This research discusses the negative social, environmental and economic impacts of tourism development in Barbados; describes the perceptions of residents and tourists to such; and measures their preferences for environmental management changes using the island’s lone marine reserve, the Folkestone Marine Reserve, as a case study. This research is underpinned by a number of policy and methodological objectives which were formulated with a view to better inform social decision-making about environmental management in the tourism industry in Barbados, and to better understand the factors associated with the successes or the pitfalls of tourism development. The research outcomes demonstrated that environmental management within the context of tourism development in Barbados requires the balancing of public needs with the environmental and economic consequences of development. As such, the results reinforced some of the theoretical and empirical revelations in the field of tourism and environmental management and further cemented the assertion that environmental management becomes onerous because of the presence of a number of innately complex and interlinked inferences: that preserving an environment that satisfies the divergent needs of users incurs both social and economic costs; that perceptions of tourism’s impacts are not mutually exclusive, which makes the issue of support for tourism development complex; that both the positive and negative impacts of tourism should be considered; that prudent environmental management is arguably the sine qua non for a viable tourism product; and that concerns remain as to whether the country can absorb the environmental and socio-economic shocks associated with tourism.
Assessing public attitudes and behaviour toward tourism development in Barbados Socio-economic and environmental implications.pdf