early nineteenth century, as a custom of wealthy young people of Britain to take a trip to the mainland before they got married. Later, it became a desire and even a necessity for all people who wanted to discover the world, to recreate and rest. Europe is the most visited continent, here being recorded three quarters of the total number of international tourists worldwide.
Europe comprise the countries with the most tourist arrivals and the highest revenue from tourism, such as France, Spain and Italy, which receive annually between 50 and 60 million tourists.
Other countries with high-developed tourism are: the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Netherlands and Belgium. In very small states like Andorra, San Marino and Monaco the tourism represents their main source of income.
In Europe, we notice several types of tourism: spa, cultural - history, mountain tourism, winter sports. The spa-tourism is linked to the European beaches and is highly developed on the Mediterranean shores. The main resorts are: Palma de Mallorca and Valens (in Spain), Nice and Cannes (France), San Remo (Italy). Other resorts can be found on the Black Sea shores, the shores of the North Sea (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Irish Sea) and the Atlantic coast, where the best known are: Estoril (Portugal), San Sebastian (Spain), Biarrits (France). There also spas that valorize their mineral waters such as Vichy (France) and Karlovy Vary (in Czech).