These are the places that rely the most on tourism around the world, and could be the worst-hit as travel collapses
Global travel has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has reached almost every country and prompted lockdowns and border closings.
As some countries get their outbreaks under control, tourism hot spots are rushing to find ways to attract tourists and reassure them that they will be safe.
But even with their best efforts, travel will be hampered by government restrictions, lingering fears from travelers themselves, and household budgets that can ill-afford lavish vacations in the inevitable recessions around the world.
These are the countries and territories, based on World Bank data for tourism as a percentage of gross domestic product reported by Quartz, that rely the most on visitors:
The Maldives, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, derives 38.92% of its GDP from tourism.
It plans on reopening to tourists in July and has abandoned plans to charge tourists extra fees for visas and tests.
British Virgin Islands
The British territory, which derives 32.96% of its GDP from tourism, officially closed its borders to visitors on March 19.
It plans on reopening in a phased way, starting with its own returning citizens in June, who have to quarantine for 14 days after they arrive.
This special administrative region of China was one of the first places to record a coronavirus case, given its proximity to the Chinese mainland.
And while it has not recorded many cases since, its tourism business, driven largely by its casinos, has stalled.
It derives 28.05% of its GDP from tourism, and it could set up travel bubbles with neighboring regions like Hong Kong.
Aruba, a Dutch island in the Caribbean, derives 27.64% of its GDP from tourism.
It has recorded just 101 coronavirus cases throughout the outbreak and has reported zero cases in June.
It plans on opening its borders with the US on July 10 and with Europe, Canada, and most other Caribbean nations on July 1.
It expects its July tourism numbers to be about 20% of those it had in July 2019.
The island country in the Indian Ocean derives 25.74% of its GDP from tourism.
It has allowed some visitors since June 1, so long as they come from approved countries and have proof of a negative test, among other steps.
It has banned cruise ships until the end of 2021.
The Bahamas has restarted domestic flights between its islands and is allowing international flights to start again from July 1.
International boats, yachts, and private aviation were allowed starting June 15.
Travelers will be screened and have to socially distance.
The country derived 19.23% of its GDP from tourism, but that may have been affected by Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
The island nation in the South Pacific Ocean derives 18.16% of its GDP from tourism.
It has recorded no coronavirus cases, after it closed its borders and banned flights between its own islands on March 26. It was hit by a devastating cyclone two weeks later.
The island country in the Atlantic Ocean derives 17.66% of its GDP from tourism.
It has recorded fewer than 800 virus cases and is allowing flights between its islands to start again on June 30.
The Caribbean island nation has seen fewer than 20 coronavirus cases.
It has allowed visitors to come since June 4, with tourists required to show a negative test dated within 48 hours of their flight. They are also required to wear a mask while in the country.
It derives 15.61% of its GDP from tourism.
The Caribbean country derives 14.95% of its GDP from tourism.
It has seen 22 coronavirus cases, and the country’s international airport is closed, with its cruise ship industry also suspended.
Its airport could open starting July 1.
The country in the South Pacific Ocean derives 14.09% of its GDP from tourism.
It has seen fewer than 20 coronavirus cases and has had zero active cases since June 5.
The country’s borders have been closed since March 25, with citizens able to return only on official repatriation flights.
Those in the tourism industry say the effect will be “catastrophic.”
The European island country has seen more than 600 cases.
It derives 14.08% of its GDP from tourism.
Its international airport is due to open July 1 to visitors from certain countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, and the Czech Republic.
Restrictions from other countries are expected to be lifted July 15.
13.72% of the Southeast Asian country’s GDP is derived from tourism.
It has seen only 129 coronavirus cases, and it started opening its borders to tourists in late May.
It is asking tourists to pay a $3,000 deposit, which covers a coronavirus test and healthcare costs should travelers get sick.
Most of it is returned to tourists if not used.
Barbados has seen fewer than 100 coronavirus cases, and there is no ban on travel to the Caribbean island.
It derives 13.13% of its GDP from tourism.
Visitors from any country with a widespread outbreak, however, have to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive.
Antigua and Barbuda
The West Indies island nation has opened to visitors, with tourists required to submit health forms and do tests when they arrive. People will also have to socially distance on the island.
It derives 13.09% of its GDP from tourism.
Dominica has seen fewer than 20 coronavirus cases, and it has closed its borders to commercial flights as well as private flights and boats.
It derives 12.33% of its GDP from tourism.
The Balkan country derives 11.67% of its GDP from tourism.
It has seen more than 300 coronavirus cases, and it is now campaigning to attract tourists after announcing that it has no more active cases, billing itself as Europe’s first coronavirus-free country.
It currently allows visitors from a set list of countries.
The European country derives 11% of its GDP from tourism.
The country is now allowing tourists, with certain restrictions.
Sao Tome and Principe
The island, off the coast of western Africa, has seen more than 680 coronavirus cases.
It banned all foreign travelers.
It derives 10.63% of its GDP from tourism.
The Caribbean island nation has had more than 600 coronavirus cases.
It reopened for international travel on June 15 but requires a health screening during which tourists have to say whether they have or have had coronavirus symptoms.
10.48% of its GDP is derived from tourism.
Thailand, which derives 9.82% of its GDP from tourism, recorded more than 3,000 coronavirus cases.
The borders are closed until at least June 30.
It plans on a phased reopening for tourists, which could mean visitors can go only to certain parts of the country.
It could also involve travel bubbles, in which only people from certain countries can visit.
Georgia has had fewer than 900 coronavirus cases, and 9.36% of its GDP is derived from tourism.
The country, which bridges Europe and Asia, has stopped foreign citizens from entering but plans to start to reopen borders to certain countries on July 1.
The Philippines derives 8.7% of its GDP from tourism, and it relies heavily on tourism from China.
It has been hard hit by the coronavirus, seeing more than 27,000 cases.
It stopped most international travelers and restricted domestic travel but is sharing online videos so people can experience the country virtually.
The Pacific Ocean country has had no coronavirus cases and requires people traveling from countries with coronavirus outbreaks to spend at least 14 days in a country without the virus before they enter.
It derives 8.66% of its GDP from tourism.
Iceland, where 8.63% of GDP comes from tourism, has had fewer than 2,000 coronavirus cases.
People from the European Union and the Schengen area can visit. On arrival they can take a coronavirus test and move freely provided they test negative.
Without a test, they have to quarantine for 14 days first.
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