The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive decline in international tourism. Main destinations such as France, Spain, the United States, China and Italy have not reached the numbers of 2019 yet, when the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced 1.46 billion tourist arrivals worldwide. However, for less-visited destinations such as East Timor, or Caribbean paradises such as Montserrat and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the crisis could be an opportunity to start gaining visibility.
In terms of travel, the top 10 countries received 40% of the world’s total arrivals. France, Spain, and the United States lead the ranking, followed by China, Italy, Turkey, and Mexico. Thailand, Germany, and the United Kingdom complete the top 10 most visited destinations.
However, there is also a ranking for countries that barely had visitors. These destinations across the world have been affected by different factors, such as a history of violence and poverty, or not being big enough to earn international recognition. These are the top 10 least visited destinations in 2019 brought to you by Tourism Review.
This small state in northern Italy, with an area of just over 61 sq-km and a population of 33,000, recorded 111,000 international arrivals (those who stayed overnight in an establishment). Visitors can explore the entire country in a day or even less.
In 2019, this microstate registered 98,000 international arrivals according to the UNWTO. It has an area of 160 sq-km between Austria and Switzerland, with a population of 39,000. The castle of Vaduz is a must-see, with great views over the city and the Rhine Valley. The Principality of Liechtenstein is divided into 11 municipalities, all surrounded by mountains.
This British Overseas Territory is a small island in the Caribbean, in the Lesser Antilles, covering 91 sq-km, in which approximately 16,000 people live. In 2019, Anguilla welcomed 95,000 tourists.
Visitors to the island usually cruise passengers or sailors in large and small boats. The island has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, and while Anguilla is not known for international tourism, we highly recommend visiting it.
The Republic of Palau is an archipelago of more than 500 small islands, which are part of the Federate States of Micronesia, located in the western Pacific. The island of Babeldaob is the largest one where Ngerulmud, the current capital, is.
Palau is a perfect destination for scuba diving enthusiasts. In 2019, the island country saw tourist arrivals dip below 95,000.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is another region of the British Commonwealth of Nations in the Caribbean. Located to the west of Barbados, this island country has a 369 sq-km territory. In 2019, it received 85,000 visitors, even though it is famous for being the filming location of Pirates of the Caribbean.
This island country located in Southeast Asia has a population of approximately 1.3 million. It is a former Portuguese colony that was later occupied by Indonesia, before declaring its independence in 2002. The country was ravaged by war, which left the population living in extreme poverty. In 2019, it only received 81,000 visitors.
For years, the instability and violence drove tourists away from this country between Senegal and Guinea on the Atlantic coast.
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau stands out for having white sand beaches, a tropical climate, and incredibly rich biodiversity, both on land and sea. In 2019, it welcomed 52,000 tourists.
This small country consisting of three major islands in southeastern Africa, near Madagascar, is also troubled with a mix of political instability and extreme poverty. Right next to the waters of the Indian Ocean, Comoros is the perfect place to spend the day on beautiful beaches and forget all about western culture. In 2019, the country only registered 45,000 visitors.
This country consists of over 990 islands, but most of the population concentrates on six major ones. It is a former British colony located east of Papua New Guinea and usually traveled to from Brisbane, Australia, or Fiji. The ships sunk during World War II are a spectacle for divers, even though in 2019 it only received 29,000 tourists.
This rarely visited paradise, located in the Caribbean, is looking to gain popularity as a destination for digital nomads. This British Overseas Territory located southeast of Puerto Rico reported 10,000 tourists in 2019.