Lonely Planet Writer

See the list of the world’s fastest-growing tourist destinations

If you like the idea of visiting countries that are increasing in popularity, you may start with Egypt. It’s the fastest-growing tourist destination, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, which revealed this fact in its annual report on global travel and tourism.

Great Sphinx of Giza with the Great Pyramid of Giza. Image by ©Anton Belo/Shutterstock

Egypt welcomed approximately 8.5m visitors in 2017, which was an increase of 55.1% on the 5.2m who holidayed there in 2016. They visited attractions like the Great Pyramid of Giza in Cairo and the Sphinx, and the coast along the Red Sea has a rugged desert beauty above the waterline and a psychedelic vibrancy below, perfect for those looking for beach and diving holidays.

Lai Vien Kieu in Hoi An, Vietnam. Image: Richie Chan/Shutterstock

Togo saw a 46.7% jump in visitors, putting the African country in second place. It’s a great place for hikers. and the diversity of its landscapes ranges from lakes and palm-fringed beaches along the Atlantic coastline to the rolling forested hills in the centre. A rise of 29.1% in visitors saw Vietnam, a country of staggering natural beauty and cultural complexities, named the third-fastest growing destination. The Palestinian Territories  took fourth place, with a 25.7% rise in visitors recorded in 2017.

A traditional tribal dwelling in the Koutammakou area of Togo, Africa. Image: Catherine Unger

The tiny island of Niue in the South Pacific came in fifth place, seeing visitor numbers rise by 25.7% in 2017. Nepal came in sixth place (24.9%), Israel in seventh (24.6%) the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean (24.3%) and Turkey and Iceland tied for ninth place at 24.1%.

You can read the full United Nations World Tourism Organization Tourism Highlights 2018 report here.