In this article we talk about the 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021. You can skip our detailed discussion on the tourism industry's outlook for 2021 and go directly to 5 Most Expensive Islands to Visit in 2021.
Islands are a great gift of nature where you can stare at a serene blue sea and relax under fizzling palm trees. Featuring awe-inspiring vistas of shimmering water, lush green vegetation, volcanoes, and beautiful mountains, different islands attract millions of visitors every year.
Contribution of Tourism to The Economies of Island nations
Tourism is a major sector in the economies of many island nations. According to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism contributed 56.6%, 40.7%, and 40.5% to the economies of the Maldives, Saint Lucia, and Seychelles, respectively, in 2019. Moreover, these countries are highly dependent on luxury-loving foreign tourists to earn valuable foreign exchange reserves.
Losses incurred by Island nations due to decline in tourism
However, last year proved to be a disastrous one for many islands as the volume of the global tourism industry shrunk by a staggering 49.1% compared to 2019. According to ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), the official visa waiver firm of the USA, among all the countries in the world, the island nations were the ones that lost the highest percentage of their Gross Domestic Products due to the decline in tourism in 2020.
The Maldives lost 31.1%, Saint Lucia 26.8%, and Seychelles 20.6% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020 due to the fall-off in tourism in 2020.
Prospects of an Upsurge in Island Tourism in 2021
The declining trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases in different countries and a fast-paced vaccination drive has raised hopes for a quick recovery in tourism in 2021. In recent days the average number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US has dropped to around 20000 a day which peaked at more than 300000 cases a day in the second week of January. Moreover, as of 29th May, more than 40% of Americans are fully vaccinated. Many island nations are vaccinating the masses robustly to revive tourism. Last month the Maldives launched the 'I am Vaccinated' campaign to vaccinate all the tourism workers in the country. Similarly, more than 63% of the total population in Seychelles is fully vaccinated now.
Seeing a resurgence in the tourism industry, major hotel groups that own resorts in different islands including Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H), Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), and InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (NYSE: IHG) are bracing themselves to recover the losses they incurred last year due to Covid-19. Furthermore, online travel agencies like Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB) are using different marketing tactics to gain as much as they can from the upcoming upsurge in tourism.
If you are also planning to escape to an idyllic island this year, the following list of the 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021 would be handy for you to find your dream island to shell out plenty of cash and make your holidays memorable.
Below is the list of the 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021. We chose these places considering the natural beauty of the islands, their various tourist attractions, the activities offered in these islands, the availability of expensive luxury resorts and hotels, the cost of stay, and the reviews of past travelers, and experts.
With this context in mind, let's now start our list of the 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021.
Most Expensive Islands to Visit in 2021
Aruba lies at the bottom of our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021. With 11 beautiful white sand beaches, constant trade winds, world-class casinos, and spectacular geological formations, Aruba is one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands.
There are several eye-catching tourist attractions on the island including Arikok National Park, Boca Prins, Dive Sites, California Lighthouse & California Dunes, Eagle Beach & Palm Beach, The Butterfly Farm, and Aruba Aloe Factory & Museum.
Aruba offers a plethora of water and land activities to tourists including swimming in the Natural Pool, sunset cruising, scuba diving, snorkeling, ATV tour adventures, Jeep Safari, and horseback riding tours.
Two of the most famous luxury resorts in Aruba are Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino by Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) and Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H). A luxury suite with one bedroom may cost you around $1000 in these resorts.
14. Bali, Indonesia
Next in line in our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021 is Bali. Forested volcanic mountains, lush terraced rice fields, beautiful long beaches, coral reefs, fiery orange sunsets, lively monkeys, and flitting colorful birds make Bali a unique place to visit.
Religious sites, museums, zoos, bird parks, waterfalls, and traditional villages are some of the popular tourist attractions in Bali. The Indonesian island offers a plethora of activities for non-stop fun and amusement including scuba diving, surfing, snorkeling, yachts & boat rental, jet skis, whitewater rafting, swimming, hiking, and shopping.
Two of the famous luxury resorts in Bali are Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan and Capella Ubud- Bali. A night in these resorts can cost you more than $1000.
13. The Bahamas
The Bahamas occupies the 13th spot in our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021. Pristine white sandy beaches, luxurious accommodations, fishing, duty-free shops, and scuba diving excursions allure millions of visitors to the Bahamas every year. Roughly 700 islands that are part of the country feature different private islets and adorable attractions including Atlantis Paradise Island, Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, Port Lucaya Marketplace, Pink Sand at Harbour Island, Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island, Wyannie Malone Historical Museum, Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre, Queen’s Staircase, and the Lucayan National Park.
The Bahamas offers a host of interesting things to do to tourists including diving and fishing on Andros Island, big-game fishing in the Biminis, shopping and culinary adventures in Nassau, bone-fishing excursions in Exuma, horseback riding tours, snuba diving (a neat combination of snorkeling and scuba diving) kayaking, powerboat adventures, and much more.
Some of the best luxury resorts in the Bahamas are The Ocean Club, Grand Isle Resort, and Rosewood Baha Mar. Room rates in these resorts vary from $1000 to $1800 per night.
12. Capri, Italy
Capri stands at the 12th spot in our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021. Located on the southern side of the Gulf of Naples in Italy, Capri features rugged cliffs, lush green gardens, colorful marinas, dramatic coastal scenery, and crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The island is only 10.4 km2 in area and you can book a boat to circumnavigate it. The primary attraction on Capri is Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) which is a sea cave flooded with a distinctive blue light that is uniquely created by the seawater. Moreover, you can have a relaxing beach day at the clubs near Marina Grande or shop like a celebrity at the Piazza Umberto. Capri is also home to several historical villas and museums such as the Villa San Michele and Villa Jovis.
Some of the famous luxury hotels in Capri are J.K. Place Capri, Caesar Augustus, and Punta Tragara. Rent for a room in these hotels can go as high as $2200 per night.
11. Turks and Caicos
Next on our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021 are the Turks and Caicos Islands. Turks and Caicos is a group of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Caribbean region. The archipelago has multiple tourist attractions including Chalk Sound National Park, Sapodilla Bay, Mudjin Harbour, Pine Cay, Grand Turk Lighthouse, Turks and Caicos National Museum, and the West Harbour Bluff. Besides hosting these beautiful places, Turks and Caicos is an unparalleled destination for a broad range of water sports.
Turks and Caicos islands host millions of tourists every year. Therefore the archipelago is a great arena of competition for online travel agencies like Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), and Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB) as each agency try to allure visitors by offering discounts and special offers.
Two of the most famous luxury resorts at Turks and Caicos are Grace Bay Club and The Palms Turks and Caicos. To rent a one-bedroom luxury suite in these resorts you would have to shell out around $2500 per night.
At the 10th spot in our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021 is Santorini. Santorini is a natural wonder; thousands of years ago a big volcanic eruption made the place a rare natural beauty. The island features colorful volcanic beaches, a breathtaking caldera, lunar landscapes, and dramatic views of the Augean Sea. The unique beauty of Santorini attracts around 2 million visitors every year.
As Santorini is reopening for tourism on 15th June online travel agencies like Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), and Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB) are encouraging potential visitors to rush to the island.
The top things to do in Santorini include catamaran sailing, a therapeutic walk at Fira, swimming in hot springs, enjoying delicious food at Ammoudi restaurant, and experiencing unique hues at the red beach.
Expensive accommodation and food make Santorini an elites-only destination. A villa with a single bedroom at hotels like Canaves and Perivolas can cost you over $3000 per night
9. Calivigny Island
Next in line in our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021 is Calivigny Island. The island is situated at a 5-minute boat ride from the southern tip of Granada. Calivigny Island, with its 2 sandy beaches and awe-inspiring views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is a dream vacation destination for those who have enough money to afford a stay at the island.
The island offers three types of residences each surpassing the other one in beauty and luxury. The Beach House, a stunning combination of French Colonial and Balinese styles, has 10 suites that offer beautiful ocean and garden views. With the Caribbean sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, the Overhang House offers exquisite views from each of its 9 palatial suites. In addition to this, the island has three beach cottages that offer an unparalleled proximity to the shimmering waters of the Caribbean sea.
The island offers a wide range of leisure activities including windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, jet-skiing, water-skiing, and snorkeling along with tennis courts and an air-conditioned fitness center.
You can book the island exclusively for a group of 50 guests for $132,000- per night (excluding tax).
The island is expected to welcome a lot of tourists this year as the world economy starts to rebound and companies like Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H), Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (NYSE: IHG), Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB) begin their operations at full pace.
Kauai ranks 8th in our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021. Nicknamed "The Garden Isle" the central pacific island Kauai is rich in colorful gardens, lush valleys, dramatic cliffs, postcard-perfect beaches, and lush waterfalls with hidden pools.
The Hawaiian island is home to several alluring attractions including Waimea Canyon State Park, Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Hanalei Bay, Queen’s Bath, Kalalau Trail, and Polihale State Park.
There is something for everyone in this beautiful piece of land but only a few can afford the expensive and luxurious lodging available at Kauai. Resorts like Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa by Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H), and Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort charge around $2500 per night for a one-bedroom suite. Moreover, restaurants like Tidepools and Red Salt with classic Hawaiian dishes make Kauai a delightful but expensive tourist destination.
7. Saint Lucia
Next on our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021 is Saint Lucia. With its dramatic twin pitons, reef-diving sites, volcanic beaches, waterfalls, rainforest trails, and luxury resorts, Saint Lucia is perhaps the most beautiful island in the Caribbean.
Some of the popular tourist attractions on the island are Marigot Bay, Sulphur Springs, Diamond Botanical Gardens, Anse Chastanet Reef, Tet Paul Nature Trail, and above all, the twin pitons, the only UNESCO world heritage site on the island.
Saint Lucia allures more than 1 million tourists every year. Therefore online travel agencies like Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), and Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB) offer special tourism packages for Saint Lucia to attract customers.
Top-notch luxury resorts in Saint Lucia include Jade Mountain, Ladera Resort, and the Sandals Grande St. Lucian that offer a variety of experiences including, spa treatments, spectacular ocean views, and a broad range of water sports. A suite with one bedroom in these resorts can cost you up to $2550 per night.
6. Jumby Bay Island
Jumby Bay Island occupies the 6th spot in our list of 15 most expensive islands to visit in 2021. Jumby Bay is one of the best private islands in the Caribbean. The 300-acre island is located two miles off the northeast coast of Antigua. Completely undisturbed by the outside world and accessible only by boat, the island is a mini paradise full of bright flora and fauna.
The island offers a powdery white sand beach, yacht trips with sunset cocktails, three floodlit tennis courts, a cinema on the beach, bicycling on palm-fringed paths, a sailing academy to enhance sailing skills, snorkeling, and a plethora of watersports including wakeboarding and kayaking.
The resort has 40 luxury suites and villas, along with 21 private residences laid out across the island. Every point on the Island offers captivating vistas of crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. To rent a luxury suite with one bedroom for a night at the island, you will have to shell out around $3500.
As travel comes back to normal and companies like Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H), Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (NYSE: IHG), Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB) begin their operations, places like Jumby Bay are set to see a huge influx of tourists.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Most Expensive Islands to Visit in 2021 is originally published on Insider Monkey.