There are different scholars who have analyzed how tourism impacts individuals in Jamaica. They have been focusing both on the positive and negative impacts on the community. Currently, tourism is considered to be one of the biggest and active sectors of the economic activities. The continuous growth and development of tourism industry in Jamaica have resulted in a number of issues such as the development of infrastructure, substantial amount of foreign currency flows which have contributed to the social, cultural and economic development of Jamaica. Jamaica acquires a big deal of their social and economic welfare on the incomes that arise from tourism. Recent studies indicate that tourism contributes largely to the Gross Domestic Product of Jamaica which is also a result of employment opportunities from the sector. Besides the economic benefits, there are quite a good number of both positive and negative sociological and cultural impacts of tourism in Jamaica. Therefore, this paper will focus on analyzing the sociological and cultural impacts of tourism in Jamaica.
Tourism can be said to be an active process that encompasses direct and alternative interrelationship between individuals and the originator of tourism items. The interrelationship between individuals is usually a vital feature that attributes a tourism experience. It is through these experiences that both positive and negative impacts of tourism arise and this should be monitored so that the positive impacts could be maximized while minimizing the negative effects (Tosun, 2002). The effects of tourism can be shifted to the tourist or to the host population because tourism product can only be used in a destination. In the United States, the sociological and cultural impacts of tourism are most seen in the urban centers, and the positive ones tend to assist in the accomplishment of sustainable development. The sociological and cultural effects of tourism happen when there is a connection between the tourists and the local individuals. In other words, these impacts can be termed as people effects of tourism and its focus on daily changes and quality of life of inhabitants in a destination. It is also clear that the interaction between the two does not only usually have an impact on the host and the local population, but it can also affect the tourist and their societies.
Tourists are also said to be affected by social tensions. The main impacts influenced by the tourists and the host's interrelation are the illustrated impacts. Some of the impacts of their interactions include advancement in the quality of life of the local community and in this case Jamaicans. Other things that are being impacted include the labor division, relationships between families, attitudes of the local people and their behavioral patterns. Their interaction often happens when the tourists purchase goods and services from any local individual and in that case they exchange ideas and information. Other socio-cultural impacts experienced through their interactions include the change in language which can be applied in a destination development in the intake of alcohol, prostitution, and gambling. The sociological and cultural effects of when there is the interrelationship of tourists and the local people could be used to keep inhabitants and were influenced by their position and interrelationship within the tourism sector. The positive impact of tourism is that it helps in the contribution of advancement of the social infrastructure in a destination. Cultural growth can be taken as a positive effect of tourism. Different conditions exist where tourism is said to be the main cause of the preservation and awareness of the local norms and traditions.
On the other hand, one of the negative impacts of tourism is that it also resulted in some of the negative social impacts in Jamaica. The standard of living of the local community might be decreased because of the increase in price as a result of tourism. Fishermen can also be destitute from their jobs. In some instances, the local people are often prevented from accessing the public beaches because many of the hotels across the coastline offer the first priority to the tourists so that they can enjoy the beaches and in this case, the natives are left with only small part of the beaches to enjoy. Furthermore, there are also capacity issues that will lead to the overcrowding of beaches which might result in traffic congestion and noise pollution (Meyer, 2013). Overcrowding can also result in high crime rates. The level of criminal movements from the local communities that attack foreign tourists has also been increasing due to the increase in the number of illegal chances. This implies that the more the number of tourists increase in Jamaica the more there is an increase in the number of crimes.
One of the reasons why the crime rate increases are because of poverty among the local community which forces them to indulge in criminal activities while targeting the tourists. In this case, if the local communities do not defend themselves and inaccurately put in order by the foreign agencies, some people will fix their individual personality and commitment toward criminal activities. Another impact of tourism in Jamaica is that the local people who work in hotels as waiter, watchmen, gardeners, and cleaners do so because of lack of professional training because the training is offered to foreigners who decide to settle in Jamaica after coming to tour. Another negative impact of tourism on the community is that it results in changes in local identity and values. Markedly, this can be explained by the loss of recognition and values and results in a lot of influences from the local individuals. Among the influence include commercialization of local culture (McRobbie & Mcrobbie, 2013). Here, tourism tends to convert local culture into the product, and this can be seen when religious aspects, local norms, and festivals are eliminated to adapt to the expectations of tourists and thus this has been referred to as the reconstructed ethnicity.
Another influence includes standardization. The objective of a destination is often to please, and this can risk other issues such as standardization, food and drinks and accommodation because they must meet the requirements of the tourists even if it will force local business owners to spend a lot of money ignored to meet the standards of their foreign customers. Another influence includes adaptation to the demands of tourists. In destination, tourists have the capacity to purchase mementos, arts, and other traditional manifestations (Thomas, Shaw & Page, 2011). Thus, many artists and craftsmen in different tourists destinations have transformed their products be creating new types which will much the test and preferences of their customers. Another influence that has been brought by tourism to the Jamaican community includes an increase in prostitution and sex tourism. The World Tourism Organization experts hold that the main intention of sex tourism is to have an impact on the commercial sexual interrelationship. Sex tourism is thus said to be a physical encounter where the partner is no longer considered to be an animated object.
Many individuals tend to move from their countries to choose other girls in the event that there is the language barrier. Therefore, sex workers might include women who have migrated from the foreign countries. Therefore, sex tourism is said to have a negative impact because it has led to an increase in HIV and AIDS in Jamaica. It is also evident that big hotels that host tourists have their own supply for sex tourism to occur. This habit is also connected to drug peddling which has resulted in the migration of peddlers into the local community so that they could reach their targets.
On the other hand, local individuals might tend to mix with individuals from different backgrounds who have different lifestyles which via the demonstration effect, may result to the development of advanced lifestyles and activities from the tourists. A good example is that there can be an advancement in the native life via better community facilities and infrastructure which have been established in order to sustain tourism that might result in a better education, employment opportunities, revenue increases and better health care services. There will be more traditional and social events available for the host communities, for example, entertainment and exhibitions designed for the tourists. However, it will be very hard for the local community to preserve their own culture which might include different norms, crafts, ancestral inheritances and architectural aspects.
On the other hand, tourism also leads to the development of urban centers which might have been declining and this can result in the migration of people from rural areas to urban centers while they look for employment, but it might not be the case because jobs are often available in the tourism industry. Using Jamaica as the tourist destination which has enjoyed more of the positive sociological and cultural impacts of tourism has also experienced a substantial financial venture by both the private and the public sectors which have resulted in the improvements of the infrastructure and in job creation. There has been the preservation of archaeological and heritage sites. Some of the local traditions have also been maintained which acts as part of the entertainment for the tourists. The hospitable norms of the Jamaicans and the absorption of the lifestyles of the visitors imply that tourists are welcomed, but they cannot fully transform the way of life of the host country (Choi & Murray, 2010). The negative side is that the existing infrastructure might not be able to cope with the standards of the tourists. The activities and lifestyles of the host population might also face intrusion from the foreigners which might result in resentment toward tourists. Their particular lifestyle might fade away completely due to the copying of their lifestyles. One of the causes of crime in these localities might be the decrease in the moral values which results in greed and jealousy of the visitors who might be wealthier.
Traditional industries might also lose their originality which might result in the substitution of local products via the imported and the mass-developed products which will not have authenticity but will be attractive to the mass market. Some tourists also tend to act in an anti-social way which might be offensive to the host population. If the host nation fails to provide enough information regarding the standards of behavior of the tourists required in a particular locality, the native individuals would resent the tourists and thus act aggressively toward them (Malhotra, 2007). There can also be communication issued which results because of a language barrier between the tourist and the local community. The scope of both the tourists and the host populace can have a great influence relating to the nature and type of these kinds of effects. In some instances, some of the tourist and the host population tend to intermarry which results in an exchange of cultural beliefs between the two community. Therefore, the interactions between the tourists and the Jamaican local community that are the main issue in impacting the kinds of impacts.
If there are a huge contrast and main differences between the traditions of the host population and the origin of the traditions of the tourists, then it implies that the sociological and cultural effects will be greatest. In this case, the points concerning the impacts being generally importan...
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