Volume 2 Issue 1 February 2004 Applied Research Note 4

The Nasty Side of Tourism Development: an example from Trinidad and Tobago

by Johnny Coomansingh (Geography Department, Southwestern Missouri State University)

Trinidad and Tobago, the most southerly isles of the Caribbean has not had a history of tourism. The development of hydrocarbon reserves in the republic stymied the promotion of tourism. Despite the fact that the twin-island state has fair offerings for the tourist industry, the country refrained from developing this sector because of the political “mandate” given by Eric E. Williams, its first prime minister. However, with its changing fortunes, due to the volatility and uncertainty of the oil market, tourism became the panacea for sustaining Tobago’s economy. Such development has brought in its wake death, anger, and grief.

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