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Ten countries that deserve more tourists

Profile Photo By: H L
February 5, 2014

Ten countries that deserve more tourists

Hospitality News: Acropolis of Athens, GreeceThe beaches may be beautiful and the coastline inviting, but you can understand why Tuvalu doesn?t get much through-traffic. It?s tiny for a start; one of the smallest nations in the world, and not much bigger than Vatican City. It?s also about as far from the beaten track as possible ? right out in the middle of the South Pacific.

So the 1,200 international arrivals recorded there in 2011 ? according to the World Bank ? had to make quite an effort. It had the least number of recorded visitors for all countries where data was available (and no, there were no figures for North Korea).

Incidentally, if you are curious about Tuvalu, the official tourism website is surprisingly enticing.

Low tourism to other nations is less easy to explain. Here we round up some of the places where visitor numbers are surprisingly low.

India

The world?s biggest democracy ought to be a huge hitter when it comes to tourism. Right in the centre of Asia, with strong historical links to Britain, it has some amazing attractions, from the Taj Mahal to tigers. But with less then seven million foreign arrivals last year, it is hardly setting the world alight with its visitor numbers. To put that into context, that?s less than a third of Thailand?s 22.4m during the same year.

Why are numbers low?

The difficult visa process is one problem ? one that?tourist authorities are apparently trying to address, with a drive to reduce bureaucracy. The recent spate of bad publicity about attitudes towards women ? including some recent attacks on tourists ? has also done little to boost the country?s image.

The Philippines

A glorious archipelago with miles and miles of pristine beaches, the Philippines certainly look enticing. On an unscientific level, news that the Philippines featured in Telegraph?s 20 places to visit in 2014 was greeted enthusiastically and retweeted widely on social networks. Yet the number of visitors was only just above four million in 2012.

 

It?s a shortfall that?s recognised within the country?s own borders, with tourism officials aiming for more than 10m visitors in 2016.

Why are numbers low?

Political instability bedevilled the country for many years, and natural disasters certainly have not helped, Typhoon Haiyan being a recent, tragic example.

Bhutan

This landlocked country in South Asia is a beautiful, mountainous nation. With a strongly Buddhist culture, wonderful treks, remote forests and Himalayan kingdoms, there is a wealth of visitor attractions ? yet there were only around 44,000 to appreciate them in 2012.

Why are numbers low?

This is the country?s own choice. Bhutan has long limited tourists: visitors have to pay a tariff of $250 a day to enter, a fee that immediately excludes many of the backpackers that head to Thailand.

Brazil

It may be the most visited country in South America, but that continent as a whole remains relatively unexplored. For a country with such a reputation for its beaches, natural assets and football culture, Brazil is arguably still not punching its full weight. It?s comfortably the biggest economy in the region, and its attractions vary from the beaches of El Salvador, Rio?s Carnival to the remote flora and fauna of the Amazon.

 

Why are numbers low?

5.7 million visitors isn?t that bad, you might argue, considering the country is hardly positioned at the world?s crossroads. But then, Australia gets more than six million, and it is further away from both Europe and the USA. The question is: will this year?s World Cup change the tourism industry in Brazil? Bolivia and Peru are two other countries where the visitor numbers don?t seem to match the attractions on offer.

Greece

For culture and history, few countries can compare with Greece. Often referred to as the birthplace of democracy, with ancient ruins dotting the landscape, it also has glorious beaches, and some wonderful islands ? often at good value.

Why are numbers low?

Greece?s recent travails have been well documented, and there was inevitably an affect on the country due to that. Signs are that tourism is on the rise again ? with around 17 million people thought to have visited in 2013. Not a disaster, but then, when you think Spain has almost 60m and Italy is at almost 50m?

Click here to read more.

Source The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10616825/Ten-countries-that-deserve-more-tourists.html

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