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Economic Repercussions of Tourism in the Caribbean.

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Economic Repercussions of Tourism in the Caribbean Submitted by: Arif Patel a_patel65@hotmail.com The tourism industry is one of the largest contributors to the world GDP. It employs millions worldwide and provides a livelihood for nations and individuals alike. Focussing on a more specific economy - the economy of the Caribbean - a similar picture emerges. Much of the population has found employment in industries directly related to tourism and many more have done so in industries indirectly related to tourism. Albeit, there lurks a reality that defies this rosy illusion. The adverse effects of tourism on the economy are many and significant. In the long run, few clear advantages are visible. For countries of the Caribbean, that support their total national revenue figures primarily with tourism dollars, many challenges confront them. Commercialization of the local culture is probably the most visible change imposed by tourism. In an attempt to cater to the needs of the tourist culture, higher priority has been awarded to the capitalistic pursuits of wealth. ...read more.


This imbalance between an extremely high aggregate demand and a relatively inelastic aggregate supply (in part due to the short time frame) places locals in a difficult position. High costs of living necessitate drastic changes in traditional lifestyles and often lead to poverty; these events in turn result in even greater social and economic chaos. Unlike the development of high-tech industries by public and private sector contributions, heavy investment in tourism yields few other advantages, especially in digital communications networks. To illustrate this example, Singapore provides one of the best examples in the world. Once the government began to stimulate growth in fields such as precision machinery, digital technology, advanced materials and other such technologically innovative fields, the demand for a high-tech network led to the development of the world's most advanced communications infrastructure. Today, Singaporeans enjoy a level of technology that rivals the best in the world. Other examples of this can be seen in Hong Kong, Japan, India (namely the Bangalore Diamond District Tech Park), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ...read more.


The country of Malaysia had a GDP per Capita less then that of Haiti not too long ago. Today, after extensive development of their technology and finances sector they have become one of the most well developed countries in Asia, enjoys tremendous newly attained prosperity, and possesses a capitol that is regarded as an urban financial hub of the highest caliber. The tourist sector has developed as a result, especially business tourism. But these tourists do not come to take advantage of the weather and natural sites; rather they come to admire the accomplishments of the Malay. This tourism acts as a simple boost to the economy, not a lifeline. Changes in the volatile market of tourism will not adversely impact the country. The Caribbean nations should take example of the success of the Asians in transforming their countries into booming developing countries from their poverty stricken and technologically impaired plight only decades ago. Domestically owned corporations and far greater emphasis on technological and other industrial fields is vital to their successful future. ...read more.

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