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Kimberly Dawn Miller Title Dominica, Green Resilience, and the Politics of Ecotourist Identity Formation

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3:30 PM, Sunday 20 Jun 2021 (30 minutes)
Dominica, Green Resilience, and the Politics of Ecotourist Identity Formation


For the Caribbean, post-hurricane disaster models have sought to further develop through a “green” resilience framework, with ecotourism being just one of the avenues explored. In the last several decades, ecotourism has been a growing sector of the global tourist industry and proponents argue it offers more environmentally sustainable development models and cultural enrichment for Global South countries than traditionalmass tourism. What are the strengths and limitations of ecotourism as a pathway of sustainable development for rural communities in the Caribbean?

Initially pursued after the decline in its agricultural sector, the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica has sought ecotourist development to diversify its economy and tout its lush natural landscape that counters the white-sand beach aesthetic featured predominantly in tourist marketing of the Caribbean. Dominica is also investing in the promotion of ethnocultural tourism primarily of the island’s indigenous Kalinago but also African descendant communities. Tourism Studies researchers argue Dominica is unique in the Caribbean for directing the entire thrust of its tourist sector to developing a comprehensive ecotourism industry. Moreover in 2019, Dominica’s Prime Minister pledged the island would become the “world’s first climate-resilient nation” in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that wiped out a significant portion of the country’s GDP and devastated rural and indigenous territories.

This paper focuses on tourism as a development strategy and green resilience from a variety of disciplinary frameworks in Critical Geography, Urban Sociology, and Post-colonial intersectional Black Feminism, to analyze processes of exploitation and articulate modes of resistance and that are rooted in African diasporic and indigenous Caribbean identities and cultural autonomy."

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