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Last Resorts: The Cost of Tourism in the Caribbean (A Latin America Bureau Book) Paperback – January 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Series: A Latin America Bureau Book
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853459770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853459774
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,411,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Polly Pattullo has written widely about the Caribbean region. She works for the Guardian and Caribbean Insight in London and co-founded a tour-operating company in the Eastern Caribbean.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on September 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Last Resorts" by Polly Pattullo is an excellent history and analysis of the Caribbean tourist industry. Ms. Pattullo examines the myriad social, environmental, economic and cultural changes that tourism has produced in the region. Along the way, the reader gains insight into how the promotion of the Carribean as a place of carfree escapism may be endangering the region's future unless vast inequities both within and without the Carribean are addressed in a meaningful way.

Ms. Pattullo explains that mass tourism emerged as an economic development strategy that was defined by the Caribbean's dependent relationship with the colonial powers of the 20th century and especially the United States. When air travel opened tourism to the middle classes in the 1960s, post-colonial governments turned to Western corporations to develop destinations that might attract foreign capital and thereby prop up local economies. However, the islands have gradually become ever more dependent on outside forces as airlines, cruise ship operators, and hotel chains have come to exercise near-monopolistic control over tourist itineraries. In order to maintain their privileged positions in the struggle for market share, most Carribean governments have found it necessary to concede the majority of tourist revenues to the procurement of foreign goods and services.

For example, Ms. Pattullo discusses how top jobs in the tourism sector tend to go to foreigners while locals get mostly dead-end jobs; many are resentful about earning poor wages despite working in a highly profitable industry. As street vendors and other freelancers seek to aggressively sell drugs and their bodies to tourists, more destinations have chosen to offer all-inclusive experiences that shut the dangers of the outside world away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Wedenoja on September 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is without a doubt the single best, most comprehensive, objective, and critical account of tourism in the Caribbean region. And as the Caribbean is so heavily dependent on tourism, it is essential to an understanding of the region. It is also, unfortunately, dated, having been originally published in 1988 and "updated" in 2005. The Caribbean is more heavily dependent on tourism than any other region in the world, and this dependence is only increasing. Caribbean people and nations need to understand the global forces that shape tourism, and the effects of tourism on local communities, and find ways to mitigate these effects and capitalize on tourism, if they are not to fall victim to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By seeking peace on July 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
After having traveled in the Caribbean as a tourist for years, I always wanted to read a good analysis of tourism in the Caribbean. This book is the best. It explains how very little of the economic benefits of the money we spend in as a tourist reaches the local people. Pattullo explains how deep this exploitation goes and has tons of data to support her conclusions.
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