Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tourism-crime equilibrium in Paradise

"It is best to not leave anything of value in your rental car when parking in remote locations or at marked public beach accesses. Leave your car unlocked so thieves do not need to break the windows to discover there is nothing inside worth stealing."

That is the sensible, equilibrium advice to tourists on the (low crime)  island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos Islands, where I recently had the opportunity to spend a week contemplating tourism as a development strategy for Caribbean nations. Here's a sign in three languages (the middle one is Creole) alerting crooks to watch out. (Creole looks sort of like French if you squint at it, and seems not to have a passive voice like the other two--the French parts says something like "everyone who sees ... something not good, immediately call the police"



The islanders discovered tourists (and Europe) in 1492 when Columbus landed.  The islanders are called "belongers," e.g. when you come through immigration there are lines for "belongers and residents" and other lines for visitors. Most belongers are descended from African slaves who worked the salt pans and cotton plantations of an earlier economy.




Looks like a great place for a satellite university campus...

2 comments:

dWj said...

We were told the same thing when I got to St. Croix two weeks ago. I'm a bit curious as to how uniform culture is across various Caribbean islands. (And by "culture", I mean "repeated-interaction equilibrium".)

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