Private Barbados Tourism Impact Study highlights concerns with policing, environment and housing costs

Tourism Impacts – The Good, the Bad and the “Oh Oh”

Amit Uttamchandani of Pull! Push! blog recently completed his online study of Resident Perceptions of Tourism Impacts in Barbados with over 400 people taking the time to participate. The study forms part of Amit’s just submitted MBA dissertation. (Good luck Amit!)

Amit’s study validated some of the thoughts and feelings we at BFP have about tourism and its impacts upon Barbados. For us there were really no surprises except for the relatively low “positive” response about policing.

One would think that tourism would improve the quality of police protection if for no other reason than the reality that tourism is highly dependent upon public safety. Surprisingly though, many Barbadians are unconvinced that they are receiving better policing than they would if Barbados was not a tourism destination.

We at BFP believe that policing is the big red flag in the study and that the public’s response in the survey shows an increasing concern that the Royal Barbados Police Force are losing the battle in a big way.

You can head over to Living in Barbados where our friend Dennis Jones has posted a copy of the entire study.

Read Amit’s study and see what citizens can accomplish without the government holding their hands every moment.


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Environment, Island Life, Police, Tourism

10 responses to “Private Barbados Tourism Impact Study highlights concerns with policing, environment and housing costs

  1. Hants

    Policemen in Barbados are grossly underpaid and work in decrepit police stations.

    You are getting what you pay for.

  2. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    Amit’s results are interesting. Having read the whole report I’m now thinking about the odd fact that his random sample of respondents mainly lived in tourism areas, were highly educated (2/3 had tertiary education), but most (77%) did not work in tourism. That puts a particular skew on the results that makes for complex interpretation.

    The perception of policing is not negatively perceived, but less positively perceived. (They are quite different concepts.) The fact that better policing is less highly perceived as a benefit of tourism can be seen as a plus. It means that residents do not perceive that tourists/tourism activities as better protected than the rest of the population/non tourism activities.

    I think that’s how it should be. If tourists need special protection then that should be provided separately (as with private security guards, or by building ‘enclaves’). It’s important in lessening resentment that residents can feel towards visitors.

    That policing needs to improve is a separate issue and it is a very valid concern that government lets the force continue understaffed and underpaid.

  3. crossroads


  4. crossroads

    Thanks for letting me vent lol

  5. Dear BFP,

    Thank you for writing about the results. However, I would like to clarify this police issue before it is misinterpreted and spun out of control.

    Tourism brings with it positive and negative impacts (this is true no matter what industry). One of the positive impacts identified in the academic literature (upon which my questionnaire/study was based), was that “Tourism improves quality of police protection.” NOTE: This has been identified, in previous studies, as a positive impact, not a negative one (as you appear to suggest).

    In terms of my survey, the sample (consisting of 405 respondents, which is a teeny-tiny percentage of the overall population), thought that this was the least positively perceived impact. Again, it was not perceived as a negative impact. It was perceived as a positive impact, however one that was perceived less positively than, say, creating employment.

    I just wanted to draw that to your attention, it looks as though Dennis observed the same thing.


    P.S., as far as “government hand-holding” (as you say), is concerned, I would like to point that there were several people at the BSS (B’dos Statistical Service), BTA and, most importantly, the MOT, who took the time and patience to meet and talk with me. In fact, without their assistance, as well as the assitance of several others, carrying out this work would have been much more difficult.

  6. BFP

    Thanks Amit for your work and also for weighing in on the discussion. That’s what makes blogging such a great resource.

    We are pleased to hear that some of the good folks at BSS, BTA and MOT helped you along – but that doesn’t change our point (and the truth) that you were leading the way. Without your drive this would not have happened.

    About the police, I think I understand your point, but I expected a far greater proportion of the respondents to be much more positive about the impact of tourism upon the quality of policing. They weren’t as positive as I expected, and I think that is because people are very worried about the low quality of policing we are receiving. I’ll change the wording and see if it presents my views a little better.

    That’s my thoughts, and I’d like to hear you expand upon your thoughts a little more if you have time.

    Thanks for your hard work.


  7. reality check

    “That policing needs to improve is a separate issue”

    One can’t seperate good policing and public safety from

    One well publicized international murder or rape can dramatically cripple tourism for many months.

    This is both a tourist and a public safety issue for locals and foreigners alike.

  8. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @reality check, I did not separate good policing from public safety. I noted that the need for policing to improve is separate from people have less positive perceptions about the impact of tourism on policing.

    Of course good public safety is a plus for the tourism industry, but it is even more of a plus for all who are residents as we are here all the time not just for short stints. That’s why it is important that residents do not perceive that tourists get special treatment. That could leave the impression that because foreign visitors bring in valuable foreign exchange that they are ‘worth’ more.

    The police have a special but different duty when dealing with the public safety of visitors, not least because those visitors have few if any points of reference to judge policing or public safety associated with it. And yes, any negative impressions that visitors gain will become the ‘standard’ in the minds of them and future visitors.

  9. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    s/b …from people having…

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