What do you look for when traveling abroad? Not other tourists I hope! Personally, I prefer to run into as little tourists as possible. Sure the amenities will be better in destination cities and tours are readily available in all shapes and sizes, but those conveniences also come with a price. Lines, hiked prices, mediocre food, mass produced souvenirs, and brush-off interactions. There’s got to be a better way to filter out the rough gems and find at a glance which countries have the least fabricated tourist attractions. Starting with countries with the least number of tourists perhaps?
About the numbers
Thanks to World Bank’s open data (2012) on number of arrivals for international tourism, I compiled the numbers into a map. Unfortunately for the larger countries this map will blanket rural areas such as Alaska in the US or provinces in China.
Countries without official data are in gray. The yellow is where I would like to be, with minimal tourism. And the darker colors are places saved for another decade when I will appreciate all the conveniences and amenities.
The most popular countries are*:
- France, with 83,013,000 visitors
- United States, with 66,969,000 visitors
- China, with 57,725,000 visitors
- Spain, with 57,701,000 visitors
- Italy, with 46,360,000 visitors
The least visited countries are*:
- Marshall Islands, with 4,600 visitors
- Kiribati, with 4,900 visitors
- Moldova, with 11,000 visitors
- American Samoa, with 21,600 visitors
- Solomon Islands, with 24,000 visitors
*Lists based on official numbers and does not factor in countries without official data.