The Dominican Republic is the country with the region's highest receipts as a percentage of GDP, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of new data from the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Its tourism receipts of $4.0 billion were the equivalent of 11. 1 percent of its GDP last year, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of receipt data from the WTO and GDP data from the IMF. Venezuela had the lowest share - only 0.3 percent of its GDP came from tourism receipts.

All in all, Latin America received a record total of 68.6 million international arrivals last year, an increase of 2.9 percent from 2006. That was lower than the world average of 6.6 percent and the growth seen in all other regions.

Panama continues to be the fastest-growing tourism market in Latin America, but Uruguay is the winner when it comes to growth in receipts. Cuba is the big loser when it comes to receipts and Guatemala when it comes to visitors.

The Dominican Republic is the fourth-largest tourism market in Latin America, measured by both visitors and receipts. The top three markets are Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, according to Latin Business Chronicle.

The Dominican Republic boosted visitors by 0.4 percent to 4.0 million last year, while receipts grew by 2.8 percent to $4.0 billion. In the first quarter, arrivals grew by 6.8 percent. "The Dominican Republic continues to prosper and the interest of 'big players' in investing in the country is extending the range of markets on which it can draw," the WTO says.