After Covid travel restrictions were lifted, tourists from all over the world rushed to book a holiday. While tourism can boost the economy, some countries have more tourists than residents.
Crowded hotspots include Monaco and Montenegro where tourists outnumber residents by as many as four to one.
The Maldives is another example and the beautiful island country welcomes four times as many tourists as residents, according to UNWTO statistics from 2019.
Home to around 521,000 people, fewer than Manchester, less than a fifth of the country’s islands are inhabited. Around 1.7 million tourists visited the country in 2019.
The tourism industry is based on the country’s beaches, which are particularly rare as the white sand is made up of coral. Only around five percent of the world’s beaches consist of coral.
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Many tourists stay in beachside luxury cabins in the Maldives, just a ladder or dive away from the sea.
Until 2009, tourists weren’t allowed to visit the inhabited islands. Since the ban was lifted, tourists can explore more of the island’s cultural heritage as well as spending time on the beach.
Scuba diving is incredibly popular among tourists and many are hoping for a glimpse of the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark.
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Up to 20 feet long, whale sharks pose no danger to humans and sightings are most common at South Ari Atoll.
Sadly, the gorgeous country is at great risk from climate change. Over 80 percent of the country is less than one metre above sea level.
Rising sea temperatures has put the Maldives at risk of disappearing, although the country’s Government has plans to build a floating city.
Climate change could also stop tourists travelling to some of the world’s most popular destinations, according to an expert.
As summer temperatures soar as high as 40 degrees in hotspots such as Spain and Greece, tourists may seek to travel elsewhere.
The cruise industry is also facing tough questions about climate change. One of Europe’s most polluted cities by cruise ships is in the UK.
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