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Countries most dependent on tourism

  • #10. Fiji

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $2 billion (39.3% of total GDP; 28.1% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 117,200 (35.7% of total jobs)

    Tourist arrivals to Fiji dropped 99% in May 2020 compared with May 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions, according to the International Monetary Fund. The country, which has legendary beaches, is expecting a 21.7% decline in its economy this year.

  • #9. Barbados

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $2 billion (41.2% of total GDP; 9.5% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 54,000 (41.3% of total jobs)

    With nearly zero tourist arrivals from April through June, Barbados unveiled a new tourism and immigration program that allows remote workers to stay in the Caribbean island for 12 months at a time. The country is known for its turquoise coastline, fun nightlife, and wild surf, according to Lonely Planet.

  • #8. Belize

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $794 million (41.8% of total GDP; 81.7% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 61,400 (37.1% of total jobs)

    A drop in tourism revenue during the pandemic has prompted Indigenous tourism businesses in Belize to return to their roots as farmers, reports Anastasia Moloney of Reuters. The country has the second largest barrier reef in the world, along with vibrant wildlife that appeals to nature-focused travelers.

  • #7. St. Lucia

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $654.2 million (43.3% of total GDP; 18.1% decrease since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 40,300 (52.4% of total jobs)

    After thousands of locals lost their jobs amid a drop in tourism, the postcard-worthy Caribbean island of St. Lucia reopened to travelers on July 9, reports Brian Major of TravelPulse. Since then, the country’s top tourism official says it has received a “consistent flow of visitors.”

  • #6. Cabo Verde

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $807.1 million (44.4% of total GDP; 235.5% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 95,400 (38.9% of total jobs)

    Cabo Verde has suffered an economic crisis after COVID-19 forced it to close its borders to international flights in mid-March, according to Macau Business. Lonely Planet says the volcanic archipelago, which is located 300 miles west of Senegal, boasts a mix of sparkling bays, green valleys, and craggy mountains.

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  • #5. Vanuatu

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $380.4 million (45.9% of total GDP; 21.6% decrease since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 30,800 (39.2% of total jobs)

    Despite a drop in tourism, Vanuatu generated a $33.3 million budget surplus from January to June with its “citizenship-for-sale program,” reports Dan McGarry of The Guardian. The country has more than 80 islands scattered around the Pacific, offering travelers the opportunity to spend time in deserted beaches and rugged landscapes.

  • #4. The Bahamas

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $4.5 billion (48.3% of total GDP; 4.4% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 114,900 (56.2% of total jobs)

    Coronavirus-related shutdowns in the cruising industry have cost the Bahamas around $540 million in revenue, says Dionisio D’Aguilar, the country’s Minister of Tourism. The vacation destination is home to world-class resorts and palm-fringed beaches.

  • #3. Antigua and Barbuda

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $806.1 million (52.4% of total GDP; 29.5% decrease since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 17,000 (46.2% of total jobs)

    Antigua and Barbuda reopened its airport to international and regional flights in June after a shutdown earlier this year, which has ravaged the economy, reports Caribbean National Weekly. Divers love the country’s reef-lined beaches, while nature-focused travelers dig its rainforests.

  • #2. Seychelles

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $999.9 million (64.2% of total GDP; 13.5% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 29,700 (63.7% of total jobs)

    Tourism in the Seychelles has flatlined during the pandemic, according to the country’s former minister of tourism, Alain St. Ange. He says the country’s marijuana industry could present new opportunities for tourism in the future.

  • #1. Maldives

    - Tourism total contribution to GDP: $3 billion (75.1% of total GDP; 44.2% increase since 1998)
    - Jobs reliant on tourism: 80,400 (36.7% of total jobs)

    The Maldives reopened to travelers with minimal safety requirements in mid-July. However it has since implemented stricter rules after more than a dozen of its luxurious resorts had a spike in coronavirus cases among visitors and staff.

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