Capitalizing On Cuban Tourism Through Spatial Clustering

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

First Advisor

Denise von Herrmann

Advisor Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs


After it had more or less disappeared in the mid-twentieth century, cluster theory has reemerged as one of the dominant paradigms in the advanced economies of the world. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most important factors in the resurgence of industrial cluster theory has been the explosive growth of globalization in economic activity. However, little application has been seen to the tourism industry. At minimum, tourism constitutes one of the largest, fastest growing, dynamic, and socio-economically important industries, in the United States, and the world as a whole. Existing and developing tourism destinations are working to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. This paper demonstrates the development of cluster theory as it has evolved through time by discussing the foundations, origins, and developments within cluster theory. It also argues that Cuba is a viable tourism development and market cluster within world and Caribbean contexts. The paper draws from available research literature, research fieldwork in Havana, Cuba, and practitioner documentation.