Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. It comprises two principal regions: the Oesling in the north as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland ("good country") in the south. With an area of 2,586 square kilometers (998 sq mi), it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. Luxembourg had a population of 524,853 in October 2012, ranking it the 8th least-populous country in Europe.
Tourism in Luxembourg is an important component of the national economy, representing about 8.3% of GDP in 2009 and employing some 25,000 people or 11.7% of the working population. Despite the 2008–2012 global recession, the Grand Duchy still welcomes over 900,000 visitors a year who spend an average of 2.5 nights in hotels, hostels or on camping sites. Business travel is flourishing representing 44% of overnight stays in the country and 60% in the capital, up 11% and 25% between 2009 and 2010. Published by the World Economic Forum in March 2011, the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report puts Luxembourg in 15th place worldwide, up from 23rd place in 2009.
Major destinations are historic Luxembourg City, the medieval castle of Vianden, Echternach with its abbey and the wine districts of the Moselle valley. The Mullerthal with its rocky cliffs in the east and the mountainous Oesling district in the Ardennes to the north are also favourites for outdoor enthusiasts.
Luxembourg has good road and rail and air connections with the rest of Europe, making it an increasingly popular destination for international meetings as well as for extended weekend stays. Over half the visitors to Luxembourg come from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany with substantial numbers from France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Camping is popular in Luxembourg, particularly with the Dutch, who camp for much longer than other nationalities, especially in the Ardennes and the Mullerthal.
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