Six Tourist-Dependent Countries That Would Benefit Most From ‘Regenerative Travel’

Sustainable tourism, aiming to counterbalance social and environmental impacts associated with travel, has morphed into “regenerative travel,” or leaving a place better than you found it.

Regenerative Travel — the next big trend for conscious travelers —tries to ensure that the benefits contributed by visitors outweigh the resources they consume: it’s intentional tourism, to create positive contributions to the quality of life.

Regenerative travel could help reverse the harm the COVID-19 pandemic has caused tourist-dependent countries, by supporting local economies and cultures around the world in a more balanced way.

Nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Responsible Travel and Sustainable Travel International, have joined together as the Future of Tourism coalition, which aims to “build a better tomorrow.” Travel groups, including tour operators and trade associations have signed on to the coalition’s 13 guiding principles, including “demand fair income distribution” and “choose quality over quantity.”

According to the IMF, tourism accounted for 10 percent of global GDP and 320 million jobs worldwide in 2019. Some destinations, like U.S. National Parks and Croatia, are over-touristed, post-pandemic. And some countries are suffering more than others from the lack of tourism.

A recent study by global luggage storage network, Stasher, reveals the ultimate regenerative travel destinations. The shortlist is based on where in the world had a high reliance on tourism before the pandemic, but are now not thriving, according to TikTok and Instagram data.

Whenever you travel, check the latest guidelines and COVID-19 restrictions. Some areas are not ready for tourists. But others are; and if so, perhaps consider their need as part of your decision.

Also consider the most eco-friendly way of getting to your chosen destination. For example, if you fly, you can sign up for a carbon reduction platform, like Treepoints, to help offset your flight’s carbon footprint by donating to certified eco projects on your behalf.

You can explore the full list of regenerative travel destinations here. Below is a shortlist:


% of GDP from tourism: 32.7%; TikTok and Instagram tags/views: 502,013

In 2019, tourism made up over a third of Cambodia’s GDP, yet it’s clearly not a tourist social media hot spot.

You can enjoy R&R on one of its deserted white sandy beaches; hike off-the-beaten track in its jungles and national parks; or explore its ancient past at Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Bayon Temple. And in return, you’ll be supporting the future sustainability of this historic place and its charming people.

Best time to visit: The dry season (November to April), where you’ll enjoy average temperatures of 30°C / 86°F. Explore what Cambodia and other top picks in Southeast Asia have to offer the conscious traveler here.


% of GDP from tourism: 17.4%; TikTok and Instagram tags/views: 4,909

Uruguay benefits from a combination of open space and low population density; over half of Uruguayans live in the capital, Montevideo — a city blending old and new.

Beyond the city’s skyline, you’ll discover countryside with ranches, rustic beaches and vineyards.

Best time to visit: November to March, when the average temperature is 27°C / 80.6°F. Explore what Uruguay and other top picks in South America have to offer the conscious traveler here.


% of GDP from tourism: 27%; TikTok and Instagram tags/views: 197,858

Albania may be Europe’s enigma, but with over 27% of its GDP coming from tourism pre-pandemic, your visit will have a positive impact. The country boasts rugged mountain scenery, Ionian and Adriatic coastlines, fortress towns and ancient Greek and Roman sites.

Best time to visit Albania: June to August, when the average temperature is 24°C / 75.2°F. Explore what Albania and other top picks in Europe have to offer the conscious traveler here.


% of GDP from tourism: 19.8%; TikTok and Instagram tags/views: 187,995

The most popular destinations in the Middle East for travelers pre-COVID-19 included Turkey, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, with tens of millions of tourists visiting annually.

Jordan offers sand-dune surfing at Wadi Rum, floating in the Dead Sea, diving in the Red Sea or exploring ancient civilizations at UNESCO World Heritage sites, most famously the treasured city of Petra.

Best time to visit Jordan: Between March and June, when you can enjoy the spring sunshine and cooler nights. The average temperature for this time of year is 30.3°C / 86.5°F. Explore what Jordan and other top picks in the Middle East have to offer here.


% of GDP from tourism: 55.8%; TikTok and Instagram tags/views: 2,466

The Caribbean archipelago features more than 7,000 individual islands across a million square miles.

Grenada, dubbed the spice isle, relies on tourism for over half of its national GDP each year. It is also relatively undiscovered on social media, with just over 2,000 tags and views.

This island boasts Annandale Falls, Concord Falls, and the Royal Mount Carmel Falls; locally produced rum and chocolate; pretty harbors and soft-sand beaches; and a mountainous lush interior – perfect for hiking.

Best time to visit Grenada: December to April when you can expect an average temperature of 31°C / 87.8°F. Explore what Grenada and other top picks in North and Central America have to offer here.

The Seychelles

% of GDP from tourism: 65.8%; TikTok and Instagram tags/views: 15,050

The islands of the Seychelles, with coral reefs and white sand beaches, has been hit hard by the pandemic, with previously 65% of its GDP coming from tourism.

Once a pirate hideout, the Seychelles now caters to guests looking for luxury. Hiking trails, nature reserves, coral reefs and primeval forests are abundant, and with under 16,000 tags and views on social media, you’ll have the space to enjoy.

Best time to visit the Seychelles: December to April when you can expect an average temperature of 31°C / 87.8°F. Explore what the Seychelles and other top picks in and near Africa have to offer here.


% of GDP from tourism: 72%; TikTok and Instagram tags/views: 393,376

Macau is the only location in China where gambling is legal. Known as the “Las Vegas of the East”, pre-pandemic Macau’s economy relied heavily on tourism, making up 72% of the country’s GDP.

Macau is working to diversify its economy beyond tourism, but it remains a vital industry for the small nation for many years to come.

The old city is a mix of its Portuguese and Chinese heritage, with cathedrals and historic ruins, and local food markets – with treats such as Pastel de Natas or Dim Sum.

Best time to visit Macau: October to November and March to May, where temperatures average 22°C / 71.6°F. Explore what Macau and other top picks in Asia have to offer here.


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