Preparing for a rainy day: Climate change and sustainable tourism in Caribbean small island developing states

Marlene Attzs (Department of Economics, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Publication date: 7 August 2009



The purpose of this paper is to explain the vital economic role of the travel and tourism industry in the Caribbean.


This paper reviews the literature on climate change impacts in small island developing states. Two key challenges to the development of a sustainable tourism industry in the region are discussed: managing tourism development within the socio‐cultural, ecological carrying capacity of the region and anticipating and adapting to the impacts of climate change on the Caribbean.


Climate change has significant implications for both rainfall and saline intrusion in ground water, which could directly threaten both the tourism industry and other local livelihoods. Water shortages will be particularly critical in the Caribbean islands that are already water‐stressed; at or near the limits of their available supplies.


This paper focuses particularly on the impact of hurricanes on the sustainability of regional tourism and the related socioeconomic consequences. Provides policy recommendations on the way forward to ensure the sustainable development of Caribbean region tourism.



Attzs, M. (2009), "Preparing for a rainy day: Climate change and sustainable tourism in Caribbean small island developing states", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 231-251.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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