Impact of Tourism in the Caribbean Essay

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According to the ‘World Tourism Organization’ (UNWTO), the tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, as it is estimated that by the year 2020, 7.8 billion people (roughly a quarter of the world’s population) will embark on a foreign trip (Bennett & Gebhardt 15). The Caribbean is said to be the most economically dependent on this industry, as the ‘Caribbean Tourism Organisation’ states that the industry forms the “economic backbone of most countries in the Region”(“Caribbean Tourism Industry” 1), implications for what tourism’s affect on the region have arisen and have prompted further research into matter. Since the 1970’s research regarding tourism in the Caribbean has attempted to determine the social, cultural, …show more content…
In the book New Perspectives in Caribbean Tourism, Brooks’ chapter: ‘A Squatter in My Own Country! Spatial Manifestations of Social Exclusion in a Jamaican Tourist Resort Town’, presents a qualitative study on the effects of tourism in Ocho Rios, a Jamaican tourist town. As Jamaica is one of the most visited destinations in the Caribbean, and with Ocho Rios in particular being categorized (in relation to its tourism activity) as “one of the fastest-growing urban towns” (170), this study provides a good example as to what the Caribbean region in general may be experiencing in relation to this reliance on the ever-growing tourism industry, as well as provide insights as to how these problems can be alleviated.

The study examined the interactions between the squatter settlement and the “tourism space” as well as the informal and formal employment sectors within Ocho Rios. Overall, Brooks found that there was a “socio-spatial exclusion” due to the tourism industry, thus creating tensions between the local and non-local as well as between the squatter settlement and the tourism space (181). Brooks further argues (citing Sibley) that this kind of exclusion “acts as a form of social control, and social control is used in the sense here to imply an attempt to regulate the behaviour of individuals and groups by other…

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