Tourism and Economic Growth in Latin American Countries(LAC): Further Empirical Evidence
From 1995-2007, worldwide tourist arrivals increased about 68.2 percent (or an average annual growth rate of about 5.2 percent) from 534 million to 898 million (UNWTO, 2008). Over the same period, Latin America countries (Central and South America) have experienced a rise in tourist arrivals from 14.3 million to 27.9 million (about 49 % growth) and tourist receipts growth from $2.3 billion to $3.7 billion (about 61 % growth), respectively. The tourism industry in Latin American countries (LAC) has also experienced a sizable increase in annual market share growth rate of 8.7 percent in 2004. Despite this fact, there are only few empirical studies that investigate the contributions of tourism to economic growth and development for Latin American economies. Using a panel data of 17 Latin American countries for the years that span from 1995 to 2004, this study investigates the impact of the tourism industry on the economic growth and development Latin American countries within the framework of the conventional neoclassical growth model. The empirical results show that revenues from the tourism industry positively contribute to both the current level of gross domestic product and the economic growth of LACs as do investments in physical and human capital. Our findings imply that Latin American economies may enhance their economic growth by strategically strengthening the tourism industry while not neglecting the other sectors which also promote growth.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2009|
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