Some countries are more popular than others, just like some national parks are more popular than others. The most popular national park in America is not Yellowstone or Yosemite, but Great Smokey Mountains - largely due to its proximity to large eastern urban centers. The least popular is Gates of the Arctic - because is it so isolated with no road access.
The same can be true for countries. The least visited country in the world is both tiny and incredibly isolated. But for the intrepid explorer, this may be a draw.
Most Touristic: France - 89 Million Visitors
France is the most touristic country in the world. France has a reputation for being romantic and it has scores of stunning architecture for visitors to explore. France is also very accessible being an easy distance from European countries and having many flights to it from America.
France is well set up for tourism. Tourism is thought to have directly contributed around 80 billion euros to its economy in 2013 with 30% of that coming from international visitors. Travel and tourism together represent around 10% of the country's GDP and some 11% of the country's employment.
- Tourism: Tourism Is an Important Part Of France's Economy
- Visitor: France Received 89 Million Foreign Tourists In 2018 - More Than Any Other Country In The World
- UNESCO Sites: France Has Some 45 UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sites
France is a country with a lot to offer with cities of high cultural interest, stunning beaches, ski resorts, wineries, luxury shopping, and much more. Two of France's most popular cities are Paris and Nice - choosing between these stunning cities can be tough.
Paris is famous for its bridges covered in their "love locks" and the city is bursting with tourists from all over the world. France is certainly not the cheapest country to visit, but it is often the first country for people to visit. France makes a great destination for first-time travelers, more seasoned travelers often look for more exotic destinations.
Least Touristic: Tuvalu - 2,000 Visitors (360-ish Actual Tourists)
While there is no doubt as to which the most visited country is (it's France), identifying the least visited country is a little more tricky. Some lists will say it's Palau while others will say Turkmenistan and still others will say something else. Here we will go with the least visited country on earth as identified by CNN Travel - Tuvalu.
Most people have probably never heard of the tiny Polynesian country of Tuvalu. It is made up of a group of tiny islands about midway between Hawaii and Australia. The islands are tiny and have the population of a small town.
- Name: Formally Known As The Ellice Islands
- Islands: Tuvalu Is Made Up Of Three Reef Islands and Six Atolls
- Size: Land Area 26 Square Kilometers or 10 Square Miles
- Population: 10,507 (2017 Census)
- Independence: Tuvalu Became Independent In 1978 (Joined The UN in 2000)
- Roads: Tuvulu Has 5 Miles Of Roads
The first European to discover the islands was the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña in 1568. Eventually, they became part of the British Empire as a British protectorate.
Even though these islands are tropical paradises, they receive almost no visitors - a mere 2,000 international tourists. So here if one ever does manage to reach these shores, one can find a whole beach or even island to oneself. Only the proportion of tourists may not sound too low (2,000 visitors to a country of 10,000) the picture becomes even more stark zooming in.
Of the tourists, about 65% were business, development officials, or technical consultants. In 2010 on 20% or 360 people (the equivalent of one large plane) were actually tourists. 11% were expatriates returning to visit family.
Getting To Tuvalu And What To Do
- Visa Policy: Visa On Arrival For One Month (EU Visa-Free)
The only airport is Funafuti International Airport. It only has two destinations, one flight per week to Tarawa in Kiribati with a 35 passenger Bombardier Dash 8 100 aircraft and a Fiji Airlines flight to Fiji three times a week with seating for 72 passengers.
- Flight Destinations: Kiribati and Fiji
If one is looking for places to stay, then there are no listings on Booking.com. Instead, Timeless Tuvalu has a number of guesthouses and homestays as well as a run-down of things to see and do in this forgotten tropical paradise (just don't expect any tourist infrastructure). Prices for accommodation and activities are not listed on the website, message them for a quote.
A vacation here is all about the isolation, the local people, and the stunning tropical islands and conversation there. One can even see the remains of some of the American military equipment there from World War Two - like a wreck of a landing craft on a reef and military planes abandoned in the scrub.