The World’s Least Visited Countries: Part 2

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Recently, I wrote about some severely under-appreciated countries that are unfortunately at the bottom of every traveller’s bucketlists. Since there are 195 countries, and a high proportion of tourism concentrated in just a few of those, there are a substantial number of neglected destinations that could benefit from vacationer attention. For example, in 2016, 55.7% of the tourism within the EU-28 was concentrated in France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. So what’s stopping tourists from going to other destinations more? Here’s another handful of countries that have been overlooked by holidayers. 

Kiribati, Oceania

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A private island paradise consisting of coral atolls in Oceania, Kiribati offers excellent and untampered fishing and diving opportunities. You might recognise the famous Christmas Island and the capital, Tarawa.

Why the low visitors?

Unfortunately, as beautiful as the islet ring is, Kiribati is a long way from anywhere. There are no direct flights unless you live in Nauru, the Marshal Islands or Fiji and even then the flights are only fortnightly at a push. According to Skyscanner, the next flight  from the time of writing is in two weeks’ time on the 5th March 2018, with the next available return flight a week later on the 12th March, costing a whopping £2,844, with three layovers and a 34h 35m total duration!

Monserrat, The Caribbean

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The volcanic destruction inflicted upon Montserrat in the 90s had resulted in the island having very few visitors and residents are still in nominal numbers. This is a destination of tranquility and the epitome of a quiet, removed lifestyle, whilst being able to enjoy the pleasant climate all year long.

Why the low visitors?

Since its gross devastation in 1995 due to eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano, tourism has taken an understandable dive, making it the least visited island in The Caribbean. Though visitor numbers are still substantially lower than before the eruption, numbers are very slowly rising.

French Guiana, South America

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A French Overseas Territory in South America, French Guiana is a small country found between Brazil and Suriname, with great biodiversity and striking differences between the constituent cities.

Why the low visitors?

French Guiana has a spooky prison camp past, though this shouldn’t deter the modern-day traveller. Moreover, it is reportedly difficult to get between regions in terms of convenience as well as cost.

Afghanistan, Middle East

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This entry may come as no surprise to most, but despite everything, Afghanistan was once a destination for romantics and was on the original hippie backpacking trail. It has vast mountain ranges and a wonderfully diverse range of inhabitants.

Why the low visitors?

Afghanistan has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last 40ish years; it has been a sad downward spiral for the country since the Soviet invasion in 1979, which paved the way for the Taliban and the subsequent war-zone climate. The FCO advises against all but essential travel.

São Tomé and Príncipe, Africa

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This is a pretty African nation consisting of two islands, and harbours remnants of Portuguese colonial architecture. It relies on cocoa production for a large proportion of its GDP.

Why the low visitors?

It can be difficult to get there; some travellers report spending two days on a boat to reach the islands! It is Africa’s least-visited country, perhaps that’s why its slogan is ‘A well-kept secret’ …

Djibouti, Africa

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A small East African country which offers lots of weird and wonderful landscapes to marvel at: including canyons, volcanoes and salt lakes. Also, a fun fact is that women outnumber men in Djibouti.

Why the low visitors?

The fact that Djibouti is a base for many military camps, and the unadvised travel to the border with neighbouring Eritrea are less than savoury for prospective tourists. The climate is also intensely hot, humid and arid which may be unbearable to the unaccustomed Brit.

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Sub-editor 2017/18. Third year Biology with Linguistics student. Interested particularly in global health, genetics and nutrition. Very disposed towards writing about things that haven't quite been explained yet.

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