2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Caribbean Tourism: A Critical Analysis

Winter quarter

Faculty: Tom Womeldorff economics

Fields of Study: cultural studies, economics, international studies and study abroad

Winter: CRN (Credit) Level 20360 (16) Fr; 20361 (16) So - Sr  

Credits: 16(W)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmenFreshmen - Senior

Offered During: Day


Escaping to paradise on a tropical island has been a part of the Western psyche for centuries. Exotic plants and animals, sunshine, coconut palms, turquoise waters and romance all form part of a modern day fantasy to be lived out on a Caribbean tropical island. The tourism industry has developed to fulfill the fantasy, offering packaged deals at resorts, island hopping on cruises and local cultural entertainment. More recently, the market has expanded, catering to "non-tourists" who want to experience the authentic, wild and untouched. While not perceiving of themselves as tourists, they are driven by very similar desires and images. The collective fantasies are reinforced and shaped by countries seeking to attract needed tourist dollars, and the tourism industry carefully constructing resorts and tours to cater to the tourist's preconceptions. While tourism provides an important source of jobs and income for Caribbean peoples, it comes at a cost. Fulfilling tourist fantasies constrains self-determination. Caribbean peoples become commodified; they themselves are consumed by the tourist.

In this program, we will study the evolution of Caribbean tourism with particular focus on economic impacts, the shaping of the tourist experience, impacts on the local people, changing Western perceptions of the region and the tourism mentality. In the first four weeks, we will analyze the development of Caribbean tourism and its economic role, how the tourist experience is marketed, and what happens when cultures cross and mix through the tourist experience. In week five, each of us will begin an in-depth individual investigation of tourism.  The quarter will culminate in the sharing of our individual projects, comparing and contrasting the impact of tourism across the region.

With approval, students previously enrolled in Caribbean Cultural Crossings (Fall 2010) will have the option to travel to the Caribbean during weeks 5, 6 and 7 as part of their independent project.  All other students will complete their investigations on the Evergreen campus.  The regular class schedule will continue throughout the quarter.

Maximum Enrollment: 24

Study Abroad: Optional (with faculty approval)--Caribbean, 3 weeks, Winter, approximately $2,500. A deposit of $200 will be required to reserve your space.

Preparatory for studies or careers in: economics, economic development, Caribbean studies, and the social sciences and humanities.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 3rd, 2010 This program has changed to All Level and has removed the signature requirement.