The international tourism industry is booming, giving many developing nations unprecedented opportunity in trade. But for some developing nations, law and order problems appear to have obstructed growth in tourism. With little attention in the literature given to the influences of safety considerations for tourist demand, this paper investigates the deterrent effect of crime on tourism in developing island economies of the South Pacific and Caribbean. Using annual time‐series data, a simple country‐specific model is estimated. The empirical results confirm the importance of crime levels as a hindrance to the demand for tourism, the inference being that news of a deteriorating law and order situation in destination countries is being successfully disseminated to potential tourists in source countries despite the general inaccessibility of up‐to‐date crime statistics.
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