Visualizing the Countries Most Reliant on Tourism


This post is by Dorothy Neufeld from Visual Capitalist

Visualizing the Countries Most Reliant on Tourism

Visualizing the Countries Most Reliant on Tourism

Without a steady influx of tourism revenue, many countries could face severe economic damage.

As the global travel and tourism industry stalls, the spillover effects to global employment are wide-reaching. A total of 330 million jobs are supported by this industry around the world, and it contributes 10%, or $8.9 trillion to global GDP each year.

Today’s infographic uses data from the World Travel & Tourism Council, and it highlights the countries that depend the most on the travel and tourism industry according to employment—quantifying the scale that the industry contributes to the health of the global economy.

Ground Control

Worldwide, 40 countries rely on the travel and tourism industry for more than 15% of their total share of employment. Unsurprisingly, many of the countries suffering the most economic damage are island nations.

At the same time, data reveals the extent to which certain larger nations rely on tourism. In New Zealand, for example, 479,000 jobs are generated by the travel and tourism industry, while in Cambodia tourism contributes to 2.4 million jobs.

Rank Country T&T Share of Jobs (2019) T&T Jobs (2019) Population
1 Antigua & Barbuda 91% 33,800 97,900
2 Aruba 84% 35,000 106,800
3 St. Lucia 78% 62,900 183,600
4 US Virgin Islands 69% 28,800 104,400
5 Macau 66% 253,700 649,300
6 Maldives 60% 155,600 540,500
7 St. Kitts & Nevis 59% 14,100 53,200
8 British Virgin Islands 54% 5,500 30,200
9 Bahamas 52% 103,900 393,200
10 Anguilla 51% 3,800 15,000
11 St. Vincent & the Grenadines 45% 19,900 110,900
12 Seychelles 44% 20,600 98,300
13 Grenada 43% 24,300 112,500
14 Former Netherlands Antilles 41% 25,700 26,200
15 Belize 39% 64,800 397,600
16 Cape Verde 39% 98,300 556,000
17 Dominica 39% 13,600 72,000
18 Vanuatu 36% 29,000 307,100
19 Barbados 33% 44,900 287,400
20 Cayman Islands 33% 12,300 65,700
21 Jamaica 33% 406,100 2,961,000
22 Montenegro 33% 66,900 628,100
23 Georgia 28% 488,200 3,989,000
24 Cambodia 26% 2,371,100 16,719,000
25 Fiji 26% 90,700 896,400
26 Croatia 25% 383,400 4,105,000
27 Sao Tome and Principe 23% 14,500 219,200
28 Bermuda 23% 7,800 62,300
29 Iceland 22% 44,100 341,200
30 Thailand 21% 8,054,600 69,800,000
31 Malta 21% 52,800 441,500
32 New Zealand 20% 479,400 4,822,000
33 Lebanon 19% 434,200 6,825,000
34 Mauritius 19% 104,200 1,272,000
35 Portugal 19% 902,400 10,197,000
36 Gambia 18% 129,600 2,417,000
37 Jordan 18% 254,700 10,200,000
38 Dominican Republic 17% 810,800 10,848,000
39 Uruguay 16% 262,500 3,474,000
40 Namibia 15% 114,600 2,541,000

Croatia, another tourist hotspot, is hoping to reopen in time for peak season—the country generated tourism revenues of $13B in 2019. With a population of over 4 million, travel and tourism contributes to 25% of its workforce.

How the 20 Largest Economies Stack Up

Tourist-centric countries remain the hardest hit from global travel bans, but the world’s biggest economies are also feeling the impact.

In Spain, tourism ranks as the third highest contributor to its economy. If lockdowns remain in place until September, it is projected to lose $68 billion (€62 billion) in revenues.

Rank Country Travel and Tourism, Contribution to GDP
1 Mexico 15.5%
2 Spain 14.3%
3 Italy 13.0%
4 Turkey 11.3%
5 China 11.3%
6 Australia 10.8%
7 Saudi Arabia 9.5%
8 Germany 9.1%
9 United Kingdom 9.0%
10 U.S. 8.6%
11 France 8.5%
12 Brazil 7.7%
13 Switzerland 7.6%
14 Japan 7.0%
15 India 6.8%
16 Canada 6.3%
17 Netherlands 5.7%
18 Indonesia 5.7%
19 Russia 5.0%
20 South Korea 2.8%

On the other hand, South Korea is impacted the least: just 2.8% of its GDP is reliant on tourism.

Travel, Interrupted

Which countries earn the most from the travel and tourism industry in absolute dollar terms?

Topping the list was the U.S., with tourism contributing over $1.8 trillion to its economy, or 8.6% of its GDP in 2019. The U.S. remains a global epicenter for COVID-19 cases, and details remain unconfirmed if the country will reopen to visitors before summer.

Travel and tourism contribution to GDP in absolute terms

Meanwhile, the contribution of travel and tourism to China’s economy has more than doubled over the last decade, approaching $1.6 trillion. To help bolster economic activity, China and South Korea have eased restrictions by establishing a travel corridor.

As countries slowly reopen, other travel bubbles are beginning to make headway. For example, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have eased travel restrictions by creating an established travel zone. Australia and New Zealand have a similar arrangement on the horizon. These travel bubbles allow citizens from each country to travel within a given zone.

Of course, COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on employment and global economic activity with inconceivable outcomes. When the dust finally settles, could global tourism face a reckoning?

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The post Visualizing the Countries Most Reliant on Tourism appeared first on Visual Capitalist.