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)**
|Rank||Country/Territory||Visitors in 2019|
|8||Sao Tome and Principe*||34,900|
**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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
What is the least touristy country? ›
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the remote Pacific island country Tuvalu is the least-visited country globally.What is the least visited country by Americans? ›
Nauru Is the least visited country in the world, not just American travellers. This tiny island is located in Oceania and has a population of just 10,000 people. The remoteness and small size makes it difficult for people to visit.What is the least visited country in Europe 2022? ›
Liechtenstein: For quiet mountain exploring
Despite this, it's Europe's least visited country. Once you make it in, there are plenty of spots for skiing without the usual tourist crowds, as well as hiking and biking trails to explore.
Nauru. Nauru is the least visited country in the world and according to 2017 estimates, 160 tourists visited the country. Nauru is among the smallest countries in the world.Why don't Americans travel? ›
As mentioned earlier, most Americans don't travel because they don't have a passport. Even fewer have visas or understand visa requirements for different countries. There are various reasons why American citizens don't have passports or visas.What is the most unpopular country in Europe? ›
Liechtenstein. The Principality of Liechtenstein is the leader in the list of the least visited countries in Europe.What country no longer exists in Europe? ›
Czechoslovakia- Czechoslovakia was an Ancient country that no longer exists.What is the least visited city in the world? ›
Concepción, Chile. This truly is the least visited city in the world. Found at the finish line of a branch of the Pan-American Highway, the isolated location doesn't help to attract tourists and neither does the concrete sprawl of skyscrapers.What countries are not friendly to foreigners? ›
The ten countries least welcoming to foreigners are, in order: Bolivia, Venezuela, Russia, Kuwait, Latvia, Iran, Pakistan, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Mongolia. China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine are only slightly more hospitable to foreigners, according to this report.What is the most unrecognized country? ›
Transnistria. One of the most famous and notorious unrecognised countries is Transnistria, whose official name is actually Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. It's a thin narrow strip of land nestled in between Ukraine and Moldova.
What is the rarest country to be born in? ›
Birth rate highs and lows
On the other side of the scale, the CIA estimates Monaco has the lowest birth rate in the world at 6.63 average annual births per 1,000 people per year.
What countries do not accept U.S. passport? The only destination where it is forbidden for US citizens to travel to is North Korea, due to its closed border status for both US citizens and citizens of other countries.Which countries Cannot visit USA? ›
However, some people believe that it is in violation of the Constitution and argue that it the order was simply part of an anti-Muslim agenda. There are currently seven nations on the travel ban list: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.Is there anywhere Americans Cannot travel? ›
Chonji lake or 'Heaven lake' is located in the crater of Mount Paektu, which is considered the spiritual birthplace of the Korean nation. Coastal plains crumple into rocky peaks in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the only country on earth the American government forbids US citizens from visiting.
The United States does not keep track of emigration, and counts of Americans abroad are thus only available based on statistics kept by the destination countries. 9,400,000 (2018, est.)What is the most vacationed state in the US? ›
Millions of travelers crowd to California to visit the national monuments, historical places, parks, and beaches. California's most popular tourist destinations are Disneyland, which is visited by almost 15 million people annually. Other popular attractions in the state are: Yosemite National park.
More than 50 million visitors travel to New York City every year making it the number one tourist destination in the USA. New York City is known for its diverse culture and world-renowned attractions.Where is the most untouched place on earth? ›
Vale do Javari, Brazil
Called one of the most isolated parts of the world, according to Mental Floss, possibly as many as 14 un-contacted Amazon tribes make their home in this region. It comprises an area about the size of Austria—or 33,000 square miles.
We are talking about Tristan da Cunha, a part of the British overseas territory Saint Helena and a true sub-tropical heaven. The island sits in between South Africa and South America, 1,491 miles (2,400 kilometres) from the former and 2,088 miles (3,360 km) from the latter.Why is Tuvalu least visited? ›
Low-lying Tuvalu sits no more than 15 feet above sea level, making it a susceptible victim to its neighboring seas. Due to sea level rise and coastal erosion, Tuvalu is at risk of being swallowed whole. These devastating events not only threaten the tourism industry of Tuvalu but the wellbeing of their citizens.
Why is Tuvalu not visited often? ›
Tuvalu really is the leader in least-visited countries. Only around a thousand people a year come to this remote archipelago of nine islands, a two-hour flight from Fiji, a massive 1,179km away. There is little-to-no tourist infrastructure, with no credit cards accepted and no ATMs anywhere.What is the kindest country? ›
Finland has been ranked happiest country in the world for the fourth year in 2021 as per the World Happiness Report. Finnish people are one of the friendliest, making it to the top position.Is Tuvalu a US ally? ›
Tuvalu became fully independent from the United Kingdom in 1978, and in 1979, it signed a treaty of friendship with the United States, which recognized Tuvalu's possession of four islets formerly claimed by the United States.
Topping the chart is Russia with more than 15 million square kilometres of wilderness, identified as terrestrial or marine regions "free from human pressures, with a contiguous area of more than 10,000 square kilometres".What is the least touristy island? ›
Tuvalu: the least visited island country in the world.What is the least visited continent? ›
As long as humans have known of its existence, they have wanted to visit Antarctica. It is the world's least visited, least populated continent.