Travel and tourism contributed $7.6 trillion to the global economy in 2016. Not billions — trillions! According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, the worldwide tourism industry actually surpasses oil exports!
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), 3.2% of the globe’s economy is driven by tourism. Just above 10 percent of the world’s economy is indirectly affected by tourism, with close to 10 percent of the world’s jobs generated by tourism.
It makes a lot of sense: tourism enables millions of people around the world to make a good living. And there are also businesses related to tourism itself: guided tours, souvenirs, hospitality and travel, just to name a few. There are also restaurants, cab drivers, museums and shops which benefit from the influx of tourists visiting the area, those “indirect” businesses whose success is influenced by the tourism industry.
WTTC’s data, released March 2018, uncovered something else very interesting. Four of the top five countries dependent on tourism — Maldives, British Virgin Islands, Aruba and Seychelles — are islands. In fact, the vast majority of countries on their top 20 list are islands.
While those facts demonstrate the awesome power tourism has on economies, it also reveals a darker truth: these islands could be in big trouble if fewer visitors choose to visit them. Which industries make up the difference in a slower season? How do their economies hold up during periods of bad weather or slow economic growth that traditionally hamper tourism?
That’s something we thought about when we drew up our plans at the Menorah Islands, and that’s why the project will be a place to live, work and play. At the Menorah Islands, we’re not building an island just to be a place to tour, buy a cup of coffee, and go home. We baked a way to keep people visiting year-round directly into the island’s DNA.
Sure, there will be plenty of incredible things to do and wonders to see on the Menorah Islands; tourism will certainly be a massive driver of the islands’ economy as Christians, Jews and Muslims find opportunities to open businesses and to work together. We’ll have submersible islands which can raise and lower out of the water, providing a way for tourists to see marine life up-close and personal. Easy causeways on and off the island will make day trips easy for schools and tour groups. Even the fact that it’s an artificial island will bring curious visitors!
However, that’s not the only reason to visit, nor is it the only industry driving its economy. The Menorah Islands plans to house premier educational and research institutions, attracting scholars, researchers and students from around the world to collaborate on tomorrow’s newest inventions. These scholars can work together free of the political barriers which often prevent collaboration in their home countries. We are also providing literal and figurative space for tomorrow’s leaders to gather, share ideas and pursue a peaceful future. Incredible earth-saving ideas such as atmospheric water generators and urban farming can take root here with the full support of the Menorah Islands.
The Menorah Islands’ goal is to inspire the world to work together. The tourism industry which drives so much of the world’s economy provides many opportunities to do so. Christians, Jews and Muslims will be able to meet, greet, share ideas and act on those ideas — all in the same place. Beautiful to visit, rooted in an even more beautiful mission — the Menorah Islands is gearing up to be the most unique tourist destination in the world!