This paper focuses on community development and its relationship to eco-tourism as a means of creating a sustainable future for local Cuban communities. If communities control local resources to create economic opportunities for local goals, there is a greater chance that community development will be more effective and sustainable. Local empowerment can play a key role in community development through ecological and cultural tourism. The focus of this paper is Cuba’s potential to develop into a major ecological and cultural tourism center within international tourism. Recent policy announcements regarding the intention to diversify Cuba’s economy and move people into private enterprise will require new employment opportunities, especially those with lower opportunity costs and resources. The growth of small paladares (restaurants run by self-employed owners) and casas particulares (rooms for rent in private homes), which provide low environmental impact and resource use, are compatible with ecocultural tourism’s emphasis on the local. In an era of increasing environmental costs and resource scarcity, eco-cultural tourism offers a sustainable alternative to conventional tourism.
Thornburg, Jack Ph.D.
"Eco-tourism and Sustainable Community Development in Cuba: Bringing Community Back into Development,"
Journal of International and Global Studies: Vol. 9:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lindenwood.edu/jigs/vol9/iss1/2
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