Not every nation can be a France or a Spain, but which countries see the fewest visitors? Take a look at the world’s least-visited countries below (by region and excluding war-torn nations like Syria and Afghanistan). Are you one of the few travellers who has visited one of these places?
Europe – Liechtenstein: 69,000 (up from 57,000 in 2016)
Europe’s second least visited country, with 69,000 arrivals in 2016, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), is Liechtenstein. That’s a rise of 21 per cent on 2015. So what are we all missing? This German-speaking sliver between Austria and Switzerland has astounding mountain scenery, apt for hiking, mountain biking and winter sports, and Vaduz Castle, a 12th century fortress. The eponymous capital has a fine contemporary art gallery – and a postal museum.
Despite their huge ecological and economic value, mangrove forests are disappearing much faster than the average rate of forests around the world. Fortunately, although still patchy, awareness of their ecological and economic value is rising and there are glimmers of hope in the shape of pioneering conservation and community projects.
Mangroves are groups of trees and shrubs that grow in the intertidal zone of sheltered coastlines and estuaries. They are one of the many living systems that shape the boundary between land and sea.
The term “mangrove” is used to describe both the individual plants and the broader ecosystem of the mangrove forest.
Dozens of species of shrubs and trees
There are dozens of different species of mangrove trees and shrubs.
The country is home to breathtaking attractions that have long been waiting to be discovered.
Diversity, culture and natural beauty – Bangladesh is en route to boost itself as a tourist destination with charming getaways and exciting hotspots. An attractive location complete with hospitable people and family-oriented adventures, Bangladesh is a sight to behold.
With effective steps undertaken by the tourism board in Bangladesh to improve accommodation and access, visitors from all over the world could soon be able to indulge in the country’s vibrant customs and experience breathtaking attractions that have long been waiting to be discovered.
The Sundarbans in Khulna
A destination that has long been highlighted by travel books across the world, the Sundarbans spans an area of 10,000 square kilometres and is known to be one of the largest collection of mangrove forests in the world.
Bangladesh may have delivered its climate action plan well before the 2015 COP21 climate talks in Paris, but the country’s leaders are sending mixed messages with their determination to build a $1.7 billion coal-fired power plant. The problem with the 1.3-gigawatt project, however, goes beyond worsening the country’s struggles with air pollution — which, according to the World Bank, contributes to 230 million cases of respiratory disease annually.
The Rampal project would be located near the world’s largest mangrove forest, which is home to endangered species such as the Bengal tiger and Indian python. And as a result, some of the world’s most influential environmental NGOs are fuming.
And a new campaign aiming to pressure international financial lenders such as JPMorgan and Crédit Agricole to turn their backs on the project has so far attracted more than 1 million signatures.
Each year, approximately 30 people are killed by tigers in the Sundarbans – so why do locals revere rather than fear these killer cats?
“In 23 June 1984, I was attacked.”
Phoni Gyen took a seat on a dock overlooking the still waterways of the Sundarbans, a low-lying archipelago in the Ganges Delta, and settled quickly into his gory sermon. A wispy grey hairline retreated from a scarred, sun-dyed face, like a litter-choked river exposing a dry, cracked riverbed.
“We’d spent the morning fishing,” he said, his small audience fidgeting in the fierce Bengal sun. “I was on the riverbank when I heard a noise coming from the trees.
“I tried to run, but before I could move it was on top of me.”
A tiger had pounced on Gyen from a nearby palm tree, pinning him to the ground.
Organizers estimate more than 4,000 people gathered around the world on Saturday to protest the development of a power plant being built just upstream of the Sundarbans mangrove in Bangladesh.
At more than 10,000 square kilometers, the Sundarbans is the world’s biggest mangrove area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, provides important ecosystem services to human communities, and sequesters millions of tons of carbon.
A 1,320-megawatt, coal-fired power plant is being built just upriver from the Sundarbans, and critics say it threatens the mangrove as well as human health. UNESCO has urged its cancellation and relocation.
On Saturday, January 7, an estimated 4,000 people held rallies in cities around the world protesting the power plant and urging increased protection of the Sundarbans.
Rampal coal plant poses a “serious threat” to a key ecosystem for Bengal tigers and must be cancelled, says the UN world heritage body
The UN’s world heritage body has made an urgent intervention to stop the construction of a coal power station in Bangladesh.
Unesco said the plant could damage the world heritage-listed Sundarbans mangrove forest, which houses up to 450 Bengal tigers.
A fact finding mission, published by Unesco and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Tuesday, found that the proposed site of the Rampal coal power plant, which is 65km north of the Sundarbans world heritage area, would expose the downriver forests to pollution and acid rain.