Palestinian territories—up 58 percent
Davide Marzotto/Shutterstock An unlikely front-runner, the Palestinian territories consisting of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip saw a strong surge in tourism over the past year.. The spike was (at least partly) driven by the opening of the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, which flaunts rooms customized by the likes of Banksy, Sami Musa, and Dominique Petrin. Other attractions include numerous historically significant archaeological, historical, and religious sites.
Egypt—up 51 percent
Given that political unrest and terror attacks continue to plague Egypt—not to mention U.K. and Russian flight bans—it may come as a surprise that it made the list. From the Nile (the world’s second longest river) and colossal Pyramids of Giza to the trove of antiquities at the Egyptian Museum and the beach resorts of Sharm El Sheikh, the lure of the land has globe-trotters taking the risk.