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Slow Tourism at the Caribbean's Geographical Margins

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The Caribbean tourism industry owes much of its success to beneficial geographical site and situation factors. Yet these geographical advantages have also contributed to the mass tourism-related pressures of economic dependency, social division and environmental degradation. We argue geographically marginal locales in the Caribbean have the potential to develop alternative tourism models that ameliorate these negative repercussions. With its conceptual roots originating from the slow food movement and theoretically rooted in Herman Daly's ‘soft growth’ development, we propose slow tourism as a viable soft growth model that is a more culturally sensitive and sustainable genre of alternative tourism. This new model and its locational appropriateness appears eminently suitable since it diversifies and revitalizes mature tourism offerings, redirects tourism away from ‘hard growth’ maxims, and thereby contributes to more sustainable tourism ensembles. In a maturing industry that requires innovation, revitalization and significant change in offerings if it is to survive and prosper, we argue the best places to promote slow tourism lies in the Caribbean's overlooked geographical margins where diversity and authenticity still persist.

Keywords: Caribbean; alternative tourism; geographical marginality; slow tourism; sustainable development

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2011.610112

Affiliations: 1: Social Sciences Department,California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, USA 2: Department of Geography,Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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