Resort Towns: Making a Case Study of Montego Bay and Bavaro Punta Cana
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Countries with a low rate of exports, including the Caribbean ones, heavily rely on tourism to grow their economy, generate tax revenues and create jobs (UNWATO, 2017). In 2015, 29 million international tourists visited the 48 lower and middle-income countries of the world which generated around 21 billion dollars, a higher contribution to their economy than total international aid (World Bank, 2016). The significant impact of tourism on other economic activities such as construction, transportation, small businesses, and agriculture led many researchers to recognize the positive contribution of tourism on the growth of small economies like Caribbean countries (Thacker, Mejia and Perrelli 2012). The Caribbean countries are renowned recreational tourist destinations. In 2017, tourism and travel represented almost 5% of the GDP of the region, generated over 17 billion dollars, and provided over 2 million of jobs (World Travel & Tourism Council 2018). For Caribbean countries, tourism has become a more critical source of capital accumulation and productivity (Jayawardena 2005), as agriculture is no longer the main motor of their economies since the 1960s and 1970s (Thacker, Mejia and Perrelli 2012). Agricultural land progressively disappeared to serve the primary purpose of travel to the Caribbean that is leisure. The UN World Tourism Organization reported that 90% of the travelers to the Caribbean in 2017 visited for recreational purposes especially to enjoy the sea, sun, and sand.