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Guadalupe is an insular region of France located in the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Administratively, it is an overseas region consisting of a single overseas department. It has a land area of 629 sq. mi. Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Virgin Mary, venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe, in Extremadura.
Guadalupe's two main islands are Basse-Terre to the west and Grande-Terre to the east, which are separated by a narrow strait that is crossed with bridges. They are often referred to as a single island. The department also includes the Dependencies of Guadalupe which include the smaller islands of Marie-Galante and La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes.
Western Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic relief while eastern Grande-Terre features rolling hills and flat plains. La Grande Soufrière is the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles, with an elevation of 1467 m.
Guadalupe, like the other overseas departments, is an integral part of France. It is thus part of the European Union and the Eurozone, and its currency is the euro.
Tourism is a key industry, with 83.3% of tourists visiting from metropolitan France, the rest are coming from Europe, the United States, Canada, South America, and the rest of the world. An increasingly large number of cruise ships visit the islands. The service sector in Guadalupe contributed 85 percent of GDP and provided employment for 68 percent of the labor force.
There are many shopping centers especially in Pointe-à-Pitre where French perfumes, cosmetics & leather goods are sold along with local handicrafts as souvenirs. There is foreign direct investment such as McDonald's, KFC, and Subway have established operations in Guadalupe. There are a number of small and medium-sized retail outlets.
Map of Guadalupe