Small Island Developing States

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Sustainable Tourism Using Regulations, Market Mechanisms and Green Certification: A Case Study of Barbados Michelle Mycoo Department of Surveying and Land Information, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad Tourist destinations are under market pressure to offer a green product, including the Caribbean, one of the world’s most tourism-dependent regions. A decade after the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States convened in 1994, sustainable tourism remains a priority for Caribbean countries. This paper, using Barbados as a case study, attempts to establish if sustainable tourism policy existed, if so, how was it being implemented, and if not, what were the main areas of weakness. It found that although there was a vacuum in sustainable tourism plans and policies, the government was indirectly influencing sustainable tourism through regulatory mechanisms such as land use and infrastructure planning and market instruments. Additionally, industry was playing its part through voluntary compliance with green certification. There was a clear indication of government-industry cooperation. However, despite these measures and approaches, key infrastructure was inadequate, environmental impact assessments for potentially damaging tourism projects were not required by law and public participation was weak. The paper concludes that there are challenges for Barbados and other similar SIDS in attaining sustainable tourism in the long haul.

doi: 10.2167/jost600.0 Keywords: sustainable tourism, greening tourism, land use and infrastructure planning regulations, market incentives

Tourism is a major contributor to island economies in the Caribbean as noted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which estimated that by 2001 the economic impact of tourism in the Caribbean was greater than in any other region of the world.1 Tourism accounted for 17% of the GDP, 21% of capital formation, 20% of exports and...
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