Tourists are subjecting the Caribbean to a new form of colonialism, the conference was told.
Dr Briavel Holcomb, of Rutgers University, New Jersey, said most of the profits from tourism went back to Europe or North America, because most tourists fly on international airlines and stay in international hotels.
About 10 million Americans and Europeans now succumb to the lure of the travel brochures each year, attracted by images of servile natives catering to the whims of white guests, she said.
Dr Holcomb said resources were being increasingly directed to a new wave of 'land theft' by the creation of 'white enclaves' for tourists, which were out of bounds to local people. The willingness of Caribbean governments to go down that path should be seen in the context of the importance of tourism to local economies, she said.
An invasion by US satellite and cable TV is undermining local culture in the English-speaking Caribbean, Dr Margaret Byron, of King's College, London, said.Reuse content