Navigating through tourism options: An island perspective


Sustainable tourism demands a positivistic and holistic look at the true costs and benefits of the industry to host communities. To aid leaders in starting the process, the article proposes a tourism options navigation model looking at varying number of visitors, their average daily spend and leakages, on the socioeconomic, cultural and environmental landscape of island communities. The article aims to identify various tourism options, their expected effects and potential strategies to mitigating negative outcomes and to later apply the model to the case of the rural parish of St Thomas, Jamaica. To achieve the objectives outlined a comprehensive review of related literature was conducted. The researcher interviewed six of Jamaica's national tourism leaders and analyzed their responses. It was posited that by employing strategies that impact the number of visitors to the area, their average daily spend and industryrelated economic import leakages, leaders can control the economic, social, cultural and environmental effects of tourism on communities but the process must begin with a clear articulation of the desired effects. The model could be a useful decisionmaking tool for leaders considering tourism as a developmental option or in analyzing the current state of their communities' tourism industry. It could also form the basis for a more objective look at tourism success by researchers. The model is unique as it provides a single comprehensive look at the causes and effects of tourism and possible ways forward. © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Publication Title

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research