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Tourist Arrivals 2022 (1000s)

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Least Visited Countries 2024

Travel, whether for business or pleasure, is an integral part of modern life and a major contributor to the economies of many countries. Some of the most popular countries to visit are France, Spain, and the United States. Bangkok, Thailand, is the most-visited city globally, with about 22 million visitors a year. Paris, France, is the second-most visited city globally, with over 17.4 international visitors annually.

Other destinations are less popular. Numerous possible reasons exist for why one country might be less popular than another. For example, many island countries in the Pacific are notably distant, which may make them quite expensive and/or time-consuming to reach. Other countries may be close, but also prohibitively expensive or lacking in appealing attractions. Some may have underdeveloped tourism industries, which can make visits logistically challenging. Some are simply too small to host vast numbers of tourists. Finally, some countries may be perceived (correctly or incorrectly) as dangerous or difficult to visit (such as North Korea), or may be genuinely dangerous due to political instability or outright war (such as Somalia).

The number of visitors a country receives is not necessarily indicative of a lesser experience. With the understandable exception of countries that are legitimately dangerous, seldom-visited countries are frequently considered just as beautiful, less crowded, more unspoiled, and oftentimes cheaper than more popular tourist destinations.

Top 10 Least-Visited Countries in the World (United Nations World Tourism Organization)**

**Note: Due to the global COVID-19 shutdown, 2020 tourism data is notably atypical. As such, data from 2019, which was much more representative of a typical year, is displayed. Totals for countries marked with * include overnight visitors only and exclude daytime-only visitors such as cruise-ship passengers.

The Least-Visited Country in the World: Tuvalu

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the remote Pacific island country Tuvalu is the least-visited country globally. This tiny island nation of just 12,000 people welcomed only about 3,700 visitors in 2019. It is worth noting, however, that tourism is growing rapidly in Tuvalu, which welcomed only 1,100 visitors in 2012.

Tourism in Tuvalu is largely centered around the country's crystal-blue waters and palm-tree-lined beaches. Diving and snorkeling are particularly popular attractions thanks to a 33km² (12.74mi²) conservation area dense with coral reefs, lagoons, and ocean habitats (including sea turtles). Relaxing walks and picnics on the beach are also popular, as are yachting; motorscooter tours; and trips to the local bakery, the national library, and various WWII-era sites.

Fiji Airways flies in and out of Tuvalu's lone international airport every Tuesday and Thursday—but service can be inconsistent, so visitors are advised to prepare for the possibility that their arrival or departure could be delayed for a few extra days. This concern is duplicated in many of the Pacific islands, which are quite remote and whose infrastructure is less developed.

Tuvalu is one of 22 Pacific island nations that are most vulnerable to climate change. Children in Tuvalu are taught in school that they may be the last generation to grow up on the island before it is submerged by the ocean due to sea level rise.

Other Least-Visited Countries

Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands are the second-least visited country, welcoming just over 6,000 visitors in 2019. These volcanic islands are located in the Pacific between the Philippines and Hawaii and boast pure, white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and diverse marine life and flora (including more than 160 species of coral). The Marshalls are deep in WWII history, having first served as a Japanese base and then become the site of much nuclear testing by the U.S. military. Also, like Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands are in danger of being engulfed by rising ocean waters driven by climate change.

Niue

Located in the South Pacific, Niue is regarded as one of the world's smallest nations. The tiny island—actually a raised coral atoll—sees about 10,000 visitors a year. One Niue tourist site highlights what the island "does not have": crowds, long lines, traffic lights, or a frantic pace of life. Niue's available tourist activities include swimming, snorkeling and diving, kayaking, 4WD ATV tours, or simply hiking through terrain ranging from beaches to rainforests, plantations, or a vanilla farm. Travelers should be aware that there's only one flight to and from Niue per week.

Kiribati

Correctly pronounced "kiri-bas," this Pacific island chain is the only country in the world to touch all four hemispheres. Popular activities here include fishing, surfing, visiting the country's many World War II-era attractions, diving and snorkeling in the Phoenix Island Marine Protected Area (the world’s largest marine protected area), bird watching, or simply exploring the country's 33 islands, islets, and atolls. Reflecting the unspoiled, but also less-developed nature of the country, the Kiribati National Tourism Office declares, "Kiribati is for travelers—those who have a passion for exploring and discovering, people who like an adventure off the tourist trail to places where few have been before, and people who want to understand a country—not just see it."

Micronesia

Situated between the Marshall Islands and Palau, Micronesia is yet another Pacific island country rife with WWII relics, beaches, fishing, surfing, snorkeling and diving amid both world-class coral reefs and WWII shipwrecks, and hiking trails awash with lush, rugged natural beauty. the more urban areas of Micronesia are also known for their vibrant nightlife.

Montserrat

The first sparsely visited country to be located somewhere other than the Pacific, Montserrat is an island nation positioned in the Caribbean, directly east of Central America. Montserrat was once a popular destination—however, a volcanic eruption in 1995 devastated a large portion of the island, including its capital city, Plymouth. Subsequently, roughly 2/3 of the island's population emigrated to other countries, most notably the UK. Montserrat's volcano remains active (though it has been mostly dormant since 2010), and much of the island's southern region is still taken up by an off-limits exclusion zone.

Although multiple hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic have delayed Montserrat's rebuilding efforts, construction of a new capital city, as well as the recovery of the country as a whole, are underway. While most visitors currently take day trips to the island (particularly the volcano observatory), tourism is slowly ramping up again thanks to attractions including peaceful beaches, lush forest hiking complete with petroglyphs, and tours of the upper remains of Plymouth, whose lower floors are now largely buried under 30+ feet of ash and mud.

  • Data are listed in thousands. For example, Bhutan's listed value of 21 equals 21,000 visitors.
  • Data for 2022 are incomplete for some countries, including the United States
  • Data for some countries and years are not yet available.

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Country
Tourist Arrivals 2022 (1000s)
Tourist Arrivals 2021 (1000s)
Tourist Arrivals 2020 (1000s)
Tourist Arrivals 2019 (1000s)
Spain104,96851,63136,410126,170
Italy74,31740,18638,41995,399
Poland71,81451,02651,07688,515
Mexico65,99555,30151,12897,406
Turkey51,38830,03915,97151,747
United States50,87066,59444,792165,478
Croatia50,02334,12321,60860,021
Hungary46,34336,68831,64161,397
Denmark31,53018,37216,03132,065
United Kingdom31,2446,38411,10140,857
Greece29,87615,2467,40634,005
Germany28,46311,68812,44939,563
Austria26,21512,72815,09131,884
China25,25026,38027,467162,538
Malaysia19,0163996,10235,046
Saudi Arabia18,2563,8694,88220,292
Canada17,9244,2825,06832,430
Portugal16,3086,3454,20817,283
Netherlands16,0636,2487,26520,129
India14,3307,0106,33717,914
Romania12,6976,7895,02312,815
Egypt11,7247,9983,67713,026
Morocco10,9683,7222,80213,109
Bulgaria10,8887,1884,97312,552
Bahrain9,9493,6121,90911,061
Switzerland9,1604,3903,69011,818
Dominican Republic8,4895,3272,7487,550
Andorra8,4275,4225,2078,235
Belgium8,2203,2432,5849,343
Albania7,5445,6892,6586,406
Argentina7,5034603,09611,131
South Africa7,3422,6643,88714,797
Bahamas7,0012,1011,7957,250
Kyrgyzstan6,9013,1692,0798,508
Sweden6,6292,9901,9577,616
Tunisia6,4412,4752,0129,429
Singapore6,3063302,74219,116
Indonesia5,8891,5584,05316,107
Macau5,7007,7065,89739,406
Uzbekistan5,2331,8811,5046,749
Jordan5,0492,3591,2405,361
Norway4,9791,4351,3975,879
Belarus4,9203,3613,59811,832
Kazakhstan4,7291,3302,0358,515
Lithuania4,7252,0962,2846,150
Georgia4,7041,7211,5137,726
Colombia4,6862,1461,3874,531
Iran4,1089891,5509,107
Slovenia3,9361,8321,2164,702
Japan3,8322464,11631,882
Australia3,6942461,8289,466
Vietnam3,6611573,83718,009
Puerto Rico3,6382,7553,8824,931
Brazil3,6307462,1466,353
Estonia3,4971,3101,6956,103
Jamaica3,3311,5351,3304,234
South Korea3,1989672,51917,503
Oman2,9206528693,506
Israel2,8514028874,905
Malta2,7761,1107183,519
Philippines2,6541641,4838,261
Qatar2,5606115822,137
El Salvador2,5411,4367072,639
Costa Rica2,4971,3761,1473,378
Ukraine2,3074,2723,38213,710
Peru2,2794441,1195,275
Cambodia2,2771961,3066,611
Chile2,2691921,3115,431
Finland2,1278078963,290
Ivory Coast2,0475766682,070
Montenegro2,0361,5543512,510
Panama1,9468046472,494
Honduras1,9118266692,315
Guatemala1,8456665942,560
Serbia1,7738714461,847
Aruba1,7119436231,951
Maldives1,6751,3225551,703
Armenia1,6668703751,894
Cuba1,6143561,0864,276
Azerbaijan1,6027927963,170
Paraguay1,5485711,0774,368
Kenya1,4848705682,049
Lebanon1,4668904141,936
Tanzania1,4551,0276211,527
New Zealand1,4342079963,888
Algeria1,3981255912,371
Nigeria1,2711,2461,2095,361
Ecuador1,2656695072,108
Sint Maarten1,2174825421,952
Zimbabwe1,0443816392,294
Cayman Islands1,0286602,334
Luxembourg1,0136155251,041
Mauritius1,0031803161,418
Nicaragua9333124741,455
Ghana9156243551,130
Bosnia and Herzegovina9155021971,198
Barbados898242546966
Ethiopia897518271812
Taiwan8961401,37811,864
Mozambique8795499592,033
Cape Verde785135180758
Sri Lanka7591955402,027
Bolivia7241803231,239
Saint Lucia7142974331,220
Fiji65232168969
Antigua and Barbuda6422502761,035
Nepal6151512301,197
Hong Kong605913,56955,913
Saint Kitts and Nevis5891233011,107
Gambia570332246620
Bermuda5498651805
Cameroon5399636161,021
North Macedonia537294118758
Namibia5282611871,651
Eswatini5032113451,226
Seychelles339183125428
Grenada33572217526
Guam328793281,667
Monaco327218159363
Mongolia3013967637
Guyana28815887315
French Polynesia2619589282
Trinidad and Tobago25341141482
Dominica23566140322
Myanmar2331319034,364
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines21057155399
Moldova1626929174
Djibouti14511475167
New Caledonia1391279474
Angola1306464218
Burkina Faso11610667143
Cook Islands1142625172
Liechtenstein101715898
Papua New Guinea691739211
Vanuatu6582256
Samoa51324181
Tonga221294
Bhutan2130316
Kiribati2112
Bangladesh135182323
Russia6,35924,419
DR Congo382202479
Thailand5116,72539,916
France141,297117,109217,877
Uganda5134731,543
Madagascar887486
Niger85192
Syria6614792,424
Mali16875217
Malawi432199978
Zambia5545021,266
Chad401179
Rwanda5114971,634
Benin354337
Haiti148322938
Czech Republic10,01410,26737,202
Tajikistan2963511,257
United Arab Emirates12,7848,08425,282
Togo482876
Sierra Leone442671
Laos8864,791
Central African Republic3587
Slovakia16,086
Palestine1,0004,232
Ireland10,951
Kuwait1,6062,1618,565
Uruguay2343,480
Botswana3383581,555
Lesotho2791,142
Guinea Bissau52
Latvia1,9373,2048,342
Timor Leste61881
Cyprus4,117
Reunion255601
Comoros29745
Solomon Islands1429
Brunei1101,0714,449
Belize4374871,674
Iceland7174882,202
Sao Tome and Principe151135
Micronesia18
American Samoa59
Marshall Islands26
San Marino1,3541,0151,904
Palau1894
Tuvalu14
Total1,109,922800,659724,8512,296,248
showing: 186 rows

What is the least visited country in the world?

Tuvalu only hosted 3,700 visitors in 2019, which makes it the country that was the least visited.

Is North Korea the least visited country?

North Korea has a reputation for being dangerous and difficult to visit, but it is not the country that is the least visited. That title goes to the country of Tuvalu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources