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Regional environmental policy and sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean

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Regional environmental policy and sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean

Autor institucional: NU. CEPAL. Sede Subregional para el Caribe Physical Description: 41 páginas. Editorial: ECLAC Date: October 2012 ECLAC symbol: LC/L.3539


Tourism began to emerge in the Caribbean from the mid-1960s, and since that time, the sector experienced consistent growth so as to make it the major economic sector in the region by the early 1990s. While several factors such as the development of air travel, and closeness to the major source markets of the United States of America contributed to the strong growth in Caribbean tourism, the region's warm weather as well as pristine natural environments comprising of beaches, coral reefs, spectacular scenery and friendly peoples have undoubtedly contributed to the development of the tourism sector in the Caribbean. Today however, after more than 40 years of strong growth, tourism has been shown to contribute to significant impacts on the natural environment with the potential to significantly undermine the same natural resource based upon which the sector has been developed. Many countries, having recognized this development, have sought to implement sustainable tourism policies in order to offset these impacts, as well as to compensate for the cost of such impact on the domestic economies. The aim of this paper is to examine the nature and scope of such policies with a view to determining the effectiveness of sustainable tourism policies in the Caribbean. The study employs a case study approach by assessing policies in three Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Saint Lucia. It also reviews broader regional strategies for fostering sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.