chapter  1
Trends and circumstances in Caribbean tourism
ByDavid Timothy Duval
Pages 20

The Caribbean has long been regarded as one of the world’s premier travel destinations. While the turbulent nature of global tourism has led to numerous changes in travel patterns, markets and tourist motivations, the extent and scope of tourism in the Caribbean has been substantial. While tourism in the Caribbean is by no means recent (Bryden 1973; Perez 1975; Sealey 1982), periods of economic instability in many island states in the region have effectively enhanced the relative importance of tourism as an alternative economic development strategy. Many island states in the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to global economic volatility due to a reliance on world markets for various produced goods (Payne and Sutton 2001). Somewhat ironically, the notion of ‘smallness’, in reference to the economic position of island states in general, and the extent to which the Caribbean functions as a peripheral destination to global flows of economic activity, actually bears little resemblance to the degree to which the region is situated as a key vacation destination for literally millions of foreign travellers. While the Caribbean is economically marginalised, it also plays host to millions of tourists each year.