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Tourism in Sao Tome and Principe

Sao Tome and Principe recorded a total of 33,400 tourists in 2018, ranking 188th in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Sao Tome and Principe, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.15 tourists per resident, Sao Tome and Principe ranked 102nd in the world. In Central Africa, it ranked 2nd.

Sao Tome and Principe generated around 71.90 million US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 13.14 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 5 percent of all international tourism receipts in Central Africa.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism


Back to overview: Sao Tome and Principe

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2018 spent about 1,820 US Dollars.

Development of the tourism sector in Sao Tome and Principe from 1995 to 2018

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Sao Tome and Principe 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 have already been 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 person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Tourists per year in Sao Tome and Principe

Revenues in tourism

In 2001, tourism revenues amounted to 6.20 million USD, or about 8.2 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 7,500 tourists at that time and roughly 827 USD per person. Within 17 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, sales took up $71.90 million billion, 17.44 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $2,153 on their vacation in Sao Tome and Principe.

Full figures for 2020, the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, are not currently available. However, national and international travel has been restricted worldwide, and some countries have even been closed off from the outside world altogether. Dramatic revenue losses are expected, with some countries experiencing losses of up to more than 80%.

Tourism receipts in Sao Tome and Principe per year

All data for Sao Tome and Principe in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
201833,400.0071.90 m $17.44 %2,153 $
201728,900.0065.90 m $17.54 %2,280 $
201628,900.0069.10 m $20.00 %2,391 $
201525,600.0062.50 m $19.77 %2,441 $
201112,200.0015.90 m $6.9 %1,303 $
20108,00011.10 m $5.6 %1,388 $
200915,200.008.30 m $4.4 %546 $
200814,5007.70 m $4.1 %531 $
200711,800.005.00 m $3.4 %424 $
200612,300.006.70 m $4.7 %545 $
200515,800.007.30 m $5.3 %462 $
200410,600.007.70 m $6.7 %726 $
200310,0007.40 m $7.2 %740 $
20029,200.006.90 m $8.1 %750 $
20017,5006.20 m $8.2 %827 $
20007,100.009.90 m $1,394 $
19995,800.009.20 m $1,586 $
19985,600.004.10 m $732 $
19974,800.00
19966,400.00
19956,200.00


Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The WTO additionally points out that in some countries the number of tourists is only counted at airports, in others also at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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