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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Regional Planning
Title Cruise Tourism in St. Lucia; Promoting Locally Owned and Operated Tourism Businesses
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2006&context=theses
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face a unique set of challenges when it comes to
the field of Planning. In 1992, the United Nation Conference on Environment and Development,
also known as the Earth Summit, brought international attention to SIDS; the combination of
geographic isolation, small size, and limited resources were listed as a few of the unique
environmental and economic disadvantages facing these islands. The island of St.Lucia, located
in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean, is classified by the United Nations as one of the
vulnerable SIDS in the Caribbean region. Since the 1992 Earth Summit, the literature on planning
strategies for SIDS has shifted from an economic based mass tourism strategies toward
culturally and environmentally focused sustainable tourism strategies; such as eco-tourism and
community-based tourism.
Mass tourism, through the form of cruise ship tourism, is currently the largest sector of
the Caribbean tourism market. Based on the cruise tourism trends over the past 30 years, the
Caribbean cruise tourism industry is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace. The continual
growth in this form of mass tourism contradicts the current planning and policy trends toward
sustainable tourism strategies. In order to better understand ways of connecting cruise tourism
to a small island’s sustainable tourism policy, this thesis examines aspects of the mass cruise
tourism-sustainable tourism contradiction. First, this thesis uses qualitative and quantitative
methods to analyze various types of tourism development strategies for SIDS, as well as,
examine St.Lucia’s current tourism development policies and initiatives. Interviews with local
onshore business owners were then conducted in order to understand the relationship between
local cruise-dependant businesses and the cruise ship industry. Finally, recommendations are
given on ways to incorporate the cruise tourism industry into St.Lucia’s existing communitybased
tourism goals.

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