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
‘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.
Population 53,000, Visitors 6,000
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’.
Population 5,000, Visitors 8,000
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.
Population 800,000, Visitors 28,000
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.
Population 1.27 Million, Visitors 74,000
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.
Population 33,000, Visitors 78,000
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.
Population 37,600, Visitors 79,000
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.