Although tourism has been a major economic sector in the Car ibbean s ince the mid-1960s, the sector
now faces significant challenges as competit ion intensif ies in the global tourism market. These
challenges include environmental impacts, and the need for continued high levels of public investment in
order to sustain the tourism product. The precariousness of the sector was made starkly evident with the
onset of the global recession in 2009, when the sector recorded significant decline. Notwithstanding
some limited recovery since that time, the recent experience highlighted the need for Caribbean
countries to undertake more vigorous efforts towards diversifying their economies in general, and
enhancing their tourism sectors in particular. One area identif ied for specific development is yachting
and marina services, a sub-sector which is widely regarded as having significant economic potential.
Towards this end, the present study seeks to examine the nature of recreational demand for yachting and
marina services in the Caribbean. In order to achieve this, a simple demand model is estimated, and
elast icities calculated for three demand var iables. Using data from eight countries, the model identified
income in the source market, airline t icket cost, and the frequency of hurricanes as the three most critical
variables which influenced consumers’ decision to seek yachting and marina services in the Caribbean.