August says goodbye, but there are also those who start their vacations now. To be sure, there are few who will travel to these destinations. Holidays are one of the most anticipated times of the year. Therefore, arriving at our destination and finding it crowded with tourists is not always pleasant. You have to wait to take a photo, to have a drink in a beach bar or even to plant the umbrella. And yet, there are still places in the world that tourism has barely reached. Countries that, due to different circumstances, is not especially friendly for travelers. Or, perhaps, only for those who seek strong emotions and experiences… different. These are the five least touristic countries in the world.
South Sudan (5,500 visitors a year)
Not many people would know how to place this African country on the map, despite the fact that it is larger than Spain. South Sudan gained its independence from its neighbor to the north, Sudan, very recently: in 2005. Since then, the country has been going through an endless list of problems that started with a bloody civil war and resulted in ethnic violence that does not invite precisely to tourism. Since 2017 it has had the highest score in the Fragile States Index, above other African nations considered failed states, such as Somalia.
Kiribati (4,000 visitors a year)
Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this unique archipelago could be considered one of those paradisiacal places on the planet, thanks to its white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Nothing could be further from the truth: Kiribati is an almost inaccessible place, with a whole series of islands and atolls scattered in the middle of nowhere. In addition, it faces a serious threat: the rise in sea level caused by climate change can make it disappear in a matter of 10 or 15 years. For this reason, there is already a plan for its inhabitants to be transferred to neighboring countries such as New Zealand or Australia.
Tuvalu (2,000 visitors a year)
Another small island that can boast country status. Tuvalu, known as the Ellice Islands until 1974, is even smaller than Kiribati. Its barely 11,000 inhabitants live in just 26 square kilometers, spread over eight islands, and speak their own language, Tuvualuan. Like its neighbors in Kiribati, the entire atoll is at serious risk of disappearing under the waters of the Pacific in the event of a rise in sea level. There is no drinking water, and all that is used comes from the rains. As if all this were not enough, the area suffers from frequent cyclones. All this makes visiting Tuvalu little short of an impossible mission except for a very small group of daring tourists.
Somalia (400 visitors a year)
In its day, before the civil war that plagued the country for 25 years, Somalia was a tourist hotspot. Today things have changed: it is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world, and for a reason. Somalia lives under a permanent threat of terrorist attacks. In addition, off its coasts, piracy has become common, so the ships try to avoid the waters of the Indian Ocean that bathe its more than 3,000 kilometers of coastline. Nor does it seem that the authorities are doing their job well: according to the organization Transparency International, Somalia is the most corrupt country in the world. If you still want to know it, several airlines organize trips to Mogadishu, its capital.
Nauru (160 visitors per year)
And at the top of the ranking… the smallest country in the world, with the permission of the Vatican and Monaco. Nauru is by far the least touristy country out there. It is also one of the poorest in the Pacific, despite the fact that in its day it was enormously rich: the discovery of large quantities of phosphate made millionaires of a good part of its 11,000 inhabitants. But when the resources were exhausted, the collapse came. Today, 90% of its population is unemployed. Due to the proliferation of junk food, the country has the highest obesity rate on the planet, with an average of 100 kilos per person.
More than 30% of the population suffers from diabetes and their life expectancy does not exceed 58 years in men and 65 in women. 80% of the land is polluted and the marine fauna has almost completely disappeared. A true environmental disaster that, as is logical, does not exactly serve as an attraction for foreign tourists.