Sharpley, Richard and Knight, Martin
Tourism and the state in Cuba: from the past to the future.
International Journal of Tourism Research, 11
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jtr.685
It has long been recognised that nature and extent of state intervention in tourism development closely reflects the prevailing political-economy and ideology within the destination state. This is certainly the case with Cuba which, since the 1959 revolution and despite the collapse of communism elsewhere, remains the world's only centrally-planned economy that boasts a significant international tourism sector. Tracing the development of tourism since 1959, this paper explores the relationship between the evolution of Cuba's political-economic structures and processes and their subsequent influence on the planning, control, development and ownership of tourism on the island. In particular, it considers the potential future of tourism in Cuba, challenging the widespread belief that, in a post-Castro era, the island's tourism sector faces a bright future. It concludes that, even with a potential move towards market reform, significant improvements will be required with respect to the quality, value and diversity of the island's tourism product.
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