According to data published by the UN World Tourism Organization, the Palestinian territories is the fastest growing tourist destination in the world in 2017.
Growth Of Tourism
The list includes 10 destinations across the globe with the fastest growth in tourism activities. However, it is important to note that these destinations might not be the most popular destinations in the world but have just experienced the fastest growth in tourism in a one-year period. By carefully observing the list, two trends can be noted. Some of the destinations in the list have experienced terrorist attacks or internal disturbances in the past but the recovery from such incidents have favored a surge in tourist activities in these countries. Second, it appears that the tourists are in the search of newer and more exotic destinations leading to the growth in tourism in such destinations.
Tourism is booming in Palestine. The Palestinian territories experienced a 57.8% increase in the arrival of international tourists in the first half of 2017. If the trend remains so, the region will record the arrival of an estimated 630,000 vacationers by the end of the year. Successful strategies to boost tourism in the region like the opening of the boutique Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem are believed to aid in attracting tourists to the West Bank.
Egypt ranks second as the fastest growing tourism destination in the world in 2017 with a 51% growth in tourism. The country, famous for its history and ancient architecture, witnessed a great fall in tourism from 9.1 million visitors in 2015 to only 5.26 million visitors in 2016. Political unrest prevailing in the nation and suspected terrorist activities are believed to have contributed to the downfall in tourism activities in the country. However, with improving conditions, tourists are once more flocking to this unique destination to explore the majestic historical ruins of Egypt.
Northern Mariana Islands
With a growth of 37.3% in overnight visitor numbers in a year, the Northern Mariana Islands rank number three on the list. The region received 531,000 tourists in 2016. The growth in tourism at this destination reveals the popular trend of exploring the less explored destinations of the world. The 15-island archipelago has a lot to offer to tourists including beautiful beaches and a plethora of aquatic activities.
Iceland also ranks among the top growing tourist destinations in the world. However, given the country’s reputation as a safe haven for tourists, this comes as no surprise. The country has some of the most stunning landscapes and geographical features in the world. Iceland also has excellent tourism facilities and a peaceful environment for the rapid development of tourism.
Terrorism activities in the past in Tunisia led to the downfall in tourism activities in the country, similar to the case in Egypt. However, this year tourism in the country appears to fast recovering since a growth of 32.5% in tourist arrivals in the country have been reported in the first few months of 2017 by the UNWTO.
Other Fastest Growing Tourism Destinations In 2017
Vietnam, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Mongolia, and Israel are the next five tourist destination that has experienced the fastest growth in tourist arrivals in the first few months of 2017. While Vietnam is already a popular destination with fast-growing tourist numbers, the next three destinations in the list have witnessed a surge in tourism only in the past few years. The biggest surprise in the list is Mongolia, a completely off-beat destination that is surrounded by vast sandy deserts and rugged mountainous landscapes. Despite the 28.3% growth in tourist footfall, Mongolia still receives a considerably lower number of tourists compared to the world’s most popular tourist destinations. In the first few months of 2017, around 400,000 tourists trekked in Mongolia. Israel finishes off the list by being the 10th fastest growing tourist destination in the world.