Special Report

Destinations Where Tourists Outnumber Locals

Most people don’t like it when their favorite vacation spot suddenly “gets discovered” and overnight turns into just another crowded beach. Perhaps even more distressing is when that spot is actually in their own hometown.

Many countries face an influx of millions of tourists, often over a short period like winter holiday or spring break, and while their economies may depend on it, local residents and the environment can suffer from the inundation. Some places are already sick and tired of tourists.

The economies of many countries rely heavily on tourism. Governments work to attract more off-season visitors and many residents depend on tourists for their income. Many people nowadays prefer cultural experiences over material things and choose to travel, often to small and offbeat places that may not have been very popular.

24/7 Tempo reviewed a United Nations data to determine the destinations where international tourists are more than local residents. The majority of the 23 vacation places on our list are islands — five of them Caribbean — and are popular places for beach vacations. Others possess the appeal of ancient history, natural wonders, nightlife, or gambling.

To compile the destinations where tourists outnumber locals, 24/7 Tempo used the 2018 Tourism Highlights report from the World Tourism Organization that included international tourist arrival data. The tourist to resident ratio is higher than one in 41 countries, but only countries where it’s higher than two were selected. Arrival numbers are limited to overnight visitors and exclude individuals making day-trips to a destination. Arrivals are defined as a single entry into a country, not a single person. For instance, if someone visited a country twice, both of their visits are counted as arrivals. Numbers are from 2017 and reflect total tourist visits for the year, which means that at any one point there may not have been more tourists than locals in a country, but there were over the course of the year.

Click here to read about destinations where tourists outnumber locals.

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