Historically based on high-quality wool production, since 1986 the Falkland Islands economy has been dominated by the Fishing industry which currently contributes between 50 and 60% of total GDP annually.
Agriculture continues to be a major employer (c.150 employees) and contributes c. £3million to annual GDP. The emergent tourism sector has seen rapid growth in the last 15 years, with c. 60,000 tourists visiting the Islands by cruise ship each year, and a further .1600 ‘land-based’ tourists arriving by air annually to enjoy the Islands unique wildlife and unspoilt environment. The tourism sector is the second largest contributor to the Islands economy and contributes about £4m to annual GDP. In 1995 the Falkland Islands Government issued the first licences to explore for hydrocarbons in the waters around the Falkland Islands. The first commercial oil discovery was made in May 2010, making it more likely that the Falkland Islands will have a long term hydrocarbons industry in the future.