Tourism and Economic Development in ASEAN 1998-2013

Umara Ardra, Berly Martawardaya


Many countries support government policies to encourage tourism sector, including ASEAN countries, due to an assumption that tourism contributes positively to GDP and poverty reduction. This study investigates that assumption, as well as the correlation between tourism and HDI, by applying panel data regression to eight ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Laos Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam,) during 1998--2013. We found that the number of international tourist arrivals as a proxy variable for tourism have a significant and positive correlation with poverty reduction. Tourism is also proven to increase GDP per capita (albeit in a smaller magnitude) and increase HDI (in an even smaller scale). These findings confirmed our hypothesis on the positive effects of tourism. It is recommended that the tourist promotion is continued while studying the best practices to strategically develop the tourism sector in order to strengthen the positive correlation.


tourism; economic development; ASEAN

Full Text:



ASEAN 2015, ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016–2025, ASEAN, Jakarta. Retrieved from

Biagi, B, Ladu, MG, & Royuela, V 2017, ’Human development and tourism specialization. Evidence from a panel of developed and developing countries’, International Journal of Tourism Research, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 160–178.

Çaglayan, E, Sak, N, & Karymshakov, K 2012, ’Relationship between tourism and economic growth: A panel Granger causality approach’, Asian Economic and Financial Review, vol. 2, no. 5, pp. 591–602.

Fayissa, B, Nsiah, C, & Tadesse, B 2007, ’The impact of tourism on economic growth and development in Africa,’ Working Papers 200716, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.

Fayissa, B, Nsiah, C, & Tadasse, B 2009, ’Tourism and economic growth in Latin American Countries(LAC): Further empirical evidence,’ Working Papers 200902, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.

Gökovali, U & Bahar, O 2006, ’Contribution of tourism to economic growth: A panel data approach’, Anatolia, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 155–167. DOI:

Jaforullah, M 2015, ’International tourism and economic growth in New Zealand’, Economics Discussion Papers Series No. 1502, University of Otago. Retrieved from

Rukendi, C 2016, May 19, Personal interview, Special Staff To The Minister of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia.

Suriya, K 2012, ’Modeling the linkage between tourism and multiple dimensions of poverty in Thailand’, The Empirical Econometrics and Quantitative Economics Letters, vol. 1, no. 1, pp.17–38.

UNWTO 2015a, UNWTO Annual Report 2015, United Nations World Tourism Organization. Retrieved from

UNWTO 2015b, UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2015 Edition, Retrieved from


  • There are currently no refbacks.