Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. Tourism provides tourists, the people who travel, an opportunity to relax, perform official duties or other various activities. But a more significant role it plays for the host country. Tourism has proved to be a big boon for many countries’ economies. It is paramount because people visiting the area spend their money which will be poured into the business thus improving their economy. It is also important on a cultural level as the country can display their ancestry and rituals. Though for many countries it enhances their economy but for some others it has become a predominant industry which leads to their absolute dependence over tourism. Here is a list of top 10 countries, issued by United Nations World Tourism Organisation, which are dependent on tourism.
Tourism receipts per capita: $5,319
Average tourist spend: $1,280
Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean with a total land area of 35 square miles. Its thin arid soil, unsuitable for agriculture and scarcity of land based natural resources, makes this territory contingent on tourism. In recent years, Anguilla’s economy has grown rapidly. The surge in their growth is attributable to the drastic expansion of the tourism developments which drives major new partnerships with multinational companies and continual increase in foreign investments in luxury tourism. Anguilla’s 75% GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is obtained from its visitor’s expenditure.
Tourism receipts per capita: $5,451
Average tourist spends: $1,305
The Islands of Bermuda also referred to as The Bermudas is a British overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. It has no natural resources of its own in its 21 square miles, no oil, no gas, and no heavy industry. Almost everything has to be imported. Bermuda is one of the most isolated yet populated places in world with a high cost economy. It has successfully exploited its location by providing financial services for international firms and luxury tourists’ facilities for 360,000 visitors annually. The tourist industry, which accounts for an estimated 28% of Bermuda’s GDP, attracts 84% of its business from North America. The small industrial sector and lack of suitable land for agriculture makes tourism a foremost industry in Bermuda.
Tourism receipts per capita: $6,288
Average tourist spends: $1,205
The Bahamas, a country in the Atlantic Ocean and lying near Cuba, is one of the most opulent countries in the Americas. Bahamas’ astonishing variety and abundance of marine life make these islands amenable to sailors and fishermen and draw visitors to the diverse and vast underwater parks. It reckons on tourism to generate most of its economic activity. Tourism as an industry not only accounts for over 60 per cent of the Bahamian GDP, but provides jobs for more than half the country’s workforce. It is a stable and a developing nation where a steady growth in tourism receipts and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences had led to solid GDP growth in recent years.
Tourism receipts per capita: $7,909
Average tourist spends: $4,170
Luxembourg is a landlocked country in Western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France and Germany. It is a developed country with an advanced economy and the world’s highest GDP per capita. Tourism is a crucial component of its national economy, representing about 8.3% of GDP in 2009 and employing some 25,000 people or 11.7% of the total working population. Luxembourg City, the medieval castle of Vianden, Echternach with its abbey and the wine districts of the Moselle valley enchant tourists primarily from Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Luxembourg in tourist literature is aptly called the “Green Heart of Europe”.
6. Cayman Islands
Tourism receipts per capita: $12,042
Average tourist spends: $1,995
The Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean Sea comprising of three islands, enjoys one of the highest outputs per capita and has the highest standard of living in the Caribbean. Here tourism is a mainstay and the tourist industry is aimed at the luxury market and caters mainly to visitors from North America. Tourism profits from the islands’ unspoiled beaches, duty-free shopping, scuba diving, and deep-sea fishing, which draw almost a million visitors to the islands each year. The Seven Mile Beach is one of the main attractions of The Cayman Islands and is a hub to a number of island’s hotels and resorts. Tourism here contributes to 60% of the national GDP.
5. Turks and Caicos
Tourism receipts per capita: $12,420
Average tourist spends: $1,885
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory and are primarily known for their tourism. Initially, the economy of the Turks and Caicos Islands relied on the export of salt and conch meat. But over the years Guano, cotton, sisal, fish, lobster and sponges have been substantially replaced by tourism. The tourism sector, the principal driver of economic activity is the main employer on the Islands and tourism is responsible for directly creating more than 50% of total jobs across the islands.
4. U.S. Virgin Islands
Tourism receipts per capita: $12,466
Average tourist spends: $2,495
The Virgin Islands of the United States (commonly called the United States Virgin Islands) are a group of islands in the Caribbean with a developing free-enterprise economy. Although there is significant rum manufacturing sector, tourism is the primary economic activity accounting for 80% of both GDP and employment. Tourism in US Virgin Islands is predominantly based on the pleasant tropical climate, attractive scenery, good fishing, proximity to the U.S. mainland, and free-port status and has rapidly expanded lately.
Tourism receipts per capita: $14,771
Average tourist spends: $1,445
Aruba is a small island of Lesser Antilles in the Southern Caribbean Sea. The island has a dry climate and an arid, cactus strewn landscape. The island’s poor soil and low rainfall limits its agricultural prospects. However its warm and sunny weather charms tourists. A humongous part of Aruba’s economy is dependent on tourism. Aruba’s government founded a tourist board to explore the possibility of developing a tourism industry and over the years tourism has grown and helped create a prosperous economy. Aruba’s 41% of the total GDP is procured from visitors’ expenditure.
Tourism receipts per capita: $16,797
Average tourist spends: $900
Macau, also spelled as Macao, is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. Macau is almost a synonym to gambling after Las Vegas and has become a colossal pillar of the gambling industry and hence tourism. The territory’s economy is largely based on tourism. In World Tourism Organization report of international tourism, Macau has been ranked 21st in the number of tourists and 24th in terms of tourists’ receipts. The stable weather, gambling industry, and well known tourist sites, such Senado Square, A-Ma Temple and Ruins of St. Paul’s makes Macau popular among Chinese mainland people and also among other foreign tourists. Gaming and tourism provides more than 50% GDP to Macau and 70% of Macau government revenue.
1. British Virgin Islands
Tourism receipts per capita: $17,621
Average tourist spends: $1,285
The Virgin Islands, commonly known as the British Virgin Islands, is a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. It has one of the most stable and prosperous economy in the Caribbean. According to the CIA World Factbook, in 2004 the Territory had the 12th highest GDP per capita in the world. The poor soils of Virgin Islands limit the ability to meet domestic food requirements of the islands. Hence the economy has become highly dependent on tourism which generates an estimated 45% of the total national income. The bulk of the tourism income in the British Virgin Islands is generated by the yacht chartering industry and the territory also entertains cruise ships.