Do you know which island is the most visited Caribbean country? What about the least visited?
Caribbean tourism is booming– in some countries more than others! Do you know which country is currently the most visited by tourists as of 2019?
The most visited Caribbean country is…the Dominican Republic!
According to data from the World Tourism Organization, 26 million tourists visited the Caribbean in 2017. 6.2 million went to the Dominican Republic.
This data was collected in September 2018, and is therefore the most recent information available as of 2019. Despite the difficult hurricane season of 2017, the Caribbean saw an overall increase of about 3% in tourism. However, this increase was mostly seen in countries that were unaffected by the hurricanes, such as the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
The Dominican Republic is the second-largest country in the Caribbean. It shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
Furthermore, data shows that Punta Cana is the most popular tourist destination within the Dominican Republic. It’s especially popular with the college crowd during Spring Break!
If you go to the Dominican Republic, you’ll find plenty of all-inclusive resorts, great beaches, and exceptional golf courses. However, you’ll need to brush up on your Spanish, since that is this beautiful Caribbean country’s official language.
Caribbean countries ranked by popularity
Which Caribbean countries are the most popular with tourists? Here are the top destinations ranked by popularity, according to the most recent data gathered by the World Tourism Organization.
- Dominican Republic (over 6 million)
- Cuba (about 4 million)
- Puerto Rico (4 million)
- Jamaica (2.4 million)
- Bahamas (1.5 million)
- Aruba (1 million)
- United States Virgin Islands (about 670,000)
- Barbados (664,000)
- Guadeloupe (650,000)
- Martinique (536,000)
What is the least visited Caribbean country?
The least visited country by far is Montserrat, which received about 8,000 visitors in 2017. That’s no surprise, considering the fact that the population is even less than that. Only about 5,000 people call this tiny island home. However, that doesn’t mean Montserrat isn’t a great choice for your Caribbean vacation. On the contrary– it has some spectacular beaches, notably some very unique black sand beaches created by volcanic activity.
Montserrat is also famous for a series of volcanic eruptions that took place in the 1990s. The “grand awakening” of the sleepy Soufriere Hills volcano caused a mass exodus of the island that greatly reduced its population.
Least visited Caribbean countries, ranked
Looking to vacation somewhere a bit more solitary? Try one of these beautiful destinations! They may be a bit less popular with tourists, but only because they are smaller, or a bit further away from major continents.
- Montserrat (8,000)
- Saba (9,200)
- Saint Eustatius (Statia) (11,000)
- Anguilla (68,000)
- St. Barthelemy (78,000)
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines (76,000)
- Dominica (79,000)
- St. Kitts and Nevis (114,000)
- Bonaire (136,000)
- Grenada (146,000)
Don’t let those numbers fool you. Each and every one of the Caribbean countries above has so much to offer. In fact, the lesser-known islands are the most unspoiled. They are teeming with wildlife on land and coral reefs in the sea. Bonaire is a great example of this, as the island is nearly surrounded by reefs and dive sites. St. Barth’s is so exclusive that it has long been a favorite with celebrities.
Read all about the most underrated Caribbean countries here!
Main image source: nationsonline.org.