Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Ann Miles

Second Advisor

Michelle Metro-Roland

Third Advisor

Kristina Wirtz


Tourism is a fast and continuously growing industry throughout every region of the world. The effect that tourism has on a location usually isn’t the first thought when vacationers enter their destination location. In order to understand the effect of tourists and the tourist industry have had on Jamaica, I examined Jamaica’s historical development, including the tourist industry and the racial inequalities that developed as slaves were brought to the island. Then, using theories on place, identity, and authenticity, I conducted a content analysis of images tourists see while researching vacations to Jamaica.

This analysis confirmed that tourism to Jamaica isn’t about the cultural exchange tourists strive to experience but rather the experience of a life in “paradise.” The images of paradise are advertised to tourists by the tourist industry in order to promote an “authentic” Jamaican culture that will continue to attract vacation purchases to the island. The paradise image is lucrative and attracts many tourists because the tourist industry has been successful by erasing, discrediting, and ignoring actual Jamaican identity and culture. Tourists, then, have a strong influence on place, identity, and authenticity due to the erasure of Jamaican culture, and it is important to understand how influences effect Jamaican and other tourist destinations.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access