IA Events

Lecture: Caribbean Tourism: Consumption of Places and the Growth of the Sin Industries

Publication date: Feb 28, 2014 11:32:31 AM

Start: Mar 12, 2014 5:30:00 PM
End: Mar 12, 2014 7:00:00 PM

Location: UCL-Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PN


Dr Emilio Pantojas Garcia (University of Puerto Rico) - John Urry’s book, The Tourist Gaze (1990) raised awareness about the centrality of places and experiences to the tourist trade. Since then a number of studies (Mullings, 2000; Steven, 2007; Giovanetti, 2009) have documented how places, historical narratives, and fantasies have become a key component of the Caribbean tourist sector. As tourism has become a central activity for the Caribbean economies, product diversification, development of niches and “branding”, or development of a location identity (e.g. ecotourism in Costa Rica) have become crucial to the growth of the Caribbean tourism industry. This presentation discusses how the Caribbean is rapidly becoming associated with the “sin industries”. The “iconic” images of the Caribbean of pirates with libertine mores regarding sex, gambling and smuggling, are being “reinvented”. The sun, sand and sea components of Caribbean tourism are now complemented by a “Vegas-like” offer, where sex, gambling, drugs and fantasy are the main attractions. The presentation focuses on three activities, sexual tourism, gambling, and money laundering, offering a comparative perspective with competitors in Tropical Asia.

Dr Emilio Pantojas Garcia is based at the Faculty of Social Science of the University of Puerto Rico. His research interests include the political economy of the Caribbean, development theories, governance in the non-independent Caribbean, and the economy of Puerto Rico. His books include Development Strategies as Ideology: Puerto Rico's Export-Led Industrialization Experience (1990), El Caribe en el era de globalizacion: retos, transiciones y reajustes (2002), and Governance in the non-independent Caribbean: challenges and opportunities in the twenty-first century (2009), the latter co-edited with Peter Clegg. Dr Pantojas Garcia was President of the  Caribbean Studies Association (2004-2005) and was Wilbur Marvin Visiting Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, 2010-11.

Attendance is free of charge but registration is required.

UCL-Institute of the Americas is grateful to Dr Pantojas Garcia, who will also be delivering the keynote at the conference 'Politics in the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies' on March 14.