ECOTOURISM AT THE HEART OF DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES: ELEMENTS FOR REFLECTIONS BASED ON THE CARIBBEAN EXPERIENCE

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Olivier Dehoorne
Corina Tatar

Keywords

tourism, ecotourism, resources, development, territorial strategies, Caribbean

Abstract

The paper offers a reflection on the tourism issues and development strategies relating to Caribbean destinations, and more particularly, island destinations. When faced with intense competition from the popular destinations around the region, the smaller islands have had to reaffirm their market position. Mass tourism development models have not created the expected knock-on effects for these territories of limited size and vulnerable resources. Any wish for alternative tourism practices, which for this region essentially revolve around the term ecotourism, falls under the scope of badly coordinated tourism development and its ensuing over-concentration of infrastructures, land conflicts and policies of entrenchment, etc. Sharing tourism revenue and accessing resources are key elements to the debate. Development strategies in relation to alternative tourism practices are better able to meet the expectations of host territories.

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