Guadeloupe’s economic situation is heavily in deficit. Sugar cane and banana farming, which once contributed to the country’s wealth, survives only thanks to subsidies from the state and local authorities.
A certain economic dynamism
Tourism and its many activities in Guadeloupe is the only economic sector that retains a certain dynamism despite tough competition from neighboring islands such as Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Gites and bungalows for rent in Guadeloupe are numerous and varied on the island.
As Guadeloupeans are wont to say, "sugar cane is our steel industry", since the region's industries are few in number and essentially belong to the agri-food sector (sugar mills, rum factories, canneries).
Melon, avocado, pineapple, soursop, orange, lemon, eggplant, carambola and grapefruit are also grown (see West Indian gastronomy).
These fruit and vegetable crops are unable to meet the needs of the 453,000 inhabitants of Guadeloupe. Every year, the island has to import over ten thousand tonnes of fruit and vegetables.
The "butterfly island" or continental island is made up of Basse-Terre (850 km2), where housing and economic activity are concentrated. This part of the island is mountainous, and the famous La Soufrière volcano, still active, towers over the island at over 1,467 meters.