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8 of the Least Visited Countries in the World

It seems that tourism is on an ever-upward trend. An incredible 1.3 billion tourists went on holiday in 2017 and brought a huge amount of revenue with them. However, not everyone can be a winner. Here are eight of the world’s least-visited countries.

Islands in the Sun

Tuvalu
Population 11,000, Visitors 2,000

Lake Louise, Tuvalu
Lake Louise in Tuvalu

‘One of the smallest and remote nations in the world’ is how Timeless Tuvalu describes this Pacific Ocean paradise.

Escape from all your cares and worries seems to be the message here, particularly if you scuba dive.

As a base for US troops during World War II, Tuvalu has war relics on land and underwater. Well worth exploring for enthusiasts and amateurs alike.

Marshall Islands
Population 53,000, Visitors 6,000

Kwajalein Atoll in Marshall Islands
Kwajalein Atoll in Marshall Islands

The Pearl of the Pacific is located midway between Australia and Hawaii, with only two flights a day into the capital Majuro.

Despite their remoteness, the Marshall Islands saw action in both World Wars. Besides the battlefield tours, visitors enjoy diving, fishing, sailing, surfing and just chillin’.

Montserrat
Population 5,000, Visitors 8,000

Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain
Santa Maria de Montserrat Benedictine abbey on the mountain of Montserrat, in Catalonia, Spain

This Caribbean island was once a dream haven for residents and visitors. The famous AIR Studios laid down tracks for Lou Reed, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, The Police, among others.

A devastating volcanic eruption in 1995 still rumbles on. Most of the island’s population left and the capital, Plymouth, became a ghost town half buried in volcanic ash. The northern tip of the island was unaffected by the volcano and continues to promote Montserrat as a tourist destination, one accessible only by ferry.

Comoros Islands
Population 800,000, Visitors 28,000

comoros island
The city of Domoni on the east coast of Anjouan Island in Comoros

Northwest of Madagascar, the Francophone Comoros Islands miss out on the high-level tourist appeal of Indian Ocean neighbours Mauritius and Réunion.

Comorian and Arabic are the other two official languages, hinting at Comoros’ history as a crossroads of many civilisations. Diving, trekking, ecotourism and lazing on its beautiful beaches are the main tourist attractions.

Timor-Leste
Population 1.27 Million, Visitors 74,000

Dili, East Timor
Dili, East Timor

In our own backyard, Timor-Leste is one of those states recovering from the image of a strife-torn past. This former Portuguese colony fought and won its independence from Indonesia.

East Timor, its English name, promotes itself under the tagline ‘Explore the Undiscovered.’ The list of attractions range from bird, whale and dolphin watching, mountain biking and hiking, to heritage and cultural experiences, as well as the ever-popular diving, sailing and chillin’ on the beach.

Micro Countries

San Marino
Population 33,000, Visitors 78,000

san marino
Guaita fortress on top of Monte Titano in San Marino, and the surrounding hills

Tiny San Marino packs a punch with its own UNESCO World Heritage Site. Landlocked within Italy, this little republic of 61 square kilometres has the accolade of being the world’s oldest country, dating back to 300 B.C.

While it may be too small to attract many visitors, San Marino’s postage stamps are high on the list for collectors around the world. Somewhat appropriate for a ‘postage-stamp’ country.

Liechtenstein
Population 37,600, Visitors 79,000

Vaduz Liechtenstein
Vaduz, capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein celebrates its 300th birthday in 2019, perfect timing if you are planning a European visit. It is the only country named after a family.

Sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein has developed from agrarianism into a heavily industrialised country boasting no national debt. However, it is one of only five countries that do not have an airport. Visit castles, museums or enjoy the mountains in this 162-square-kilometre microstate.

Now, it’s time for a holiday.

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