What Country Does Tourism Impact the Most Economically?

Tourism, as I have mentioned before, is one of the most important global industries.  To understand its magnitude, in 2015 its contribution to global gross domestic product (GDP) accounted for 9.8% of global trade and supported 284 million jobs, roughly 1 in 11 jobs worldwide.  The global scale of tourism of course impacts domestic economies differently depending upon the size of the economy and the scale of tourism.

When I talk about impact I am referring to the relative size of the tourism’s contribution to the overall domestic economy.  Aruba, the popular southern Caribbean country unsurprisingly comes in 2nd when assessing tourism’s total contribution to the domestic economy.  Its contribution is a whopping 90.7% of domestic GDP and employs 92.8% of total employment.  Tourism is of course big business in Aruba and makes for the ideal destination for impactful travel, particularly with locally owned and operated businesses.  However, this also means the country as a whole is susceptible to economic downturns when tourist numbers decline.

Eagle Beach Aruba. Photo credit Alexandre Breveglieri

Eagle Beach Aruba. Photo credit Alexandre Breveglieri

So which country does tourism impact the most economically?  It happens to be the small Indian Ocean country of the Maldives.  Here are the facts and figures for the Maldives in 2015: the total contribution to domestic GDP was an incredible 96.5% and supported 60.4% of employment. While tourism does not employ as many people as it does in Aruba the level of importance it has to the domestic economy is higher due to the percentage it represents. When traveling to the Maldives your expenditures are more important to the economy than anywhere else in the world simply because it supports much more of the overall domestic income.

Maldives Photo credit Mac Qin

Maldives Photo credit Mac Qin

 

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