Tourism Ecoutez Endowed with beautiful landscapes as well as cultures and flavours derived from a beautiful blend, Guadeloupe possesses plenty of touristic appeal and character. Thanks to that huge potential, tourism developed over time to the extent where it now represents a key sector of our economy. Numerous other sectors — commerce, transport, services, construction — enjoy the significant benefits generated by tourism activities. Key figures:The accommodation and catering sector represents 8 % of Guadeloupean businessesThe number of cruise passengers amounts to nearly 160 000 (at the end of December 2013) Average annual growth rate reached +2 % between 2003 and 2013The Pôle Caraïbes airport recorded nearly 2 million passengers (excluding transit) at the end of December 2013 Average annual growth rate reached +1,7 % between 2003 and 2013 Nearly 500 000 tourists have transited through the Pôle Caraïbes airport, each year Tourist spending amounts to 505 million per year, which represents slightly more than 1 000 € per travellerThe Guadeloupe Regional Council strongly supports the tourism industry, for it positively impacts our territory as a whole. The regional authority helps its players modernise and respond to their customer’s expectations. It conducts a strong-willed policy for sustainable and innovative development, in view of preserving our archipelago’s beauty and attractiveness. Given its history and central position in the Caribbean area, Guadeloupe enjoys a great climate, exceptional biodiversity and natural sites, as well as cultural and patrimonial assets — all of which exhibit solid powers of attraction. Thanks to those riches, our territory allures each year thousands of tourists coming from the entire globe to visit it. Because it entails wealth and job creation, the tourism industry shapes to a large extent our archipelago’s economic vitality. The Guadeloupe Regional Council is thereby intent on supporting that sector by promoting responsible, innovative and sustainable tourism. To conduct its strong-willed policy, the regional authority implements its Plan for Tourism Development and Planning (SDAT). Approved by the Guadeloupe Regional Council in September 2009, that tool provides crucial assistance to the decision-making process. It splits the archipelago into seven geo-touristic areas. It recommends enhancing the governance model, reestablishing Guadeloupe’s trust and image, as well as promoting responsible and sustainable tourism. Furthermore, our territory possesses an extraordinary coastline and huge maritime areas that must be harnessed. Thereby the Guadeloupe Regional Council wishes to develop water sports and make them a major development focus. To do so, it embraced in 2008 a Regional Plan for Developing Water sports.