Caribbean tourism and agriculture: linking to enhance development and competitiveness

This study examines current trends in tourism and agriculture in Caribbean countries and the strategy for linking them in order to facilitate their future development. The tourism industry has, in the past, developed largely apart from other sectors such as agriculture. On the other hand, agriculture has developed mainly to satisfy export markets. Domestic agriculture has had limited development and has therefore been displaced to a considerable extent by food imports. The recent promotion of agriculture tourism linkages is an attempt to enhance the local value added of the tourism industry, while at the same time promoting the development of domestic agriculture. However, it is argued that agriculture-tourism linkage per se will not facilitate the development of either tourism or agriculture. The nature of the tourism product in each country has to be understood before effective strategies could be devised for improving competitiveness. A similar approach is also necessary in respect of the agriculture sector. Increased linkage between tourism and agriculture could be enhanced through the adoption of a cluster-based strategy for improving the competitiveness of the tourism sector and for improving the livelihoods of communities and rural areas. 

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