Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Trash and tourism in Barbados

Here is a link to a short paper that I wrote a couple of years ago showing the empirical connection between beach litter and tourism.
Tourist perceptions of beach cleanliness in Barbados: Implications for return visitation - See more at: http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/5251#sthash.sP2fYJeH.dpuf
Tourist perceptions of beach cleanliness in Barbados: Implications for return visitation - See more at: http://etudescaribeennes.revues.org/5251#sthash.sP2fYJeH.dpuf

10 comments:

Stuart Poulsen said...

Very interesting research. Do you think there's any possibility that because the data was compiled from May-July (early hurricane season) there's a correlation between amount of litter and that season being possibly on average windier than other times of the year?

Dr. Peter Schuhmann said...

Hmmmm... Could be. Barbados is so far south that they really don't get affected by hurricanes though. And from what I can tell, most of the litter is from land-based sources, and near-shore recreation (catamarans full of tourists drinking rum punch).

Donald Zimmer said...

This is very interesting research, and I'm sure the tourism industry of Barbados could make very good use of this information and the correlations between beach quality and return visitation. Having been to parts of this area myself, I am always amazed at how different a beach can look in one area, as opposed to another area just a couple miles down the shore. While the areas that are kept clean by the tourism industry often appear to be in pristine condition, areas that are not maintained regularly are forced to bear the cost of the increased waste disposal associated with the tourism industry. These areas are often developing at a very unsustainable rate, making it very hard for waste management practices to keep up with waste production. It makes you wonder if these areas will eventually lose the pristine environmental conditions that draw individuals from all over the world and be forced to deal with the drawbacks of development without the income generation of a flourishing tourism industry.

Qualia Hendrickson said...

It must have been intriguing to do research on the Caribbean. I found it interesting that in your Results you noted that males saw more trash on average than females participating in the survey, and Canadians saw more than any other nationality. It would be interesting to explore why that may be, though a study like that may include many different disciplines including psychology, environmental studies, and maybe even anthropology and geology.

Also, I wonder if the same kind of study can be applied to tourist areas in the Caribbean that are not coastal, like cities or sights of interest to tourist. There must be increased pollution (and discovering what the main pollutants could be revealing), simply because of the volume of people, and it would be interesting to see how those areas affect a visitor's view of the city.

Tyler Mckee said...

I feel like tourists visiting another country sometimes do not care if they litter or not mainly because they feel like its the hotels' responsibility to clean up after them as they are paying to relax and have a vacation not to worry about who cleans up the trash or where to put their trash. I have seen at some beaches where people just grab their things but leave soda cans, beer bottles, etc. and expect someone else to clean it up. This may just be some people but I believe this can account for why there is so much garbage on the beaches in Barbados, at least to some degree.

Taylor Cobb said...

As Qualia mentioned, I foun the most interesting aspect of the research was the Canadian and male eye for litter. Cultural norms in different countries may help explain the Canadian effect. The male/female proportion is more perplexing given the fact that there were more women involved in the study. Could it be that certain groups surveyed were all or mostly male business groups? There is still a very sexist attitude in many countries including our own.

Joe Rodriguez said...

I found the research to be interesting. As I had expected, the tourists staying in the larger hotels closest to the beach experienced significantly less litter. This can probably be attributed to the hotel's staff cleaning up after its guests. I also agree with Tyler's statement. I feel that tourists often do not clean up after themselves when on vacation, expecting the hotel's staff to be responsible. I believe this viewpoint is the reason why there is a greater amount of trash the further you go from the beach. There are more people commuting towards the beach, which results in a large accumulation of waste. Accordingly, as the data suggets, a cleaner beach will bring in more tourism. Because of this, beach clean-up efforts will create economic value.

Dr. Peter Schuhmann said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. It was a fairly simple paper with straightforward statistical analysis, and I agree that the results are clear. I am currently working on a paper with two recent UNCW econ grads on how perceptions of environmental quality may differ according to nationality, gender and age. The results have implications for how Eco-tourist destinations can target different user groups.

Sherry Renee McPherson said...

This was an interesting article Dr. Schuhmann. I have always been intrigued at how people say they value pristine landscapes and environments, and yet the people themselves are the very ones who degrade it through increased building and urbanization, and a flagrant disregard for the trash they discard. All these things take away from the natural beauty that brought them there in the first place. It is also interesting to learn how different people value the environment. I look forward to reading the results of your upcoming project.

Cortney Driver said...

This research is very interesting. I think that it is very interesting that men found more trash than the women in the survey. Women are normally more detail oriented than men. It's amazing to me how different beaches can look around the same area.