JAYA RAMLALL, UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Abstract: Initiated on a small-scale, today the cruise industry has sought to market the ship as the destination itself offering a multi-generational experience with endless activities onboard to meet the demands of its diverse clientele and thus virtually eliminating the need for port calls. Ranked as the number one cruise destination due to its archipelagic nature, the Caribbean welcomes millions of visitors annually. This paper seeks to focus on the environmental issues which arise due to the cruise industry in the Caribbean and further threaten the longevity of the tourist industry which depends on the environmental assets of the region. Furthermore, current strategies governing the industry will be examined with its shortcomings highlighted. Consequently, recommendations will be put forth based on best practices which can be tailored to ensure that the cruise industry poses no threat to the Caribbean but brings only positive attributes to the territory.
Keywords: cruise tourism; marine pollution; Caribbean; MARPOL; eco-cruises; carrying capacity.