Special Report

Destinations Where Tourists Outnumber Locals

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18. San Marino
> International tourists: 2.36 per resident
> International tourist arrivals: 78,000
> Population 33,000

San marino, a small country landlocked inside Italy, is the world’s oldest sovereign state and the fifth smallest country in the world, at just 23.5 square miles. Situated on the top of a mountain with sweeping panoramic views of the Italian countryside, San Marino offers tourists duty-free shopping, an 11th-century fortress, and many examples of traditional architecture. Though exploring the streets on foot can be tiring considering the mini-country is built on a mountain, visitors can take a cable car ride back up to the top.

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17. Estonia
> International tourists: 2.46 per resident
> International tourist arrivals: 3.2 million
> Population 1.3 million

Touted as a country that remains relatively unknown to tourists, Estonia is becoming a popular destination for folks who dislike the crowds common in other European vacation spots. The capital city of Tallinn features a historic cobble-stoned Town Hall Square, 13th-century architecture, and multiple churches and cathedrals to visit. Prices are low compared to the rest of Europe, and restaurants are known to carry high quality, local, seasonal ingredients. A unique activity popular among visitors is bog walking in the country’s many peat bogs.

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16. Singapore
> International tourists: 2.48 per resident
> International tourist arrivals: 13.9 million
> Population 5.6 million

A popular destination for both corporate and leisure travelers, Singapore is known for its cultural diversity (the country has four official languages), extreme cleanliness, and exquisite cuisine. In 2016, it became the first Southeast-Asian country to receive its own Michelin Guide. Among the tourist attractions are the longest elevated infinity pool in the world, and hundreds of cheap food courts called hawker centres, and two famous casino resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. Singapore’s visitor arrivals grew by 20% after the opening of the casinos in 2010.

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15. Greece
> International tourists: 2.53 per resident
> International tourist arrivals: 27.2 million
> Population 10.8 million

Greece, a country packed with history and architecture, has seen the most growth in tourism of any European country in the last decade. In fact, though nearly a quarter of Greek workers are in the tourism sector and the success of the industry has been indispensable in keeping the country’s economy afloat, many Greek towns are being strained by overtourism. Small towns, sick and tired of tourists, and islands can’t keep up with the influx of millions of visitors during a brief period. In 2017, to curb tourist impact, the mayor of Santorini island limited cruise ship disembarkation to 8,000 people a day.

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14. Antigua and Barbuda
> International tourists: 2.71 per resident
> International tourist arrivals: 247,000
> Population 91,000

The former sugarcane islands of Antigua and Barbuda are famous for their hundreds of beaches. For those who prefer adventure to lying in the sand, many companies provide opportunities for parasailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Tourists can also take Land-Rover tours around smaller towns and into the rainforests. Antigua, a common day-trip stop for cruise ships, is also a restaurant hot-spot, with local cuisine featuring sweet potato or cornmeal and okra dumplings, fish, conch, goat, and small Antiguan black pineapples.

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