The last months the QualityCoast Team has been researching social impacts of tourism in Central America, including Cuba and Dominican Republic. We have collected internet data from NGOs, institutes, newspapers, governments… but we could not find sufficient information at the destination level. For this reason, to improve the Global Sustainable Tourism Review in Central America and the Caribbean, we kindly ask all readers to provide us with more information to spread awareness at the destination level. We would like to inform tourists which destinations are respectful within human rights, and which are not….
Tourism in Central America has become one of the main pillars of economic growth. This evolution of the sector is part of a structural economic change that has territorial implications and deep population mobility within and outside Central America.
The construction of different accommodations for tourists, like resorts, is causing major environmental problems in the area, which directly affect the local population, depleting and degrading natural resources.
In addition, due to the development of tourism, was generated in parallel the sex tourism industry, one of the biggest mafias taking place today and one of the most serious impacts of tourism on society. Rising demand for prostitutes in tourist areas means that, alongside the business, the human trafficking trade takes place, in order to meet the needs of tourists. Therefore, there is a large number of children are involved into this dark world, sometimes by forced or by economic necessity, that drive they to it. The consequences for these children once they begin to be part of this business are overwhelming.
Not only are these impacts from tourism, numerous cases of child labour exploitation in tourist areas are also given, exercising, children between 5 and 13 years in hazardous work long hours in hotels, or on the streets hawking.
For all these reasons and many others, a social approach to the conduct of tourism development should be considered.
Our dossier can be found under Publications.