Not all countries enjoy having tourists, especially American ones. For some, it’s about crowds or disrespectful tourists; for others, it’s because of a tense political climate. In such countries, as a tourist, you probably will not be welcomed with open arms.
Do you dream of visiting the Eiffel Tower? If you are a US citizen, your dream is normal, but will not be welcomed by the locals for one simple reason: you speak English.
France is mainly welcoming to tourists, but in Paris, the locals become highly offended if you don’t speak French.
Italy is known as a county of romance, especially because of the city of Venice. However, the city has suffered due to too much tourism, to the extent that half of the permanent residents have left the city. The opening of new fast food places has been banned and crowd control measures have been implemented at the main landmarks.
To alleviate overcrowding, there are plans to institute entry fees for day-trippers in the city. Tourists tend to congregate at certain spots, making it difficult for the locals to go about their daily business.
To travel in Bhutan, you need to book a kind of travel package. This is the only way to get a travel visa. Understandably, a travel package is a big expense, especially if you usually backpack.
The travel package includes accommodation, meals and transport. Any electronic devices you bring into the country have to be registered when you arrive and declared when you leave.
Locals in Amsterdam aren’t happy with how popular their city has become with tourists. The streets are narrow, and they become easily overcrowded with flocks of tourists.
The city’s local government has instituted measures to prevent too many visitors. They’ve raised tourist tax to 7% and banned Airbnb in some of the more affluent neighborhoods.
5. South Africa
While South Africa is a popular tourist destination, local homeowners and wannabe owners resent the way that property prices have increased because of that.
Many foreigners, after visiting the country, purchase property, particularly in the Cape province. This has made property there barely affordable for the locals.
This island has become hugely popular with tourists in recent years. This is due partly to the coverage it received from Game of Thrones. It’s also become a free stopover for tourists en route to the US or to Europe, with the Icelandic WOW Air airline based there.
The locals have found their sense of peace and quiet damaged by so many visitors. Tourists also pose a threat to the environment there and the various special sites of attraction.
7. North Korea
Although it is fairly easy to get a visa for North Korea, you may only do so if you’re part of an official tour group. Once you’ve booked for a certain tour, it is almost impossible to travel anywhere on your own.
You are required to stick with the group. Professional journalists are simply not allowed. If you have a US, South Korean or Malaysian passport you will be denied entry.
The Danes are very strict when it comes to following their own rules and regulations and do not take kindly to tourists who don’t. They are even strict about pedestrian traffic rules.
Denmark is a small nation, and the capital city of Copenhagen’s population is just over half a million. Because of this, they don’t have much patience for crowds of tourists.
Major cities like Barcelona are being spoiled by the increase in cheap Airbnb. It’s led to price hikes in the area, making it difficult for locals to afford rent.
It’s no wonder they aren’t particularly welcoming. Just like in Venice, tourists are forcing locals out of Barcelona because they can’t afford rent.
10. Saudi Arabia
If you’re a citizen of Qatar or Israel you will be denied entry to the country. Having a stamp from Israel will also result in the same denial.
Even a stamp from Egypt or Jordan on your passport might become an issue upon entry as well.
There’s been a lot of over-tourism in Portugal, particularly in Lisbon, where tourism is one of the major industries.
Tourism providers are making a fortune but it’s definitely at the expense of the locals.
The residents of the islands here have had enough of the overwhelming numbers of tourists.
Santorini, in particular, has been inundated with way too many foreigners in the past. Locals just want to live in peace and avoid crowds of tourists taking selfies.
Tourists to Russia have to apply for an entry visa in advance. Within seventy-two hours of arrival, they are required to register with the authorities.
If they don’t, they’ll be deported or else fined when they leave the country. Don’t even think of going if you are a queer American…
Prague used to be a magical holiday destination. That’s been spoiled by tourism, which has made the place very expensive for locals.
There are masses of tourists during any season, so the locals never really get a break from it all.
Travel through China is complex because the territories all have their own regulations. To start with, you’ll need a visa to enter China.
If you want to visit Hong Kong and then go back to mainland China, the visa must make provision for multiple entries. Travel to Tibet is even more restricted and has to be arranged with an organized tour group.
Foreign visitors to Libya are required to first apply for an entry visa. However, it’s currently not issuing any tourist visas.
It’s possible to use a local travel company to buy a business visa, but this is a very expensive option. Effectively then, tourism is banned in Libya so it’s officially the least welcoming country in the world!
Thailand’s popularity as a tourist destination peaked with the release of the movie The Beach. The movie put Maya Bay on the tourist map and many who saw the movie wanted to visit. Many tourists every year visit from China, in particular.
This beautiful, quiet paradise has become overcrowded with tourists, many of whom care little for preserving the natural environment or respecting the local culture.
The Chilean island of Easter Island attracts unending hordes of tourists. They come to see the moai, which are ancient monolithic statues that were carved by the Rapa Nui people.
Visitors have done irreversible damage to these fragile figures, despite the “Do Not Touch” signs everywhere.
Mongolia’s tourism industry is still very new. It has the lowest population density on the planet with only three people for every square mile.
This makes people very wary of strangers. Furthermore, very few people speak English, so you’ll have a difficult time to get around.
The Philippines were so widely publicized that the island of Boracay, a popular tourist destination, had to be closed to the public last year because of waste disposal and sewage issues.
The infrastructure became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people visiting the place. It has since been reopened because many local businesses rely on the tourist trade.
Somalia is a difficult country to get into, and it’s probably just as well for safety reasons. Visas need to be applied for in advance from the Somali Embassy in Kenya.
It’s difficult to pay for anything once in the country because there are no atm machines and credit cards are not accepted. The local currency, in cash, needs to be carried on your person, which of course is a security concern.
Bolivia’s government does not want to promote the place as a tourist destination. For this reason, it has the lowest number of visitors of any South American country.
Tourists are looked upon with suspicion and are not welcomed. We’ll also add that local infrastructures are often dangerous, so be sure to have life insurance if you go. You never know…
Algeria requires you to have an invitation of some form if you want to enter the country. It must either be from family or friends, or from a hotel.
The trick is to have some form of accommodation pre-booked before you even apply for a visa. Most people find this too much effort to bother with.
When we look at the World Economic Forum’s rankings of tourist service infrastructure, Burundi is at the bottom. There are few options for adequate accommodation and transport for visitors is extremely limited.
Tourists also have to contend with getting the required vaccinations for yellow fever. Anti-malarial medication is another necessity when visiting this country. All of this together makes it very difficult for tourists.
25. South Sudan
South Sudan is one of the countries in the world with the least number of tourists. The reason for this is the continuing civil war and the resulting humanitarian crisis there.
It’s no wonder then that tourism isn’t one of the government’s priorities.
Angola requires a lot of paperwork before you can enter the country.
To enter, you need a visa, criminal clearance certificates in English and Portuguese, return flight proof, and a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
There isn’t really a so to speak touristic industry in Afghanistan. The country is still struggling to provide and update basic infrastructure.
In addition, the culture is conservative, and locals are suspicious of strangers. Altogether, it’s a difficult country in terms of international tourism. It goes without saying that a good travel insurance is a must if you plan to visit.
Yemen has an ongoing civil war and a famine to contend with, so it’s understandably not tourism-oriented. You need to obtain a visa to visit.
If your passport has stamps from Israel, Egypt or Jordan, you’ll be denied entry. You will also require special permission from the Yemen Tourist Police to move outside of Sana’a, the capital city.
To get into this country, you’ll need a letter of invitation from a resident there or from a registered travel agency. You cannot just enter as an individual. At some point, you’ll need to be part of an organized tour.
When you arrive, it’s required that you fill out a migration card. This must be kept on your person at all times. Visits lasting for more than three days have to be registered with the authorities.