The United Nations' Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2007 has placed Palau as the highest tourism earning country in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).Palau earned 67.05% of GDP from tourism in 2005, which is one of the island nation's primary industries. Palau topped 34 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region with China's Macao being the closest at 66.85%.
According to the report, tourism has become one of the largest and fastest growing industries in not only the region but also in the global economy and 2005 saw international tourist arrivals worldwide exceed 800 million which was a new record.
Between 1990 and 2005, 'the number of arrivals in Asia and the Pacific doubled, from 85 million to 198 million'.
The report also noted that tourism receipts are important for many economies in Asia and the Pacific. 'Among the top 10 countries with the highest international tourism receipts as a percentage of GDP, half are small island developing States'.
Besides Palau, high on the list from the region, at third place, was the Cook Islands at 50.23%. Samoa was 5th at 18.48%, Fiji 6th at 14.51%, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) 9th at 7.17% and Tonga was 13th at 5.13%.