Located in the heart of the West Indies, about 6,762 kilometres from metropolitan France, Guadeloupe is an archipelago of 1,628 km² and six inhabited islands, each with its own unique features: Grande-Terre, Basse-Terre, Marie Galante, Les Saintes and Désirade.
The diversity of its natural heritage is the greatest wealth of the archipelago. From the Soufriere, the highest volcano in the Lesser Antilles, to the mangrove forests, passing through the islets of Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin, Guadeloupe is a biodiversity hotbed. The existence of Guadeloupe National Park, designated as Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, also gives this region international recognition.
Crossroads of peoples and cultures, Guadeloupe has been marked throughout history by a cultural mix that has helped to build its identity. It is based on a melting pot of different customs, among others, the Gwo-ka music, declared intangible cultural heritage of Humanity, the Carnival and the various ceremonies from the communities that make up the Guadeloupean society: India, Lebanon and Haiti. This archipelago is illustrated by its vitality and cultural abundance, from music to painting, as well as literature.
With the Pôle Caraïbes international airport, which connects the islands with America, the Caribbean region and Europe, Guadeloupe is open to the world and commerce. With almost 2.4 million passengers in 2017, the airport is becoming closer to its goal of becoming the European centre of the Caribbean space. It is currently expanding the runway and terminal are being enlarged. The Great Port of Guadeloupe, the sixth largest French container port, contributes to the creation of wealth and commerce at local level.
Guadeloupe, also a French outermost region, affirms its strategic position by establishing itself as a bridge between the Caribbean region and Europe. The archipelago is projected nationally and internationally with 649,891 cruise tourists in 2017. Guadeloupe is a cruise-ship destination having great potential: the Karukera Bay project is a proof of that, as it is planned to expand cruise docks to accommodate larger boats and facilitate the access and reception of tourists by means of a marina, promenade and restaurants.
Jarry, the third largest industrial area in France and the island economic centre, contributes to the development of the territory with 15,000 jobs. However, Guadeloupe also endures great difficulties. One of the priorities is boosting economic activity through research and innovation, supporting trade and developing business incubators. Another priority is to train young people for the professions of tomorrow, which also ensures the attractiveness of this territory. As such, the Guadeloupean Region particularly supports green and blue growth, renewable energies, the tourist offer development with the University of the West Indies, transports, sports through the CREPS centre of excellence, and the structuring of the audiovisual and cinematographic industry.
Guadeloupe is undoubtedly a great and beautiful land of athletes, where the champions of tomorrow grow up, on the basis of their strengths: sport-activity fans, the increase in quality equipment throughout the territory, and trained and dynamic coaches. This region also wants to be the scene of great events: Rum Route, Guadeloupe Destination, Karujet (International Jet Ski Championship), Traditour, the International Golf Open, Davis Cup in 2016, international basketball and handball tournaments, etc.
Guadeloupe has a modern economy that has gradually changed since early 1990s. Traditionally predominant agricultural, retail and building sectors have been replaced by a dynamic private sector, in which services predominate. There are almost 40,000 businesses employing more than 47,000 people.
Based on a new economic model, the Guadeloupean region guarantees the sustainable and balanced development of the territory, having the ambition to act now to prepare the best for the future. In fact, it is one of the French regions with the best records in terms of business creation, mostly very small businesses, with an average of about 5,000 companies per year.
Backed by a strong commitment to the development of green and blue growth, agriculture, livestock and fisheries are the key sectors to be preserved and modernized. These sectors employ 12% of the active population in the region and contribute 6% of the gross regional product. Agriculture is based on two traditional pillars: sugarcane and banana cultivations.
The tourist industry has been favourable for the past 6 years, with a growing number of tourist accommodations.
Tourism is now a key sector of the Guadeloupean economy.
The number of tourists has increased considerably in Guadeloupe in the last six years, with 720,304 tourists, including 234,304 cruise passengers. In 2016, visitors spent more than EUR 600 million in this archipelago, what boosted the local economy.
In 2017, hotel occupancy was excellent, with an increase of 25% during 2016. Public promotion generally translates into a particular attention to equipment, as well as direct aids to the renovation and expansion of hotel facilities, aid to small accommodation structures, as well as attention to the development of health tourism, led by the Hotel Arawak and the future thalassotherapy centre in Moule.
The opening of new routes, such as Pointe à Pitre to Montreal and Pointe à Pitre to Atlanta, as well as the arrival of new airlines such as Level or Norwegian, increase the accessibility and attractiveness of this territory, representing a boost to reach the regional objective of 1 million tourists, EUR 1,000 million in turnover and 1,000 new jobs by 2020.
The opening of new routes, such as Pointe à Pitre to Montreal and Pointe à Pitre to Atlanta, as well as the arrival of new airlines such as Level or Norwegian, increase the accessibility and attractiveness of this territory.
Whether by road, air or sea, transports have a prominent role in Guadeloupe, since the archipelago is made up of six main islands. Due to the development of urban areas and the increase in the number of vehicles on our roads, bottlenecks at during peak times multiply and intensify. In this regard, important road development works are being carried out to improve the road network.
In addition, it should be noted the implementation of an urban bus network with a high level of service in TCSP to provide connection between the different municipalities.
In order to reduce road congestion, operating sea routes becomes an obvious solution. The “Bus de Mer” project, which will enter the launching phase at the end of 2018, will allow the inhabitants of Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre to go to the heart of the island and be connected to each other.
Whether by road, air or sea, transports have a prominent role in Guadeloupe, since the archipelago is made up of six main islands.
Due to its location, the Guadeloupean archipelago has many local energy resources that allow it to completely replace the sources of fossil energy: geothermal energy, which represents 4.69%, produced in the Bouillante plant, the first industrial electricity producer in France, and biomass energy, which today represents 2.78%.
Guadeloupe plans to become a benchmark in terms of energy, with the goal of achieving renewable energy 50% by 2030 and improve its energy transition by achieving energy autonomy by 2050. This wish is particularly illustrated with the setting-up in the north of Basse Terre of the “mega megawatt” project, the largest wind farm in the French Antilles. In addition, works led to increase the production of renewable energies up to 17.59% and increase the number of facilities.
Backed by a strong commitment to the development of green and blue growth, agriculture, livestock and fisheries are the key sectors to be preserved and modernized.