An ecotravel blog suggets Caribbean tourism needs to integrate with Caribbean nations’ wider economies.

Writing critically on current trade trends, the ecological travel writer opines that while in 2004 tourism and travel contributed 14.8 per cent of the Caribbean’s Gross Domestic Product, the regional tourism industry could contribute to social instability, unless changes are made.
Thus: “if World Trade Organization rules continue to develop in the way that they are, companies from developed countries will have the right of establishment in the service industries of developing countries, including the Caribbean, almost on demand.”
The diagnosis? “The balance between cruise ship tourism and land-based tourism is another issue that needs addressing. Increasingly governments are being encouraged to spend tax dollars on nfrastructure for cruise ships. Hoteliers argue that governments should improve and expand airports, modernise utilities, and create new tourist attractions. In the absence of studies that scientifically analyse the different positions, government allocation of scarce resources has been based on hunches and political pressure.
“The same observation holds for all-inclusive holidays in which hotels trap visitors within their compounds. Should governments continue to use taxpayers’ money to build airports – and in some cases to subsidise flights by foreign airlines – simply to supply a few hotels with captive guests, while restaurants, shops, arts and craft centres, and street vendors outside the hotels see no benefit at all?
“Despite much talk, the Caribbean has failed to act in a serious way to integrate Caribbean agricultural production, manufacturing and services with the tourism industry. Much of the food consumed by the tourism industry is still imported from outside the region as are manufactured products and services.”
The recommendation:
“Policies should be put in place to ensure that benefits from tourism are spread widely throughout Caribbean communities, not only in providing jobs, but more importantly in facilitating ownership. Such policies should be guided by research conducted by a Tourism Research and Development Institute, housed in one of the region’s universities. The institute should be funded by governments, the Caribbean Hotel Association and other private sector organisations in the region. It is in the interest of the wider private sector to support such an Institute, for if tourism is the engine of economic growth in the region, then almost every enterprise in the private sector is dependent upon it to some extent.”
Hopefully the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), a regional tourism association, comprised of government and private sector operatives in the tourism industry across the Caribbean, will take up the challenge, alongside its other initiatives.
Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, following Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).
Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has also been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing), adding to Bar membership in four U.S. states.