Brown bag seminar looks at impact of community tourism on Jamaican women

A beach in Jamaica

York geography grad student Zakiya Price will examine the socio-economic impacts community tourism has had on local women in Jamaica at the next Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean Brown Bag Seminar Thursday.

The talk, “Country Style Community Tourism Operating in Jamaica”, will take place Feb. 27, from noon to 2pm, in the 8th floor lounge of the Kaneff Tower, Keele campus.

Jamaican beach
A beach in Jamaica

Since the 1960s, Jamaica has been successful in using the sun, sand and sea mass tourism model. This marketing strategy continues to use the colonial geographies of Jamaica as a place of western exploration and where women’s everyday geographies are sites of exoticism.

These western imaginaries have embedded women’s bodies onto the Jamaican landscape, reproducing narratives of exoticism and the hedonistic pleasures that can be sought on the island. And yet, women have continuously resisted or re-imagined the appropriation of their everyday geographies, from street hustling in tourist sites to the establishment of community tourism on the island.

Price’s presentation will explore Country Style Community Tourism in Beeston Spring, Westmoreland and Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, in the south and south west parishes of Jamaica. Country Style Community Tourism was established in the late 1970s as a grassroots organization which provides resources and an alternative economy for poor rural communities to operate tourism.

This discussion will explore part of Price’s MA thesis which examines the socio-economic impacts community tourism has had on local women. She will also examine how neoliberal rhetoric is demonstrated in the everyday geographies of women in these communities.