Opportunities and challenges at the margins of seaborne tourism

Deserie Avila, Michael J. Pisani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Cruise ships visiting Belize is a recent and fast-growing aspect of the nation’s largest economic sector, tourism. Many Belizean businesses are very small and informal; potential access to cruise ship visitors provides an opportunity for growth and income stability. We investigate the challenges and opportunities informal microenterprises face in the cruise tourism marketplace through qualitative interviews at three popular tourist destinations: Xunantunich (Maya ruins), Community Baboon Sanctuary (Howler Monkeys), and Jaguar Paw (cave river tubing). The results indicate that despite robust growth in cruise tourism, local microentrepreneurs are currently disenfranchised, receiving few economic benefits from the cruise trade. We propose several recommendations to allow Belizean microentrepreneurs and the local economy to capture more economic benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBridging Tourism Theory and Practice
PublisherEmerald Group Holdings Ltd.
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameBridging Tourism Theory and Practice
ISSN (Print)2042-1443
ISSN (Electronic)2042-1451


  • Belize
  • Cruise ship tourism
  • Enclave tourism
  • Informal economy
  • Informal sector
  • Microentrepreneurship


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