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Country Highlights

Réunion & its Economy: Impact of Tourism

Réunion offers a diverse array of landscape tourism ranging from pristine beaches and tropical rainforests to active volcanoes, all within a small area. This variety of climates and terrains enables tourism activities throughout the year. Popular among visitors are hiking trails winding through lush mountains; cycling routes along the coast taking in scenic vistas; water sports in sheltered bays and lagoons; and wildlife encounters in nature reserves.

Hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and tour operators have flourished to cater to the booming tourism industry. Over 150 hotels with 20,000 beds currently operate in Réunion. The sector generates over $2.5 billion annually, making it a primary foreign exchange earner. Tourism also supports ancillary industries like agriculture, fishing and handicrafts that supply local goods and experiences.

Going forward within the tourism industry in Réunion, it is essential to diversify the product portfolio into niche segments like- wellness, adventure and cultural tourism can help extend the seasonality. Promoting sustainable and responsible practices can help maximize tourism’s economic contribution while minimizing the environmental footprint in Réunion.

Tourism plays a vital role in Réunion’s economy, contributing over 15% to GDP and supporting around 30% of total employment. The sector’s growth over the past few decades has been driven by the island’s unique attractions.

However— mass tourism brings environmental sustainability challenges if not managed properly. Issues seen are improper waste disposal polluting beaches and natural areas as well as overcrowding that disturbs fragile ecosystems. Infrastructure also requires upgrades, especially in rural areas and for last-mile connectivity to tourist sites. Traffic congestion during peak seasons is another problem.

To maximize tourism’s economic benefits sustainably— diversifying into niche and high-yield segments like wellness, adventure and cultural tourism can help extend the seasonality. Promoting eco-friendly practices among stakeholders and investing in “green infrastructure” will help minimize the environmental impacts in Réunion.

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Featured Reports

Understand the macroeconomic situations that affect the global positioning of countries.

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