Banking On Tourism Amid Climate Change


Tourists walk along a badly eroding resort-lined beach in Negril.

‘One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities’ was the mantra of the recently concluded Tourism Awareness Week (September 27-October 2). Yet the question remains, is enough being done to ensure that the Caribbean doesn’t lose its tourism product to the effects of climate change?

In 2014, Jamaica attracted 2,080,181 stopover visitors to the island, with the Dominican Republic and Cuba reeling in 5,141,377 and 3,001,958 tourist stopover arrivals, respectively. With the impending losses of prime beaches to rising sea levels and increased climatic temperatures, will we still be able to bank comfortably on the opportunities that we now enjoy in tourism?

It is predicted that the total annual rainfall for CARICOM countries is expected to decrease by an average of 5-10 per cent. This spells trouble for the tourism sector, which is a major consumer of fresh water. Decreased rainfall can…

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