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Caribbean tourism, trends, policies and impact, 1985-2002

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  • NU. CEPAL. Sede Subregional para el Caribe
UN symbol.: LC/CAR/G.765 77 p. : gráfs., tabls. Editorial: ECLAC December 2003


This paper provides an overview of the structure and performance of the Caribbean tourism sector. It evaluates the role of policies and strategies as they impact the growth and competitiveness of the sector. Although the paper is not definitive on the subject, it provides some initial work on aspects of the industry that are not the typical focus of research. These include industrial structure, evaluated in terms of size, concentration, economies of scale and scope, competition and market types, for example oligopoly. Further the paper, examines the concept of clusters as it applies to the industry and the possibility of promoting virtuous cycles of technology, information and innovation spill-overs from these clusters. Following the introduction the paper is divided into nine sections. Section 1 is an overview of recent trends and developments in the sector. Section 2 evaluates the forces driving changes in demand in the sector including demand in the stay-over, cruise and yachting sub sectors. Section 3 focuses on the structure of the industry. Section 4 assesses the development of clusters in the industry and how they contribute to competitiveness. Section 5 evaluates the extent and critical role of linkages-backward and forward in the industry. Crucially, section 6 examines the policies and strategies that policy makers have implemented to drive growth and reform in the sector. Reflecting its growing importance, section 7 analyses the role of information and communication technology as a catalyst for change in the sector. Section 8 provides some policy recommendations for fostering a dynamic, competitive and sustainable sector with greater domestic ownership and welfare. The final comments and reflections are found in the conclusion.

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