The Caribbean region consists of a vast amount of islands and archipelagos delineating the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea. They are organised into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. Generally, the climate of the area is tropical, with the region enjoying year-round sunshine, divided into 'dry' and 'wet' seasons.
The Caribbean islands are remarkable for the diversity of their animals, fungi and plants, and have been classified as one of Conservation International's biodiversity hotspots because of their exceptionally diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The region also holds about 8% of the world's coral reefs.
Caribbean’s most important natural resource is its tropical island setting, which has generated a unique tourism sector. The beauty of these idyllic islands draws millions of people to their shores every year, and even the smaller islands have experienced a slow increase in economic growth as the popularity of day trips and cruise ships continues to climb. The competitive tax system of a number of Caribbean countries has earned the region a reputation as a tax haven.