For most nations tourism is a major contributor to the economy. However, not only does Tuvalu hold the title for the smallest economy in the world, they are the least visited country! Situated in Oceania halfway between Australia and the United States, the island and atoll nation amasses only 2,000 visitors a year according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Anyone from any country in the world can travel to Tuvalu without a visa, or they can receive a visa on arrival. There isn’t a citizen from a single country on the planet who has to apply for a visa to travel to Tuvalu. Tuvalu is a beautiful country with amongst other things, empowering people, transcendent lands and culture. We 100% encourage you to consider visiting for not only a great experience but a chance to further educate yourself on their situation. Have a look at https://www.timelesstuvalu.com/ to properly see what travel opportunities the nation has to offer.
The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Tuvalu each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes are excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same individuals travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.
The latest value for International tourism, receipts (current US$) in Tuvalu was $2,400,000 as of 2013. Over the shown period of 8 years, the value for this indicator has fluctuated between $2,700,000 in 2012 and $1,200,000 in 2005.
Definition: International tourism receipts are expenditures by international inbound visitors, including payments to national carriers for international transport. These receipts include any other prepayment made for goods or services received in the destination country. They also may include receipts from same-day visitors, except when these are important enough to justify separate classification. For some countries they do not include receipts for passenger transport items. Data are in current U.S. dollars.
The latest 2013 data translates to 1,846 $ income per tourist, around 6.7 of the nations GNP.
Limited Travel Options To Tuvalu
The paramount difficulty is getting to the island nation. As of 2019, direct flights to Tuvalu leave from Suva - Fiji, and there are only two a week. In 2018, Air Kiribati added a once-a-week service, but travelers reported that the flight is often canceled and the airline has had a multitude of issues with the plane that flies this route. If you hear an air-raid siren, don’t panic! It means one of the twice-weekly Fiji Airways flights is about to land (they usually arrive Tuesday and Thursdays mornings); it’s a way of clearing the unfenced airstrip of pedestrians, motorbikes and cars.
When the airport is not in use Tuvalu’s youth play and use the space for many sporting activities. These young Tuvaluans are filled with wonder and adventure, we have the responsibility to protect that feeling.
Cash Is King
The island nation does not accept credit cards anywhere in the country, Tuvalu oprate and relies entirely on a cash basis. The nation uses the Australian Dollar, which is difficult to obtain in Fiji and as aforementioned, is the only place offering flights to Tuvalu. The island nation is small and remote, the demand for credit cards is not substantial enough to go forward with putting the infrastructure in place to process them, the nation currently does not have disposable funds to execute this.
Given that nation is made up of small atolls and islands the most popular way to tour around the nation is by motorbike. Bikes are readily available, by hotels and businesses, and are reasonably priced.
‘Timeless Tuvalu’ is the name of Tuvalu’s national tourism commission but, paradoxically Tuvalu is not timeless with the several infringing issues the nation continues to face. The commissions description of the island nation rings true;
"As one of the smallest and most remote nations in the world, this unspoiled corner of the Pacific offers a peaceful, and non-commercialized environment that is ideal for rest and relaxation. The spectacular marine environment consisting of a vast expanse of ocean interspersed with atolls, magnificent lagoons, coral reefs and small islands all provide a unique South Seas ambiance."
We encourage you to look at https://www.timelesstuvalu.com/ to properly see what travel opportunities the nation has to offer.