Date of Award

Spring 5-2004

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Economic and Workforce Development

Committee Chair

Tim W. Hudson

Committee Chair Department

Economic and Workforce Development


Tourists are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their selection of tourism destination. A major factor that has been gaining importance in their choice set is the environmental quality of their preferred destination. Tourism planners need to recognize that the sustainability of their destination and its various offerings necessitates the consideration of environmental protection and conservation-related issues. This dissertation undertakes the case study methodology to explore the link between implementing cleaner technologies, a major environmental issue, and sustainable tourism.

The Caribbean is a region in the world that is strongly dependent on tourism for its economic development. Thus the analysis of how cleaner technology is being used to enhance and sustain the tourism industry should be of interest to policymakers and managers in the tourism industry, not only in the Caribbean, but also in other tourism destinations worldwide, including those in the United States.

As part of this project, case studies were conducted in five Caribbean islands. Case studies analysis indicates that cleaner technologies are playing a role in enhancing the sustainability of the Caribbean tourism industry by generating positive environmental/physical as well as economic impacts on the destination. It was also found that there is a Caribbean tourism cluster focused on developing an environmentally sound tourism product.

The study revealed that Caribbean governments are to some extent aware of the need to facilitate the widest use of cleaner technology in the hotel sector. It was found that pressure from civil society on the islands studied was not a factor in the use of cleaner technologies in the tourism sector. Rather hotel operators recognized the cost saving from using cleaner technologies, as well as the marketing benefits. The evidence thus suggests that over time more hotels in the tourism sector will invest in cleaner technology.