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Socioeconomic Impact of Tourism on the Bahamas

TOUR 200 Group Presentation

Abigail Wallace

on 19 October 2015

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Transcript of Socioeconomic Impact of Tourism on the Bahamas

“By promoting greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations, tourism can contribute to better understanding among people, and help foster a culture of peace that is essential to development”

Negative Social and Cultural Impact of Tourism
Tourism’s Role in Job Creation
Tourism should not be discussed solely in terms of its economic benefits. There are important social and cultural impacts – both positive and negative – on the host country.

Negative Impact

Before Tourism
James Stark wrote:

“Nassau was a very quiet and orderly city where scenes of violence, drunken brawls, profane, abusive and irritating language in public streets and places were absent. Life was slow moving but pleasant and the people were noted for their kindness, hospitality, and grace.”

After Tourism
*March 1930 , Tribune Newspaper
Letter of Complaint
by Visitors at the New Colonial Hotel

“What an example for our girls to see stockingless painted half-drunken dissipated young men and women displaying to all around how far they have fallen into a state of utter depravity”

*4th October, 1933, Tribune Newspaper
The writer remarked that the young people of Nassau had become frivolous, “dancing, drinking and living a sporting life, in and out of season”.

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Introduction- Tourism
Improvements to Infrastructure stimulated by the Needs of the Tourism Industry
Recognized throughout the world as a human activity with tremendous economic impact.
Far reaching social, cultural, political and educational impact.
Systematic measurement of tourism began in the 20th century
WTO has played and important role in establishing guidelines for the standardization of tourism statistics for better measurement and comparison.
Bahamas has been the leader in the region in the accurate compilations of tourism stats, using Immigration card data and visitor expenditure data through surveys of departing visitors at airports and cruise terminals.
Socioeconomic Impact of Tourism
on The Bahamas-Positive & Negative
Sherika Brown,
Wentworth Donaldson
& Abigail Wallace
Economic Impact of Tourism
TOUR 200
Cultural and Heritage Tourism
Visitor Distribution Among the Various Family Islands
Linkages – A Missed Opportunity in The Bahamas
Positive Contributions Made by the Tourist Industry

Apart from the negative effects of the predominance of tourism in our country, the many contributions made by the tourism industry to the cultural life of the community should not be forgotten

Prior to the 1980’s: Politicians of Caribbean Countries criticized The Bahamas for “packaging” indigenous culture for special tourist events e.g Goombay Summer

However many of the improvements to the cultural landmarks
- Fort Charlotte upgrade, Pompey Museum, new National Art Gallery, Arawak Cay Fish Fry, Museums on Green Turtle Cay (Abaco), Long Island, Spanish Wells, San Salvador, and many others- were prompted by tourist demand, but have enriched the lives of both residents and visitors

Economic Impact of Tourism
1960 - First Survey to determine economic impact was conducted - Minister of Tourism – Sir Stafford Sands
First Research Corporation in Miami did the estimates
Results: Direct employment of Bahamians by hotels increased.
916 in 1950 to 4,454 in 1959
1968- Random Sampling by Ministry of Tourism - avg expenditure by victors US$207 by air and US$46 by cruise
1974 – 1976 Most detailed empirical research tracing the flow of tourist dollars by Dr. Brian Archer of the University of North Wales assisted by the Ministry of Tourism’s Research Department
World’s greatest creator in jobs, BAH 1 in 3 workers
Brian Archer’s Study on Employment and Tourism in the Bahamas
Findings in 1970’s Tourism created aprx 44% of all employment in BAH, i.e 2/3 of jobs in the country could not be maintained in the absence of tourism.
Hotels 30%, commercial establishments 49%, private sector 21%, and an average of 350 cruise passengers created one additional job.

*Note : New Providence was impacted most by changes
Economic Benefits Tourism – Dependence on a Single Market and the Need for Diversification

The proximity of The Bahamas to the United States is reflected in the large US market share of tourism arrivals.

Tourism has a high multiplier effect with opportunities for linkages to many other sectors
Full economic benefits aren't realized due to high level of imports and the leakage of foreign exchange back to the suppliers of those imports
Surveys show 80₵ of every dollar leave the country to pay for imports
Despite demand created by sum 300 hotels for many different foods to serve visitors, that demand is largely being satisfied by foreign produce.

Linkages – A Missed Opportunity in The Bahamas cont'd
While many local businesses now make a good living supplying products to major hotels in the Bahamas , few effective linkages have been established between the consumers in the hotel industry and local producers of food and non-service products.

Some inroads are now being made into the souvenir business through the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism’s Authentically Bahamian Unit and the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation(BAIC).
Expenditure by Cruise Visitors

Prior to the 1950’s, tourism was concentrated in Nassau, with a few smaller resorts on Bimini and West End, Grand Bahama.

Even though new hotels were constructed on Eleuthera, Abaco, Andros and Exuma in the 1950’s and many local Family Islanders were make a good living from tourism, there were no statistical reference for visitors to each island up until the 1960’s.

Negative Social Impact of Tourism Cont'd
Alcoholism – Bahamian males with lower income tended to drink more
Casinos attracted prostitutes and undesirables

Therefore beginning in the 1960’s Bahamians were not allowed to gamble in casinos
Negative Social and Cultural Impact of Tourism
Large influx of United States visitors demanded American Products in the form of food and entertainment has Americanized Nassau and Freeport
*Franchises such as KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and Subway
However we can’t blame these trends all on tourism alone. Other means of influence are (through television – which makes us aware of all the latest trends in music and fashion)

Religious Community Affected
Govt allowed shops to open on Sunday

Racist Policies

Prior to 1930: Blacks were not allowed to work in or patronize hotels

1930’s: Lady Dundas established the Nassau Improvement Society, later known as the Dundas Civic Centre- this was where Blacks received domestic training and were recruited within hotels

Negative Cultural Impact of Tourism Cont'd
Negative Cultural Impact of Tourism Cont'd
1930’s and 1940’s: Hotels and nightclubs hired American band during tourism season, so the benefit of tourism to the majority of the local people was minimal.

When all jobs within the hotel industry became available to Bahamians, tourism became an employment of last resort.

Viewed as an occupation of “servitude”

Children who were’nt academically gifted were steered towards domestic careers or employment in tourism (either within hotels as waiters, housekeeper or porters, or as taxi drivers or straw vendors)

Relationship between visitor and tourism service employee was perceived as master-slave syndrome

1950’s: Tourism industry did little to profit the masses
Living index rose by 100% between 1950-1960
Wages of most Black Bahamians changed little

1966 –Unskilled workers were paid 78₵ an hour and maids $17.00 per week.

Today: Racism is no longer an issue,
- Servile stigma has diminished
Tourism is still not the preferred career choice
-Unlike European and Asian Countries (little stigma and highly regarded)
Positive Impact of Tourism Cont'd
Special events were created and funded by the Ministry of Tourism to showcase local culture for the tourist market and to serve as enjoyment and pride for Bahamians (e.g Pineappple Festival, Crabfest and Coconutfest)

Local entertainers and artists have gained fame and local acceptance (e.g Amos Ferguson, folk artist and Joseph Spence, musician)

Development of arts and craft in the region, straw work has become a thriving industry

Authentically Bahamian Products from local marine and plant by-products (such as sand, sisal and shells)

Local chefs now compete on a world stage
Positive Impact of Tourism Cont'd
Tourism can make a contribution to world peace

The UNWTO has asserted that the greatest benefit of tourism is not a tangible one

The Positive influence of travel is much more powerful than any negative by-products

Tourism brings together people of different nationalities, traditions and beliefs fact to face, can help to foster better understanding and eliminate prejudices … contributing to world peace

Expenditure by Cruise Visitors cont'd
Stopover visitors made the largest contribution in the economy-94.7% of overall tourism expenditure, over 61% of all Custom duties, 53% of government revenue, 61% of non-fuel imports, and almost 96% of tourism expenditures in restaurants and nightclubs.

This was reported in Brian Archer’s studies, “Employment and Tourism in The Bahamas” and “The Impact of the Tourist Dollar” completed in 1974. The report noted that cruise spending accounted for a excessively high expenditure in casinos, on shopping and local transport; although, cruise visitors were said to only be responsible for 5.31% of tourism expenditure.

This observation only included Nassau.
The Sustainability of the Tourism Sector- Myth or Reality?
Many countries in the region were originally reluctant to invest funds in tourism because the industry is subject to uncontrollable conditions such as recessions, wars, social unrest, environmental incidents, or even rumors of disasters or disturbances.

Tourism is influenced by uncontrollable socio-economic and environmental factors.

Historic evidence suggests that consumer shifts in expenditure following disasters and recessions are temporary.

Increased industrialization and pressure on today’s modern citizens, travel for many has become a necessity.

Introduction- Tourism cont'd
These stats have periodically been supplemented by research studies to measure the contribution of visitor expenditure on GDP, balance of payments, gov. revenue, and employment

Studies have also analyzed linkages, along with the social, cultural, and political impact, both positive and negative, of tourism on local communities.
Tourism’s Role in Job Creation Cont'd
Provides Jobs for unskilled labor, and both sexes, regardless of age

Creates a market for services such as hair braiders, straw vendors, taxi drivers and artisans

Many workers have limited formal education, without tourism they would have few opportunities for alternative employment
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