Volume 4 Issue 4 August 2006 Applied Research Note 2

The Intersections of Tourism, Culture and Society in the Trinidad Carnival

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

The coming together of a vast array of ethnicities forged a culture in Trinidad and Tobago that is most powerfully expressed in the art forms of calypso, steelpan music, and the annual pre-Lenten carnival. The ribald carnival creates a society of spectacle, and allows for an expression of a temporary reality, which unobtrusively invites the “tourist gaze.” Part of this reality is the sex, sensuality, and drunkenness exhibited in several towns during the celebration. Port of Spain, the capital, attracts more foreign and domestic tourists. This situation has resulted in severe capital leakage from other vicinities.

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