For ﬁve hundred years, no region has been more exposed to global currents of change than the Caribbean. Today, the imperatives of neoliberal globalisation are at once dismantling the remaining props of the islands’ agricultural export industries and at the same time increasing their reliance on that most global of industries, tourism. As the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) secretary-general, Jean Holder (2001), has observed:
The tourism consumer is scattered across the entire globe and every country on the globe is competing for his business. Everyone is competing on quality or price or on both, and it’s an entirely free market. There are no preferences and no protection. Imagine trying to sell one’s sugar or bananas or some of the products of our infant manufacturing industries on this basis! There is probably no other product in the world which ﬁnds itself in similar circumstances to that of tourism.