Hunting the Green Flash
Caribbean countries are looking for ways to fuel long-term growth. Will that prove as elusive as the legendary green flash at sunset?
After three miserable years, the
Caribbean is back on its feet. Strong commodity prices have
given countries like bauxite-exporter Jamaica a much-needed
boost, while remittances from workers in the US and UK are at
record levels. But it is tourism's recovery since the September
2001 terrorist attacks that is driving growth - and that
may not be the best formula for long-term economic health.
"The tourism recovery in the Caribbean is very robust with
arrivals up 6%-10% in some countries," says Carl Ross, chief
emerging market economist at Bear Stearns in New York. "That's
very admirable and, I think, a direct result of very hard work
by Caribbean countries in marketing their product."
Because of their size, the larger northern Caribbean
countries like Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Dominican
Republic are the greatest beneficiaries. The Dominican Republic
and Cuba each have about 45,000 hotel rooms, compared to...
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