Bringing Air Connectivity to Small Island Developing Countries


The Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) are a distinct group of developing countries that face specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities.

SIDS require special support from the international community because of the common challenges they face:

  • narrow resource base depriving them of the benefits of economies of scale;
  • small domestic markets and heavy dependence on a few external and remote markets;
  • high costs for energy, infrastructure, transportation, communication and servicing;
  • far distances from export markets and import resources;
  • high volatility of economic growth; and
  • fragile natural environments and limited resilience to natural disasters.

There is significant tourism growth in SIDS. In 2013 the number of international tourists visiting these islands increased by 41 million from 28 million in 2000. Tourism accounts for over one-quarter of the GDP in at least seven SIDS and represents 9% of the overall exports (USD 61 billion).

Improving air connectivity with the SIDS countries around the world investing is critical to helping to foster tourism growth. On the agenda at ICAO’s ICAN event that will take place in Nassau, in the Bahamas from 5 to 9 December 2016, stakeholders of the travel and tourism sectors will share insight on identifying and agreeing on areas of cooperation in addressing common challenges. They will also look to exploring practical ways to remove sectorial and economic impediments to air transport and tourism growth through comprehensive national/regional strategies and collaboration.