Beach full of tourists

Go To Bangladesh And Never See Another Tourist

We’ve all been on holiday and complainedĀ there are too many tourists (the British, anyway).

I once readĀ London was France’s 6th largest city. The Costa Del Sol on the Spain’s Southern Coast is aĀ meccaĀ for 300,000+ Brits seeking the sun each year.

Terms like tourist trap are now common among holiday makers. Though an increasing number of us areĀ actively seeking to avoid such traps.Ā Whole industries have sprung up around holidays “off-the-beaten-track”.

But where are the places with the fewest tourists numbers vs locals?

Methodology

Every year the UN World Tourism Organisation publishes a report titled ā€œTourism Highlightsā€œ. For this post I used the 2015 version (figure reported from 2013). The report contains tourism statistics for 217 countries, including inbound tourist arrivals and receipts. Using this data I was able to identify the countries that report the fewest tourists.

Using population statistics reported by the World Bank for 2013Ā I was then able to work out the number of inbound tourists compared to the native population of each country.

Analysis

Inbound tourism numbers

number of tourist arrivals 2013 map

Full size map.

top 10 countries with most inbound tourists 2013

Download chart.

10 countries with least inbound tourists 2013

Download chart.

Did you know? The 3 countriesĀ thatĀ receivedĀ the mostĀ tourists in 2013 were: 1. France (83.6 mil arrivals), 2. United States (69.9), and 3. Spain (60.6).

Did you know?Ā The 3Ā countriesĀ thatĀ receivedĀ the fewestĀ tourists in 2013 were: 191. KiribatiĀ (6000 arrivals), 192. Marshall IslandsĀ (5000), 193. TuvaluĀ (1000).

Populations

population summary map

Full size map.

10 countries with largest populations 2013

Download chart.

10 countries with smallest populations 2013

Download chart.

China and India have a combined population of 2.5 billion. About one-third of the world’s population. India’s population is expected to grow larger than China’s by 2022.

On the other end of the scale Nieu, Montserrat, and the Cook Islands have less than 20,000 native citizens. In total the 10 smallest countries have a combined population of 187,933 people (about the size of Sao Tome and Principe).

Did you know? The 3Ā countriesĀ with the largest populations are:Ā 1. China (1.36 people), 2. India (1.29B), 3. USA (319M).Ā 

Did you know?Ā The 3 countries with the smallest populations are: 214. Tuvalu (9863 people), 215. Montserrat (4900), 216. Niue (1190).

NativeĀ Population vs. Tourists

tourist population ratio

Full size map.

Rank Destination Population Tourists (2013) Population – tourist diff Tourist:Population
1 Bangladesh 159,077,513 148,000 158,929,513 1,075
2 Congo, Dem. Rep. 74,877,030 191,000 74,686,030 392
3 Nigeria 177,475,986 600,000 176,875,986 296
4 Guinea 12,275,527 56,000 12,219,527 219
5 India 1,295,291,543 6,968,000 1,288,323,543 186
6 Niger 19,113,728 123,000 18,990,728 155
7 Ethiopia 96,958,732 681,000 96,277,732 142
8 Chad 13,587,053 100,000 13,487,053 136
9 Mali 17,086,022 142,000 16,944,022 120
10 Madagascar 23,571,713 196,000 23,375,713 120

Full ranking.

Bangladesh receivesĀ just 1 tourist for every 1075 native Bangladeshis (159M pop / 148K tourists).

Rank Destination Population Tourists (2013) Population – tourist diff Tourist:Population
184 Guam 167,543 1,334,000 -1,166,457 0.13
185 Turks and Caicos Islands 33,740 291,000 -257,260 0.12
186 Monaco 37,623 328,000 -290,377 0.11
187 Aruba 103,441 979,000 -875,559 0.11
188 Cook Is 10,900 121,000 -110,100 0.09
189 St. Maarten 40,917 467,000 -426,083 0.09
190 Brit. Virgin Islands 28,054 366,000 -337,946 0.08
191 St. Martin (French part) 31,530 490,000 -458,470 0.06
192 Macao SAR, China 577,914 14,268,000 -13,690,086 0.04
193 Andorra 72,786 2,328,000 -2,255,214 0.03

Full ranking.

Compare that to Andorra, population 73K, has 2.3 million visitors every year — a difference of about 2.2 million! That’s 1 tourist for every 0.03 of the population. In Macao the difference between population and tourists is 13.69 million (1 tourist:0.04 population).

Improvements

Comparing inbound tourists by nationality would add another dimension to this analysis.

tl;dr

The countriesĀ with the fewestĀ tourists compared toĀ native population: 1. Bangladesh (1 tourist: 1075 native population), 2. Democratic Republic of Congo (1:392), 3. Nigeria (1:296).

Footnotes

  1. Data sources + data used in this post.

Travel Geek?

Join over 10,000 travel geeks and get one email every two weeks on Mondays containing travel statistics that will blow your mind.

See what you're missing...

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply