Supporting Tourism for Development in Least Developed Countries
Tourism represents nearly 10% of the world’s GDP and 30% of global services exports. It ranked third as a worldwide export category in 2015, after fuels and chemicals and ahead of food and automotive products.1 In many developing countries, tourism ranks as the first export sector. 2 Tourism has been estimated to generate one in 11 jobs in the world. The cross-cutting and labour-intensive nature of tourism creates links to many other economic sectors and positions it as a valuable contributor to national development strategies.
Most LDCs recognize tourism as a sector with a huge potential for economic growth. Tourism can improve a country’s image, facilitate export diversification and contribute to the creation of jobs and value chains. The DTISs also emphasize that the rich natural and cultural environments of the LDCs need to be sustainably managed, as they are the backbone for developing highly attractive tourism sectors.