The Caribbean has a history of being an earthly paradise which encourages consumption, voyeurism and luxury. Tourism is the most important economic activity for many Caribbean economies. It exists within a political and economic framework that is characterized by neoliberal capitalists and transnational monopolies that control the industry within nations of the Caribbean economy. Whenever one thinks of tourism it is essential to keep in mind the colonial pattern of capital accumulation, since global inequality is at the center of this neoliberal endeavor. Therefore, Caribbean tourism represents what sugar signified over a century ago – a monocrop product, controlled by foreigners and a few elites for the maintenance of global capitalism. Within the tourism industry the capitalist system expands by accessing to cheap labor, land, resources, and markets in the Caribbean. While tourism generates foreign capital and employment in Caribbean islands, it marginalizes, commodifies, deskills and devalues workers in the industry. A majority of workers in the industry are relegated, to positions of servitude in low-paid seasonal jobs in the formal sector and unemployment, or craft and trade jobs in the informal sector.
The Caribbean was conceptualized by the first colonizers as “paradise”. However, this Edenic experience for colonizers was made possible through the development of plantations; the opposite of paradise for the colonized Amerindians and later the slaves from the West (Strachan, 2003). Tourism advertisements presents the Caribbean as an exotic place and the region is promoted as accessible and ready to serve the Global North. Caribbean islands must therefore sell themselves and their people to tourists from the Global North in order to earn foreign exchange and remain competitive. Thus, Caribbean tourism relies on the packaging of natural assets such as sun, sand, sea friendly people, music and other cultural forms to support economic growth. Systematized issues associated with globalization and economic liberalization contributed to the vulnerability of Caribbean islands and reduced them to a state of dependency on countries in the Global North. The shift in the means of production from sugarcane, tobacco, cotton, etc. toward tourism and free-trade meant that Caribbean economies would need funds for tourism development. Globalization for the Caribbean therefore, meant implementation of economic policies stipulated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) for “stabilization” of the economy and structural adjustment programs for integration in the global market. Tourism became an indispensable part of the plantation since paradise is now determined by the Global North which institutionalizes structures to disempower countries of the Caribbean (Strachan, 2003).
加勒比被第一批殖民者定义为“天堂”。然而，殖民者的这种伊甸园般的体验是通过种植园的发展而成为可能的;对被殖民的美洲印第安人以及后来来自西部的奴隶来说，这是天堂的对立面(Strachan, 2003)。旅游广告把加勒比地区描绘成一个充满异国情调的地方，该地区被宣传为触手可及，随时准备为全球北部服务。因此，加勒比岛屿必须把自己和他们的人民卖给来自全球北方的游客，以赚取外汇和保持竞争力。因此，加勒比旅游依赖于自然资产的包装，如阳光、沙滩、对海洋友好的人民、音乐和其他文化形式来支持经济增长。与全球化和经济自由化有关的系统化问题加剧了加勒比岛屿的脆弱性，使它们沦为依赖全球北方国家的国家。生产资料从甘蔗、烟草、棉花等转向旅游业和自由贸易意味着加勒比经济将需要发展旅游业的资金。因此，对加勒比地区来说，全球化意味着实施国际货币基金组织(IMF)和世界银行(WB)为“稳定”经济而制定的经济政策，以及为融入全球市场而制定的结构调整计划。旅游业成为种植园不可缺少的一部分，因为天堂现在是由全球北方决定的，它制度化的结构来剥夺加勒比国家的权力(Strachan, 2003)。
Tourism replicates the unequal distribution of power and economic resources between the Global North and islands of the Caribbean (Kincaid, 1988; Strachan, 1995). Kincaid (1988) declares, “Every native of every place is a potential tourist, and every tourist is a native of somewhere. But some natives? most natives in the world? cannot go anywhere. They are too poor. They are too poor to go anywhere”(p. 18-19). Time, resources, economic and political power have been essential in the growth of tourism. Caribbean governments and the neoliberal States such as, the International Monetary Fund promote tourism as a viable option for economic and social development while the poor, marginalized workers, in host countries, are taught how to be servile in order to satisfy tourist (Enloe, 1990; Alexander, 2005; Jordan, 2003). Tourism thus, shapes cultural and national identity of the people in a fundamental way because of its importance to the economy. It is incorporated into the educational system where people are formally being taught how to be servile this drastically influence how culture is produced. Despite this, Strachan (2003) states that as a coping mechanism there are subtle ways workers in the industry resists servility in the industry just as how slaves resisted on the planation (p. 10).
Tourism ensure that Caribbean countries are economically dependent and vulnerable. This is evident, in the ways transnational corporations use their technology and resources to control tourist arrivals in destination countries in the Caribbean and how spaces are segregated in host countries and controlled by monopoly capitalist. This not only limits access of traders and small business owners in the informal sector to tourist markets but also these exclusive spaces keep tourists from seeing the local poverty that might make them uncomfortable and discourage from staying in the country. The exclusive tourist areas have electricity, sewerage, paved roads, and running water to ensure tourists pleasure and comfort, but basic infrastructure development in Caribbean islands like Jamaica and Antigua remains chaotic, lacks planning, development, and environmental control (Kincaid, 1998). This illustrates where the interest of the government lies; for the tourists.
Tour operators and the media in the Global North have the ability to control the flow of visitors to the Caribbean islands through the promotion of tourist packages and the news updates. Tourist packages are usually all-inclusive deals that controls the tourist experience from type of transportation to the destination country’s attractions, hotels to restaurants and recreational facilities. Transnational hotels, like the Hilton, also use these amalgamated strategies to strengthen their position in local markets in the Caribbean. These tourism services are purchased online directly from the hotel’s or airline’s website or through third-part websites like as Expedia. Such strategies restrict the participation of local players and keeps profits circulated among companies in the Global North.
There are a number of other operational issues are associated with the susceptibility of Caribbean islands and the hindrances to their benefiting from growth in tourism. A major concern is profit leakage in foreign exchange earnings either through the reparation of profits and income by the transnational company or through the importation of consumer goods that is needed to sustain tourism. This becomes problematic because tourism accounts for a high percentage of Caribbean islands gross nation production and such heavy dependence on one industry makes the islands even more vulnerable to external markets force. Another problem lies with the generous tax concessions and other negotiated conditionalities between the local government and the transnational company or the local government and the IMF, often times leads to stimulated foreign investment with the aims of producing employment, paying off the foreign debt, and generating revenue. However, in the long run this approach will fail to enhance the well-being of the working-class population in the industry as the majority of the population has been relegated to positions of servility in a competitive labor market that provides principally low-paid, seasonal, and unstable jobs as mid and upper level management are usually person from the transnational cooperation. According to Alexander (2005) a country that is driven by foreign currency and its government’s that is complicit with this practice complicity creates a culture defined by its service rather than by its own sense of autonomy and development. Kincaid echoed this sentiment when she stated “The government is for sale; anybody from anywhere can come to Antigua and for a sum of money can get what he wants” (1988, 47). Here, she is highlighting the state of misery and devastation in which Antiguan lives. According to Kincaid this is the remnants of colonialism.
The labor force in the tourism industry is primarily made up of women. Women are virtually absent from supervisory and management positions. Globally, women also experience income disparities as opposed to men at all levels of hotel, catering, and tourism employment. They generally occupy the lower echelons in the tourism labor market, with few career opportunities and low levels of remuneration. Resorts are usually managed by foreigners, many of whom do not appreciate the cultural, social, and economic realities of the host countries in which they work. Workers often times become frustrated by the lack of respect accorded them by for foreigners and the severe competition for the tourist market meant that they could easily be replaced. June Jordan Report from the Bahamas as a middle-class African American tourist in the Bahamas was forced to rethink some of the most commonplace and comfortable assumptions about sisterhood and black solidarity during her encounter with several women in the industry like her maid, the desperate vendors trying to sell her Bahamian trinkets and her encounter with the graduate student. This shows how women in the black community are often invisible and that oppression weakens solidarity.
旅游业的劳动力主要由妇女组成。几乎没有女性担任监督和管理职位。在全球范围内，在酒店、餐饮和旅游业的各个层次，女性也面临着与男性不同的收入差距。他们一般处于旅游劳动力市场的较低梯队，职业机会少，薪酬水平低。度假村通常由外国人管理，他们中的许多人并不欣赏他们工作所在国的文化、社会和经济现实。工人们常常因为外国人不尊重他们而感到沮丧，而旅游市场的激烈竞争意味着他们很容易被取代。来自巴哈马的June Jordan Report，一名来自巴哈马的中产阶级非裔美国游客，在遇到了几位业内女性，比如她的女佣、绝望的小贩试图卖她的巴哈马小饰品，以及她与研究生的邂逅之后，被迫重新思考关于姐妹情和黑人团结的一些最常见、最令人满意的假设。这表明黑人社区的女性往往是无形的，压迫削弱了团结。
Tourism has its roots in heteropatriarchal capitalism since the 17th century that was exclusive to upper-class European men and later women (Enloe, 2000:21). However, during the 20th century tourism has changed in many respects and has lost its original elitist characteristic. Tourism is aimed fulfilling the tourist’s expectations and desires without much regard of how it affects the lives of the citizens and the impact on the host country. The imagery of various Caribbean countries as exotic island along with tourists being tended to their every need and handed drinks with tiny umbrellas in them highlights seasonal cultural erosion of the citizens identity. Heteropatriarchal capitalism creates labor hierarchies within hotels. Men are excluded from management, but gender stereotypes also give them access to positions with more opportunities for gratuities, such as bartender and luggage handler. Women, in contrast, are employed in gender-designated positions of domesticity such as housekeeping. There are few opportunities for resort workers to participate directly and independently in the tourism economy. To escape this dilemma, many cultivate relationships of companionship, friendship, and romance with tourists and other foreigners as a way to access the global economy, travel to the global North, and improve their lives and that of their families. (Cliff and Carter, 2010). Many relationships between local women and foreign men are affective relations with economic activity, but others emphasize payment for sexual services.
旅游业起源于17世纪以来的异父权资本主义，这是欧洲上流社会男性和后来的女性独有的(Enloe, 2000:21)。然而，在20世纪，旅游业在许多方面发生了变化，失去了原来的精英特征。旅游的目的是满足游客的期望和愿望，而不太考虑它如何影响公民的生活和对东道国的影响。各种加勒比国家都是充满异国情调的岛屿，游客们被照顾到他们的每一个需求，拿着小雨伞递给他们饮料，这凸显了公民身份的季节性文化侵蚀。异父资本主义在酒店内部创造了劳动等级制度。男性被排除在管理之外，但性别刻板印象也让他们有机会获得更多小费的职位，比如调酒师和行李搬运工。相比之下，妇女被雇用在性别指定的家庭工作，如家务。旅游从业者直接、独立参与旅游经济的机会很少。为了摆脱这种困境，许多人与游客和其他外国人建立友谊、友谊和浪漫的关系，以此作为进入全球经济、前往全球北部旅行、改善自己和家人生活的一种方式。(Cliff和Carter, 2010)。当地女性和外国男性之间的许多关系是与经济活动有关的情感关系，但其他一些关系强调的是性服务的报酬。
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