Not all countries in the world are stormed by hordes of tourists. According to data from Countryaah, there are countries that have as little as 30,000 visitors a year – or even less. Here are the countries that are at the bottom of the visitor list.
It is mainly a number of Australian island countries – plus a country on the African mainland – that attract the least number of tourists each year. If you want to be unique, this is perhaps where you should book your next trip – you will in any case be guaranteed to avoid being crowded with other tourists. But you must be prepared to travel for a while. Three of the countries are located in or outside Africa, the rest are islands and archipelagos in the Pacific Ocean – and all have 30,000 visitors or less per year.
By comparison, the world’s three MOST visited countries have the following numbers: France (89 million visitors a year), Spain (83 million visitors a year) and the United States (80 million visitors a year).
Here are the world’s ten least visited countries from Abbreviationfinder:
1. Tuvalu (2,000 visitors per year)
The small island nation of Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean is not only the world’s least visited country, it is also the fourth smallest country in the world and one of the lowest. At most, the islands rise just under five meters above sea level, and the country is therefore strongly threatened by climate change and rising sea levels. About one tenth of the country’s income is royalties from addresses that use the national Internet domain .tv. There are no ATMs on the island, and credit cards do not work either – cash is king.
2. Marshall Islands (6,000 visitors per year)
This North Pacific republic, named after the British explorer John Marshall, consists of a number of volcanic islands with white sandy beaches and swaying palm trees. Here is also an American shipwreck from World War II. The archipelago also has an even darker history: in the years 1946–1958, the United States conducted a series of nuclear tests on coral atolls here, with tragic consequences for many of the residents.
3. Kiribati (6,000 visitors per year)
Kiribati consists of three different archipelagos, spread over a large area in the Pacific Ocean, offering world-class fishing, diving and surfing. A curiosity is that the country is located on both sides of the equator and also borders the international date line in the east, which makes it the country in the world that first, every year, enters the new year. Most of Kiribati’s islands are uninhabited, while the capital South Tarawa has 50,000 residents and several remnants of fighting during World War II.
4. Niue (10,000 visitors per year)
This isolated island in the South Pacific is considered one of the world’s largest coral islands. It is known for its dive sites and caves and, with its approximately 1,600 residents, is the world’s second smallest country in terms of population (only the Vatican City is smaller). In 2018, the archipelago Internet Foundation in Sweden sued for approximately SEK 200 million for their control over the national and in Sweden very popular top-level domain .nu.
5. American Samoa (20,000 visitors per year)
The American Samoa Islands consist of five islands and two atolls in the Pacific Ocean, with pristine beaches, amazing wildlife, rainforests, volcanic craters and coral reefs. Whether this is a country or not can be debated: residents have US passports and US citizenship, but they are not US citizens. The capital Pago Pago has both an airport and a natural harbor.
6. Guinea-Bissau (22,000 visitors per year)
The only mainland nation on the list is in West Africa, with a coast facing the Atlantic. The country was a Portuguese colony until 1974 and is today one of the poorest countries in the world. Faded European-style houses remain from the colonial era. A popular destination is the Bijagos Islands off the coast, which offer many opportunities for ecotourism, fishing and scouting for hippos and turtles.
7. Solomon Islands (26,000 visitors per year)
The Solomon Islands are located in Melanesia, east of Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean, and consist of almost a thousand islands. Over 70 local languages are spoken here, and traditions and cultures can vary greatly from island to island. Visitors are attracted by the beautiful nature and a rich underwater life. On the island of Guadcanal, where the capital Honiara is located, there was a famous battle during World War II, and remains in the form of American and Japanese planes and wrecks remain for divers to explore.
8. Comoros (28,000 visitors per year)
The Comoros archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. Here you will find beautiful nature, beautiful beaches, remnants of a sultan’s palace from the 18th century and opportunities to climb the world’s largest active volcano (the last eruption was 2005) and go on a whale safari. However, political unrest and corruption have scared away many tourists – since independence in 1975, some twenty coups have taken place in the country.
9. São Tomé and Príncipe (29,000 visitors per year)
The two islands of São Tomé and Principe are located off the coast of Gabon and are Africa’s second smallest state to the surface. The country is sometimes called the Chocolate Islands, due to its many cocoa plantations, or simply STP. Otherwise, it is known for its colonial ruins, rainforests and volcanic rock formations. Last year, the travel guide named Lonely Planet São Tomé and Principe one of the top ten countries to visit in 2019, but so far it seems to have given a meager result.
10. Federated States of Micronesia (30,000 visitors per year)
This part of the Micronesia archipelago consists of 607 islands – most of them very small – divided into four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, which are scattered in the western Pacific Ocean north of Papua New Guinea. Over the years, the country has in turn been colonized by Spain, Germany and Japan and now has close ties to the United States. The tourists who come do so mainly to dive and snorkel among some of the world’s finest coral reefs.