Tourism and Crime in the Caribbean


This study reviews the general literature on tourism and crime and the recent history of violent and property crime in several Caribbean destinations. It highlights the failure of most previous research to discriminate crimes against visitors versus residents.

Annual crime data for Barbados for 1989-1993 are analyzed and reveal that overall visitor victimization rates are higher than resident rates. Residents are significantly more likely to be victimized by violent crime while visitors are significantly more likely to experience property crime and robbery.

Monthly data on tourist victimization for 1990-1993 show similar patterns, but there seems to be no seasonality effect (higher crime during the high season) contrary to the literature. The paper concludes with a number of measures to enhance visitor safety. Key Words: tourism, Caribbean, islands, property crime, violent crime.