With the most recent data from the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) on hand, we can elaborate a list of the most visited countries of the year… and also a list of the least visited countries. Think twice about overlooking these forgotten gems before making your travel plans!
Keep in mind that this is not necessarily because they are ugly or unattractive. It’s also important to mention that the WTO does not have data from many countries such as North Korea. So with the information on hand, we can prepare a list of the ten least visited countries in the world that you may reconsider overlooking. We will consider only those countries that are independent and sovereign, because the WTO also provides overseas territories and small islands belonging to the United Kingdom or France for example, and those we won’t contemplate.
1. Vanuatu: This small South Pacific island state only receives 110.000 visitors a year, possibly because it is far from major population centres. Australia for example, is almost 1.800 kilometres away, but certainly a worthwhile journey for the island’s beaches, which like many others in the area, are heavenly.
2. Saint Kitts and Nevis: Another small island state with little income from tourism. This federation of several islands only receives 107.000 visitors a year. And in this case we can not attribute it to the remoteness because it is in the Caribbean, more exactly in the West Indies.
3. Palau: This archipelago close to Philippines is one of the world least populous (20.000 inhabitants) and it was a Spanish colony until the late nineteenth century. The country receives only 105.000 tourists annually.
4. Moldavia: The former URSS republic is the second European country that receives the least tourism, only 96.000 visitors a year. In case you don’t know where it is, it is close to Romania (with which it shares many cultural ties) and has no outlet to the sea, you can subtract at once this tourist potential.
5. Sierra Leone: It is the African country (for which data are available) with less tourist pull: 81.000 visitors annually. There can be many causes for this number, like political instability or insecurity, that causes people to overlook this as a holiday destination.
6. Dominica: It is a small Caribbean island (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) that despite its unique and privileged position doesn’t share the tourist attractions with its Caribbean neighbours, or at least as far as numbers are concerned: only 78.000 tourists land on the island each year.
7. East Timor: It is an archipelago located in Southeast Asia, very close to Indonesia. In fact this country occupied Timor for years until its independence in 2002. With 40 percent of the population living below the poverty line and more than half illiterate, tourism is not its forte, with only 78.000 visitors year.8. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: It is a small archipelago of the West Indies, north of Venezuela, and although it is an independent country, the head of state is Elizabeth II of England. It has just 100.000 inhabitants and receives 72.000 tourists a year.
9. Liechtenstein: The small principality with its capital Vaduz is the European country that receives fewer visits per year: 60.000 only. All, despite being a haven of peace, quality of life and nature in the Central Europe.
10. Kiribati: And now the least visited country in the world is the tiny archipelago of Kiribati in the South Pacific, which has been recognized by the WTO as the country that receives the least tourists per year at only 6.000. It will not be for the lack of attractions but for its distance away from every other place on the planet.