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Countries most dependent on tourism

  • #40. Estonia

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $4.1 billion (15.5% of total GDP; 2.4% decrease since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 100,500 (15.5% of total jobs)

    Estonia saw visits from foreign tourists plummet by 93% in the second quarter of 2020, resulting in a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars, according to ERR News. The country launched a new digital nomad visa in August in hopes of encouraging long-term visitors.

  • #39. Mexico

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $191 billion (16.1% of total GDP; 18.7% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 8.8 million (16.6% of total jobs)

    Mexico didn’t keep its tourism industry closed for long. The popular state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, reopened on June 8 with a new Clean & Safe Check Certification for tourism service providers, while Los Cabos welcomed visitors back the following week, notes Laurie Baratti of TravelPulse. The country is forecast to have hotel occupancy rates between just 33% and 47% this year due to the coronavirus, according to data from Statista.

  • #38. Madagascar

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $1.8 billion (16.2% of total GDP; 141.1% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 797,500 (13.6% of total jobs)

    Many visitors to Madagascar travel to the island nation to see its protected areas, which are home to spectacular biodiversity, note Rivonala Razafison and Malavika Vyawahare of Mongabay. Katie Knorovsky of National Geographic reports that lack of tourists during the pandemic has made it more difficult for the country to protect these areas and the animals who live there from illicit activities.

  • #37. Armenia

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $1.9 billion (16.2% of total GDP; 274.4% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 169,300 (14.4% of total jobs)

    Amid restrictions on international visitors, Armenia has seen an uptick of residents looking to explore their own country over the past few months, reports Raffi Elliott of The Armenian Weekly. Its tourism board says that hotel occupancy rates in the nation have climbed dramatically since the lockdown ended in May.

  • #36. Dominican Republic

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $13.6 billion (17.2% of total GDP; 6.3% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 696,500 (15.9% of total jobs)

    In an effort to lure tourists back safely, the Dominican Republic has announced that it will give visitors free health insurance during their trip. The country is known for its luxurious hotels, world-class golfing, archeological sites, and stunning beaches.

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  • #35. Portugal

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $40 billion (17.8% of total GDP; 64.9% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 1 million (21.1% of total jobs)

    Rumors that Portugal would be removed from the U.K.’s safe-to-visit list prompted many British travelers to rush home from their vacations and cancel upcoming trips. The yo-yoing has had a devastating effect on Portugal’s tourism industry.

  • #34. New Zealand

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $33.9 billion (17.9% of total GDP; 5.8% decrease since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 526,900 (21.8% of total jobs)

    Beloved for its Hobbiton film set, wineries, and sea kayaking safaris, New Zealand is urging Kiwis to skip their annual overseas trips and explore their own country, instead. The country is expecting to lose up to $21 billion over the next four years due to the drop in tourism during COVID-19.

  • #33. Morocco

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $20.8 billion (18.6% of total GDP; 69.8% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 1.9 million (16.4% of total jobs)

    France 24 reports that tourism in Morocco’s most-visited city of Marrakech has been decimated during the pandemic, with 70% of the city’s hotels still shut down as of mid-August. Some of the city’s carriage horses, which are popular among tourists, are now at risk of starvation, according to the Associated Press.

  • #32. Lebanon

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $9.8 billion (19.1% of total GDP; 285.7% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 386,800 (18.4% of total jobs)

    The year 2020 has been catastrophic for tourism in Lebanon, which not only suffered a steep drop in visitors during the pandemic, but also a devastating explosion at the Beirut port. More than half the hotels in the greater metropolitan area were severely damaged, as were 2,060 restaurants, reports Tony Akleh of Arabian Business.

  • #31. Jordan

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $8.2 billion (19.7% of total GDP; 12.7% decrease since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 229,500 (20.1% of total jobs)

    Jordan has announced it will reopen its main airport in early September after being closed to regular flights for nearly six months during the pandemic. While best known for the famous archeological site of Petra, the country is also a popular destination for medical tourism, which typically brings in $1.5 billion, reports Arabian Business.

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