In a Few Small Countries, Tourists Massively Outnumber Locals

To attract enough tourists to overwhelm its population, a country needs something special to attract them.

Andorra Isaac Torrontera

The Telegraph has created a map that shows places in the world where the annual number of international visitors is greater than the population of the country. France might have been the world's most visited country in 2013, but it cannot compete on tourist-to-population ratio with places like the Vatican, where the percentage of the population made up of tourists a whopping 650,655.46 percent.

From the Telegraph:

At the other end of the scale you find Bangladesh (just 0.003 tourists per head, or 0.29 % of the population), with India and Pakistan (both 0.005) not far behind. India’s presence here - attracting less than 1 per cent of tourists compared to visitors - is perhaps the most surprising. It may have received more than six and a half million tourists in 2012 but its population of more than 1.2 billion dwarfs its visitor numbers.

The rule of thumb seems to be that small countries top this list. The Vatican makes sense; a religious center with only 846 citizens, it attracts millions of pilgrims each year. But just being small isn't enough: while countries with small populations (like many of the Caribbean island nations) are much more susceptible to being overrun by tourists, some were much more overrun than others. 

To attract enough tourists to overwhelm its population, a country needs something special to attract them. Andorra, for instance, came in second only to the Vatican in terms of tourist percentage, with 2,856 percent more tourists than inhabitants. Situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees, this tiny country is renowned for its skiing. It only has one town, but has over one shop for every 40 people that live there. Croatia, which has 243 precent more tourists each year than citizens, has miles of beaches and thousand or so islands.) It’s also where part of the upcoming season of Game of Thrones was filmed.)

But sometimes it's not so clear what the attraction is. Estonia, located on the Baltic Sea, doesn’t have the temperate climate or huge mountains of the other European hot spots, but it gets more than 200% more tourists per year than its population of 1,339,396. It has a lot of history and some beautiful scenery—but what European country doesn't?

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