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5 countries that really need more travellers in 2023

These beautiful places around the world are hoping you visit ASAP

Written by
Karen Edwards
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While tourism across the world over the past year has somewhat recovered following the pandemic, the industry isn’t quite yet fully back on its feet. And many nations have been forced to re-examine how they should fill the revenue gap that thousands, sometimes millions, of travellers once brought to their economies.

The loss in income, on both an individual and national level, has remained huge in some places – with the impact on infrastructure development and conservation efforts also stalling. For the many people working in the travel and tourism industry, and the communities who support or depend on it, the recovery continues to be slow and gruelling.

So, while 2023 should be the year we carry on rethinking how we travel and becoming more mindful about our carbon footprint, it is also the year where we should choose our holidays wisely, making a conscious decision about where is best to travel under the current circumstances. As you plan your trips, consider the following countries – they have had a particularly difficult time over the past few years. 

RECOMMENDED: 12 ways to be a better tourist right now

Countries that really need more travellers in 2023

Antigua and Barbuda
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1. Antigua and Barbuda

Caribbean nations began losing their tourism income early in the pandemic when many were forced to close their border due to rocketing Covid cases in both the USA and Europe. In early 2021, some islands including Antigua and Barbuda, launched an extended remote-working visa programme to lure travellers back to their sunshine islands. That dreamy offer is still open, with a two-year ‘Nomad Digital Residence’ visa costing $1,500 (£1,235) for a single applicant, or $2,000 (£1,645) for a couple.

Botswana
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2. Botswana

Thanks to on-off border restrictions that blocked most travel to southern Africa, Botswana was dealt a particularly tough blow during the pandemic. Tourism is important here, not only to keep jobs, but also to support local communities and the rangers who protect wildlife against poachers. The European winter and summer months are a great time to visit. During the former, herds tend to enjoy the lush fruits of a southern hemisphere summer, while in the latter, the dry season draws animals to waterholes – making the elusive leopard and cheetah easier to spot.

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Fiji
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3. Fiji

Beautiful Fiji in the South Pacific is surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters, and is hugely dependent on visitors, particularly cruise passengers. As a result, and despite having minimal Covid cases compared with most countries, this island nation has seen very little tourism over the last few years. With borders now open, they’re hoping it won’t be long until holidaymakers are brave enough to return to this slice of paradise to swim, snorkel, Scuba dive or simply sit back on a beach with a cocktail.

Madeira
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4. Madeira

Just off the south-west coast of Portugal, idyllic Madeira had to deal with the uncertainty of ever-changing travel rules across Europe throughout the pandemic. As an offshore island, they largely managed to keep Covid at bay, but Madeira still suffered from a huge drop in visitors. The small, volcanic island is easily driveable by hire car, and combines cultural highlights – notably the Story Centre and loads of top restaurants – with outdoor activities like hiking, canyoning, kayaking, wild swimming and Scuba diving.

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Mauritius
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5. Mauritius

Mauritius is a small, tropical island in the Indian Ocean, perfect for the sunshine-searching traveller. Sadly, the country’s visitor numbers still haven’t quite properly recovered from the pandemic. So, if you’re looking for a palm-fringed beach escape, Mauritius is a strong contender. Start off your trip in culture-packed capital Port Louis before enjoying some R&R at a sustainable retreat like the Otentic Eco Tent experience.

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