Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Gunars Subins

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Since world war two, tourism has evolved into a major industry within the Caribbean region. This development has not occurred evenly in space, and significant discrepancies in intensity exist among and within the islands. The evolution of the tourism industry on the islands of Tobago may be divided into a number of stages, including pre-touristic, early development and developmental. These constructs, based on tourist arrival and accommodation data, resemble the earlier phases of the product diffusion ‘S’-curve. Each stage is the product of a set of geographical, technological, political, cultural and economic constraints, both internal and external. As these change, the spatial aspects of tourism are also modified. Currently, tourism intensity within Tobago ranges from pre-tourism construct over most of the island to a north-west coastal area. The Scarborough region in contrast suggests a decline phase. Particular stages of tourism development may be associated with certain positive and negative economic, social and environmental impacts. These impacts vary as the geographic setting changes from place to place. In the case of Tobago, a high level of domestic tourism and local control suggests a more positive social and economic impact. However, environmental and aesthetic concerns may arise as current growth rates and patterns into account national developmental priorities and the carrying capacities of specific areas within the island for particular tourist-related land uses. Future growth should be directed for the most part to the Crown Point-Arnos Vale area, Scarborough, and the new Charlotteville-Speyside region. The periphery would be utilised by the tourism industry for such limited activities as hiking and touring. This strategy would contribute to a diversification of touristic opportunities as well as to a limited dispersion of the industry outside of the Crown Point-Arnos Vale area.

Convocation Year