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By  and Anthony T. BryanThe Dante, B. Fascell and Anthony T. Bryan


Most tourists to the Caribbean are pleasure seekers who are victims of illusions. They experience the idleness of beach vacation days, enjoy gastronomic delights, and live out hedonistic excesses. Marketing experts and tourism industry stakeholders help to package and promote fabricated “folk culture ” and “authentic ” adventures. However, the illusions conflict with reality. Residents of tourism destinations, ordinary people pursuing everyday business and labor activities, discover that the tourist industry changes work patterns as well as interpersonal relationships and expectations and that the social costs are often high. Many feel excluded from a fair share of tourism’s financial rewards and experience only the exploitation of natural resources, environmental problems, and social downsides, such as prostitution, hustling, and high prices. In some cases, the result is public skepticism and indignation about tourism. The viability of the industry over the next 20 years must be looked at not only with respect to the goal of revenue retention, but also in the context of social costs, environmental risks, and the goal of sustainable growth. Otherwise, as one Caribbean analyst puts it, “to hell with paradise.

Year: 2001
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