As the world population is predicted to reach about 9 billion by 2050, more and more people will be traveling to discover new places. In 2017, there were over 1.2 billion international tourists worldwide. Nowadays, tourism has become a global phenomenon representing one of the main growth industries in the 21st century because it contributes to both social and economic development. Although Europe still remains one of the most visited regions in the world attracting almost a third (32%) of all international tourist arrivals even though its share is decreasing yearly due to a drop in arrivals from North America and Asia-Pacific regions, southeastern countries show a remarkable performance that may accelerate during 2022 when considered their growth prospects based on their political situation or climate conditions which makes them stand out as preferred destination.
International tourism has been growing annually since 2009 (about 4% in 2017) and it is expected to continue to increase. During 2022 the international tourist arrivals worldwide may reach 1.4 billion, an increase of 5% from 2017. As for the Asia-Pacific region, its share will grow faster than other regions because it has a very young and dynamic population therefore, due to their higher purchasing power and lack of space in big cities for new constructions, increasing numbers of people may choose Asian countries as preferred destinations for holidays or business travels.
Here we present you top island destinations that are predicted to be the most visited islands by 2022:
The archipelago of Maldives with its 1192 coral islands rests on top of the Laccadive Ridge, which is an undersea ridge, about 30 kilometers (19 mi) in length that runs between the basaltic outcrops of Aden and Lakshadweep islands. The Maldives are mainly composed of coral reefs and sandy atolls which means they belong to the third world for tourism because it has become one of their main sources of income. Tourism started growing rapidly during 1970’s when international flights were allowed to land on any island. By 1980, around 55% of GDP was generated by the travel industry which represented 3% of all employment opportunities. Since then, over 1 million people visited each year which represents almost 85% of all visitors worldwide during 2017.
For several years, Maldives has represented top international destinations in the world by number of tourists. In 2017, there were around 1 million visitors representing a growth of 7% from 2016 and this trend is expected to continue during 2022 when the country will be visited by more than 1.2 million international tourists. All these data show that Maldives are one of the most popular island destinations worldwide with great tourist attractions such as its sandy beaches, coral reefs, native culture, and lush vegetation.
Seychelles are one of the world’s top island destinations after Maldives because they also represent an archipelago of 115 islands (41 granitic and 74 coralline) with about 90 pinnacles scattered across them which make them look like mermaids’ jewels. Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean, about 1,600 kilometers (994 mi) east of mainland African coast. They were discovered by Arabs during the 11th century and were under French control who sold them to the UK in 1814. The archipelago was named after French Minister of Finance Jean Moreau de Séchelles whose heirs still own some islands today. The first resort opened on Mahé island in 1967 although tourism didn’t start growing until 1974 due to lack of infrastructure and facilities for tourists according to Sun-Banks Group. After the 1990’s Seychelles became one of the world’s most visited island destinations because they are attractive for honeymooners, scuba divers…and other outdoor activities seekers who can enjoy their exotic beaches and tropical forests. Visitors can also watch dolphins, whales and turtles which make Seychelles one of the best island destinations because they are part of its diverse marine life.
- French Polynesia
Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (15 degrees S and 133 degrees W) and covering an area larger than Western Europe, French Polynesia comprises 118 islands including Tahiti, Bora Bora… It has been a major center for pearl hunting and trading with other parts of the Pacific since the mid-19th century because it was rich in pearls as well as sandalwood that was sought after by western traders which made its population start growing. Since 1988, tourism has been the main target for local economic growth due to its diversity of landscapes, exotic vegetation, and marine life. With white sand beaches, tropical jungles and coral reefs, French Polynesia has become one of the most visited islands in the Pacific because it is considered as an ideal location to please any type of visitor (sun-worshipers, honeymooners).