Purpose – Since the decline of export agriculture and the loss of trade preferences, most Caribbean countries have shifted their economies towards the provision of tourism services. Barbados, for example, receives more than two‐thirds of its foreign exchange earnings from tourism. The sustainability of tourism in the Caribbean can potentially be affected by climate change. This paper aims to address this issue. Design/methodology/approach – This paper provides an assessment of the likely effects of climate change in the small state of Barbados and suggests some recommended adaptations. Climate change is expected to impact on temperature, rainfall and severe weather, sea levels and sea surface temperatures, biodiversity loss, and lead to erosion and seasonal shifts on the island. Findings – The paper finds that, in relation to tourism demand, as travellers from source markets become more conscious of their carbon footprint and the implementation of green taxes, there might be some alteration in demand for long‐haul destinations such as Barbados. On the supply‐side, increased operating costs, due to higher insurance premiums (particularly for beachfront properties) and greater cooling costs, to name a few could all impact on the profitability of hotels in the island. As climate change impacts on the water table, there is also likely to be some competition for water resources for residential and tourism purposes. Originality/value – The paper supplies useful information on sustainability of tourism in the Caribbean and the effects of climate change.
Tourism Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 24, 2012
Keywords: Tourism; Small states; Barbados; Climate change; Carbon footprint; Caribbean