Lately, the tourism sector has been paying a heavy price for the coronavirus pandemic. The planes are grounded, the boats remain at the dock and the trains are greatly reduced in order to encourage each of us to respect the containment measures. But for countries that depend heavily on tourism, the situation looks complicated. And they are not the ones we think.
Some are already wondering what their next destination will be when the activity has restarted and we can travel again. Post-lockdown, some countries will need more support than others to address the economic impact of the pandemic.
The department in charge of granting ESTA travel authorizations for the United States has therefore compiled a list of destinations that rely the most on tourism in their economy and that you could consider for your next getaway, once the pandemic is over.
According to the data collected, Bangladesh is the country whose economy depends the most on tourism, since for each tourist, nine jobs are linked to tourist activity.
For example, the United States receives 80 million tourists but the sector employs “only” 5.8 million people, or 8 people for every 100 tourists.
France receives 87 million tourists a year, for 1.3 million tourism-related jobs, or less than 1 job for 100 tourists.
The top 10 countries most dependent on tourism:
|1. Bangladesh||9 jobs per tourist (944 per 100)|
|2. India||2 jobs per tourist (172 per 100)|
|3.Pakistan||2 jobs per tourist (154 per 100)|
|4. Venezuela||1 job per tourist (101 per 100)|
|5. Ethiopia||1 job per tourist (99 percent)|
|6.Madagascar||1 job per tourist (93 percent)|
|7. Philippines||1 job per tourist (83 per 100)|
|8. Guinea||1 job per tourist (77 percent)|
|9. Libya||1 job per tourist (68 per 100)|
|10.Nigeria||1 job per tourist (66 per 100)|
Jayne Forrester, director of international development at the ESTA department, explained before the pandemic: “It’s very positive for the Bangladeshi community (and for tourists who visit the country), because it means that the economy is booming and looking to hire. “. Today, this situation exposes the country all the more to unemployment due to the loss of tourist earnings linked to the coronavirus.
In second place, but well behind Bangladesh, we find India, with 172 tourist posts for 100 tourists. Given the size and population density of the country, this corresponds to 26,741,000 jobs in the sector. Interestingly, India is not only a thriving tourist destination, but also one of the country that sends the most tourists, as more and more young Indians go out to explore the world.
The ranking is largely dominated by Asian and African countries, with only one South American presence, that of Venezuela.
This list is based on data showing the direct contribution of tourism to employment, to establish the number of tourism jobs created per 100 visitors in 170 countries around the world. Last year, 1.5 billion international tourists were registered worldwide, a figure that was expected to gain another 4% in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic lowered these estimates.
Tourism creates many jobs, from restaurant and bar workers to tour operator staff, local guides, hoteliers, car rental companies and many more. Most of the time, tourism is an engine of growth and employment, since in 2017, one in five jobs created worldwide came from tourism.
What this ranking does not reveal, however, are the trends around these figures, which reveal an interesting alternative. In 2013, Iceland had only seven jobs for every 100 tourists, but in 2018 that figure increased by 109% to 15 jobs. Grenada is another example: its employment rate in the tourism sector has fallen from five (in 2013) to nine today, probably due to the increase in prices on the islands of Barbados and St. Lucie, which have attracted more tourists to Grenadian soil. In the first half of 2019 alone, Grenada welcomed 318,559 visitors, an impressive figure for such a small island.
Using data from Knoema and the World Bank, the ESTA department analyzed the direct contribution of tourism to employment in 172 countries. This figure was then compared to the number of tourists in each of the countries, to know the total number of jobs compared to the total number of tourists. From this, the department was able to calculate the total number of jobs created per 100 tourists in each country. Countries where the number of tourists was not available were not analysed. For more information, the data, which dates from 01/15/2020, is available here.
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