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THE CARIBBEAN AREA 11
Summary and Recommendations 13
Potentialities of the Industry
1. Economic Importance of Tourism 15
2. Experience of Other Countries 17
3. Social and Educational Values of Tourism .
4. Post-War Outlook for Travel in the Caribbean 24
5. What the Area Has to Offer 26
6. Basic Requisites 9
7. Pre-War Tourism Development in the Caribbean 32
Report of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission in a
Post-War Travel Survey of the Caribbean Area by Coert
duBois, United States Commissioner 35
Statistical Data 108
A. Role of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission .115
B. The de Lima Reports:
Part 1-Civic Cooperation 116
Part 2-A Preliminary Study of the Operating Poten-
tialities of an Eighty-Room and a Thirty-Room
Cottage Hotel in the Caribbean 120
C. Statement by D. Leo Dolan, Chief, Canadian Govern-
ment Travel Bureau, on Cooperation for Travel
Development and Promotion in Canada 165
D. Estimated Population of the Caribbean Area 169
E, Bibliography 171
<' I k .
,THE ANGLO-AMERICAN ,C4AtBBEA N !COvIISSIO,N early interest.d..itself
in the possibilities of tourism, or travel development, in the Caribbean.
In August 1943, we, asked one o our members, Mr.Cpert duBois, to
carry out a preliminary survey for the purpose of bringing within a
single comprehensive,report ;a. 4esoriptin of.the attrgtip a, existing
and potential, which the Caribbean has to offer to tourists. The results
of this survey, carried out by Mr. duBois in two extended visits to the
Caribbean during 1943 and 1944, are included in this report as Part
III. Several territories, which logically might have formed a part of
this Jstudy,, have not.been included because of the time factor.
The Commission'was aware from its own knowledge and from the
results of Mr. duBois' survey that in.most of the Caribbeanl territoqies
there was a realization of the possibilities of tourism and that plans
were being made, with a varying degree of vigour, for development
after the war. We felt that in the first instance the most useful con-
tribution which the Commission could make, supplementary to these
activities, would be an examination of the case for regional collabora-
tion and certain studies, much of the material for which was more
readily available in the United States and in Canada than in the
Caribbean. The matters for study included the "tourist-potential of
the North American Continent, the experience of other countries in
the development of tourist travel, the possibilities of improved
transportation facilities, the type of accommodation that should be
provided and the standards which should be adopted if the area is to
compete successfully with others in the tourist field. The Com-
mission was able to enlist the interest and assistance of various
individuals and organizations with special knowledge in these matters,
and grateful acknowledgment is made to them by name elsewhere in
The results of the Commission's studies are here presented. We
believe that the case for a collaborative approach is established. Each
country must, of course, be completely free to promote and develop its
own particular attractions, but we are convinced that all will benefit
by regional cooperation.
In our recommendations, which are placed early in the report lest
the reader be daunted by the amount of material it contains, we have
been at pains to avoid any attempt to produce a blue-print for future
action. If the arguments in favour of a collaborative'approach to the
problem are accepted, a wide field of joint endeavour, within and
without the Caribbean, is opened up. The Commission will be glad
to give any assistance within its competence towards the development
of a major tourist industry throughout the Caribbean.
ANGLO-AMERICAN CARIBBEAN COMMISSION
CHARLES W. TAUSSIG
United States Chairman
FRANK A. STOCKDALE
The Anglo-American Caribbean Commission desires to acknow-
ledge the valuable assistance and advice extended to it in the
preparation of this report by :
MR. W. H. WHITE, President, Thomas Cook and Son, Incorpor-
ated, New York, Adviser to British Section,
MR. MALCOLM LAPRADE, Vice-President, Public Relations,
Thomas Cook and Son, Incorporated, New York, Adviser to
MR. J. STANTON ROBBINS, Managing Director, International
House, New Orleans, Louisiana, Consultant to United States
MR. D. LEO DOLAN, Chief, Canadian Government Travel Bureau,
MR. RALPH T. REED, President, American Express Company,
MR. WILLIAM C. WHITE, Vice-President, Alcoa Steamship Com-
MR. CYRus F. JUDSON, Passenger Traffic Manager, Alcoa Steam-
ship Company, Inc.,
COMMANDER O. A. DE LIMA, U.S.N.R., and the staff of assistants
from the Roger Smith Hotels Corporation,
MR. F. H. ROBERTSON, Tourist Trade Commissioner of Jamaica,
MR. JOSH LEE, Member, Civil Aeronautics Board,
DR. PARKER VAN ZANDT, Brookings Institute,
MR. JOHN MCCLELLAND, Brookings Institute,
DR. AUGUST MAFFRY, Chief, International Economics and Statis-
tics Unit, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce,
Department of Commerce, and members of his staff,
MR. SAMUEL W. BOGGS, Chief, Division of Geography and Car-
tography, Department of State, and members of his staff.
NOTE: The duBois report, Part III, contains a separate
THE CARIBBEAN AREA
The Commission believes that a major tourist industry in the
Caribbean area may be more effectively developed through the co-
operation of the area as a whole. Countries which might logically
form a part of a-regional plan for Caribbean tourism, but which are
not specifically covered in the report, have been regretfully omitted
because of the time factor.
The territories and republics specifically referred to in this report
British Territories-Jamaica; Windward Islands, comprising
Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, and Grenada; Lee-
ward Islands, comprising the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St.
Christopher (St. Kitts), Nevis, Montserrat, Redonda, Antigua and
Barbuda; Trinidad and Tobago; Barbados and British Guiana.
French Territories-Martinique; Guadeloupe and dependencies
of Basse-Terre, Desirade, Marie Galante, Les Saintes, St. Bartholomew
and St. Martin (north half).
Independent Republics-Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Re-
Netherlands Territories-Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Eusta-
tius, Saba and St. Martin (south half).
United States Territories-Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
of the United States,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
PART I. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
An unusual opportunity exists for the post-war development of a
major tourist industry in the Caribbean area. The Caribbean will
probably be available for travel long before travel opportunities exist
in war torn Europe. It has been estimated in this report that there is a
possible development of a travel load of some 600,000 visitors annual-
ly with an annual expenditure of some $60,000,000.1 These figures
cover only the areas directly treated in this report. The inclusion of
other countries adjacent to the Caribbean would substantially increase
the travel potentiality.
The economic benefits of such a program-increased national in-
come, increased employment opportunities, permanent improvements
of public facilities and the stimulation of local industries-would add
to the prosperity of the entire region.
This study shows, through the experience of other countries
where tourism has been successful, that a regional organization aug-
menting the local promotional efforts is essential to a full realization
of the opportunities available. Referring specifically to the Carib-
bean, only the region as a whole with its large potential tourist
traffic can afford to employ the best available talent for planning,
promoting, developing and maintaining a great tourist industry.
Transportation companies have indicated to us that they would be
more inclined to make the necessary capital expenditures for proper
services if there were a broad, carefully planned regional development.
However, it cannot be too strongly emphasized that regional pro-
motion and a regional plan are not substitutes for local development
and local initiative. Healthy competition between countries and re-
sorts within the area is desirable and should be encouraged. A re-
gional approach to the tourist problem does not contemplate any
measures to supplant the work of the tourist promotional groups ex-
isting within the Caribbean. Nor do these proposals contemplate any
attempt to regulate the flow of tourist traffic nor to parcel it out
among the various countries and resorts. A regional plan and organi-
1 See Part IV,
CABIBBEAN TOURIST TADI'
nation would be the instrumentality of close and intelligent collabora-
tion aihbi tbhe' various territories and countries cbderned. : '1
Regional collaboration can be the means of effecting substantial
economies in developing the area.--Joint plans could be agreed upon
for the greatest possible use of building materials available within the
Caribbean. which 'would substantially increased'inter-island trade. Joint
statistical'ind research work could be carried on with a view to keep'
ihg the -Caribbean aware'of changing travel trends and the de;relop-'
mtent'of tdur'isivin other parts 'of the world. i :,
S''-High-sta nndnirds' of' services, comfort, food and leanline'ss could be
enco6uaged throughoLit the area through expert. advice to hotel man-
agetnti't. '- Regulatins, affecting travellers throughout the entire'area
could'be jointly coiisideed-and where possible made uniform. : "'
Some of the most desirable tourist spots iii the Caribbean have
beeri unavailable, for, travel due to, ldck of transportationfacilities. A
regional plan should have as one of its objectives the opening up. of
these areas now unavailable' and also the encouragement of the 'stab-,
lishment of the necessary transportation and resort facilities. ; ;
': .t is fully recog uized that the development of a large-scale tourist
industry in the Caribbean necessarily involves important, social.-con7
sequences. 'A program of this. nature must take.into account. m.re
than the .conomie factor, important as this may be. If the .,evelop,
ment of the area for recreational purposes is to be successfujl,.it must
frankly'accept as -a major objective that the opportunity for enjoy-
ment of the facilities of the area must-be as freely. accessible to the
millions of people in the area as to ,the transients who come from the
outside. This point is deserving of emphasis.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION
The Commission recommends that a conference be called at an
early date for the following purposes :
(1) to consider whether a regional approach to Caribbean tour-
ism is desirable;
.: () to consider the desirability and the feasibility of creating an
Interim Caribbean Travel Commission,;
(3) .to make recommendations along these lines to the govern-
ments concerned for approval and ratification.
If an Interim Commission is, in fact, created, it would, 'at the
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
earliest practicable date, call a conference-of representatives of trans-
portation companies, tourist agencies, resort and hotel interests,
Chambers of Commerce, and labour. This Conference, in turn, would
make recommendations through the Interim Commission, to the
governments concerned for a comprehensive plan for travel promo-
tion ; and would also present specific proposals for the creation of a
permanent Caribbean Travel Commission.
PART II. THE POTENTIALITIES OF THE INDUSTRY
1. ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM
Income from the tourist dollar is widely distributed among all
social classes and in all geographic regions. People remote from the
actual destination of the traveller profit from his visit through supply-
ing the goods or services that he requires. In fact, it is hardly possible
to trace the course of any travel expenditure without finding that it
flows through the whole domestic economy.
It is generally accepted that a traveller's expenditures within a
country fall broadly into the following different categories in the.in--
Merchandise .. .. .. .. 26.0
Restaurants and cafes .. .. .. 20.5
Travel to and from the area .. .. 18.5
Hotels and rooms .. .. .. 17.3
Theatres and amusements .. 8.5
Confectionery and incidentals .. .. 5.9
Taxis, and other local transportation .. 3.3
For the West Indies these percentages might vary slightly ac-
cording to the facilities available. However, the table serves to illus-
trate the diversity of tourist expenditures and the fact that only a
portion of these expenditures is for hotel accommodation and trans-
portation, the largest item going for the purchase of merchandise.
Moreover, tourists contribute their share to the visiting country's
revenue through indirect taxation (on alcoholic beverages, petrol,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRAD1
foodstuffs, cigarettes, etc.) ... and, apart from the money they spend,
they pay in some countries certain duties, levied on them as tourists.
The development of travel also brings to each region involved
permanent improvements in highways, airports, transportation, hotels
and catering establishments, recreational facilities and residential
areas. Public health and sanitary conditions, water and lighting sup-
plies are improved, and general facilities available to the resident
population are increased. All of these things redound to the good of
the region itself and to the well-being and prosperity of its people.
Moreover, the visiting traveller contributes very largely to the cost
of these improvements.
Furthermore, the income to the Caribbean from increased tourist
expenditures would be substantially net on international balance, for
the area could supply from within itself most of the services and
goods for which the visiting tourist would pay.
Increased travel would also create more work and would bring
about wide-spread employment of local labour. Hotels, roads and
other facilities would be built and maintained. Local contractors,
labourers and other workers would therefore be needed, Local ma-
terials would be utilized in so far as practicable. Local agriculture
would gain through the creation of a much larger body of consumers.
Standard food products of the West Indies would find a larger domes-
tic market, and a demand on the part of hotels, restaurants and other
places of entertainment for products not normally produced to any
great extent in the area would stimulate new production. Vegetable
gardeners, fruit growers, fishermen, dairymen and cattlemen would be
encouraged to increase their production and improve standards of
Native handicraft and local industries would be stimulated.
Tourist visitors are inclined to buy souvenirs and products of all kinds
manufactured in the countries they visit. Local cigars, cigarettes,
confections, perfumes, beverages and handicrafts of all kinds find a
ready market where a large tourist industry exists. The great increase
of tourism to Mexico has served to stimulate native handicrafts
throughout that Republic, and tourists returning to their homes have
created vogues for these things, resulting in an increased export trade
for Mexico in such items. The Caribbean could very well produce in-
creased products of value to tourists. This is particularly true in the
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
case of travellers from the United States who are allowed $100 cus-
toms exemption on foreign purchases.
The tourist industry does not compete with other industries, nor
does its development on even a large scale draw workers from other
industries requiring largely unskilled or semi-skilled workers. Many
workers engage in the tourist industry in pursuance of their regular
business. Furthermore, it provides part-time work for many people
in cottage industries, guide and chauffeur services, etc. In fact, other
industries would benefit by an increased volume of tourist traffic.
The tourist dollar literally extends its benefits to every corner of
a country visited by tourists and these benefits are cumulative.
Illustrative of these factors are the many thriving markets oi
tourism which have been established in other parts of the world.
2. EXPERIENCE OF OTHER COUNTRIES
Tourism has long been a well-established and flourishing business
in many parts of the world. Its importance as a major industry in
the national economy of each nation was well recognized, and efforts
were made in each case to foster its development by establishing
official or semi-official organizations. All of these organizations were
in effect cooperative efforts, but generally they were for a single coun-
try or area under one sovereignty. The principle of area appeal,
however, which the Commission advocates for the Caribbean has
proven successful in other regions. A study of these experiences in
other countries, and particularly in competitive regions which were
knitted together under a single programme, may prove useful to the
The Value of Tourism
The tourist industry has added wealth to many countries. It was
in fact, Switzerland's largest industry and was estimated by that
nation's Federal Statistics Office to be worth approximately $77,000,000
in 1928. The industry ranked sixth in size in Canada where foreign
visitors in 1929 spent approximately $215,000,000 within the Dominion.
In France, in the peak year of 1929, total expenditures by tourists
within the country were estimated by the French Department of
Tourism to be nearly $400,000,000. In Italy, tourist revenue amounted
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
to approximately $130,000,000 in 1929. During this same year, tour-
ists visiting the United Kingdom spent approximately .$155,000,000.
It is of particular interest to the peoples of the Caribbean to
.study areas which may be considered as being competitive. In 1936-
37 the value of the tourist business (including domestic travel) to
,Southern California was estimated at $216,714,000. The tourist in-
dustry brought in more revenue to the area than the motion picture
industry and was exceeded only by the oil industry. Florida's income
from tourists (again including domestic travel) exceeded that of any
other industry according to the Florida Department of Agriculture,
and amounted to $150,000,000 in an unstated pre-war year. The
Mexican Government Tourist Department estimated that foreign tra-
vellers spent almost $50,000,000 in Mexico in 1943, even with war-
time travel restrictions. The Hawaiian Tourist Bureau estimated that
visitors spent $9,723,000 in the Islands in 1937.
Tourist statistics for Bermuda are unusually complete. Although
the island is less than 20 square miles in area it had 54,943 stop-over
and 24,169 cruise visitors in 1937 bringing revenue in excess of
$8,000,000. Tourist income amounted to $310 per capital of resident
population in 1938. While Bermuda is particularly fortunate in its
geographical location near the eastern. seaboard of the United States,
much of its success can be attributed directly to the carefully planned,
well integrated development programme and the substantial promo-
tion' campaign it has carried out over a period of many years:
Tourist Development Agencies
Most of the nations of the world had given support and encour-
agement to the development of tourism and had established official or
semi-official organizations for this purpose.
The Office National de Tourisme of France, established in 1910,
was the first. During the thirty years before the present war, no
government rose more fully to the occasion and was more actively
engaged in this aspect of national resources than the French Govern-
ment, and in no country has there been a greater diversity of measures,
governmental and other, to promote and expand the tourist industry
*than in France.
The Government of France estimated that for every dollar spent
t6 promote tourism, the country received $300 in return. The hotels
of France enjoyed special encouragement and help throughout the
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
progress of the tourist industry. In 1923, the Credit National
Hotelier was founded by statute to provide financial assistance to
the hotel industry with the object of attracting and serving, the. tour-
ist. Up to 1931 approximately fifty million francs were advanced in
long or short term loans which helped to make possible the building
of a number of new hotels and the renovation and modernization of
In Italy the ENIT (Ente Nazionale per le Industrie Touristiche)
was established, as a semi-official organization for the purpose of pro-
moting tourism on a large scale. It activities were supplementary to
those of the different private and local organizations, including the
maintaining of information and ticket offices, the promotion of the
hotel industry, the development of tourist and health resorts, .the
assembling and collating of tourist statistics, and.the general promo-
tion of tourism in Italy. In 1932, by the passing of the Hotel Industry
Financing Act, there was created a fund of ten million lire to be used
over a ten-years' period in assisting the hotel industry, These mea-
sures in Italy were supplemented by the granting of cheap railway
travel facilities to tourists, the construction of spectacular liners for
the Atlantic traffic and the alignment of domestic travel regulations
with the desires and requests of the tourist.
The. promotion of the Swiss tourist industry was undertaken by
the National Association for the Promotion of Tourist Traffic and the
Swiss Federal Railways. They maintained information and propa-
ganda offices in principal traffic-generating centers abroad. The Swiss
Hotel Fiduciary Society was granted a subvention of eight .million
francs by the State for the assistance of the hotel industry in the
form of approved bank loans. Drastic financial reorganization .of
hotels was undertaken with great advantage to the hotel and tourist
In.Canada, in 1934, the Canadian Travel Bureau was established
as a government agency to supplement and complement the work of
the several provinces, the great Canadian transportation companies
and all other agencies engaged in the promotion and development of
The Bermuda Trade Development Board was active in the
development of every phase of tourism, extending subsidies to ship-
ping lines, assisting in the development of hotel and resort facilities,
undertaking campaigns of advertising and promotion for the benefit
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
of the island as a whole and working for the betterment of conditions
within Bermuda affecting travel and travellers.
The United States of America, through the United States Govern-
ment Travel Bureau, had undertaken to stimulate and assist tourism
on a nationwide basis with especial emphasis upon the development
of travel to the great National Parks and other important recreational
areas. Many outstanding American tourist regions had active and
efficient organizations engaged in the promotion of tourism, notably
the All-Year Club of Southern California, the New England Council,
the Hawaii Tourist Bureau and the Miami and Miami Beach Cham-
bers of Commerce.
In Mexico, the Mexican Government Tourist Bureau, the Asocia-
cion Mexicana de Turismo, and the Mexican Government Railways
were active in the promotion of tourism and cooperated with private
agencies in stimulating travel.
The Soviet Union with its official "Intourist" organization, un-
dertook to improve and standardize tourist facilities throughout the
country, established information and booking offices abroad and en-
gaged in programmes of advertising and propaganda in various foreign
countries with a view to developing a major tourist industry for the
Other countries which undertook official or semi-official measures
to develop tourism were Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Czechoslovakia,
Eire, Greece, Germany, Japan, Jugoslavia, New Zealand, Norway,
Portugal, Rumania, Spain, Southern Rhodesia and Sweden. There
were officially recognized organizations for the promotion of tourism
representing Albania, Algeria, Australia, the Canary Islands, China,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, India, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta,
Iran, Poland, Scotland, and The Union of South Africa.
In a memorandum on pre-war tourist industry recently prepared
for the Travel and Industrial Development Association of Great
Britain and Ireland, Mr. R. G. Pinney says:
The 'export' value of the tourist industry was revealed in statis-
tics and in the balance of payments of one country after another.
Realizing the possibility of developing the industry under central
guidance, many governments established and financed a national
tourist bureau armed with powers or inducements with which to bring
about cooperation between the component parts of the industry, and
equipped to aid it with legislation and with publicity and representa-
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
tion abroad. They overhauled their hotel industry, adapted their
railway services, roads and shipping, and conserved and publicized
their natural amenities-all with a view to attracting tourists."
In every country such governmental recognition and support of
the tourist industry has fostered its development and led to a general
public acceptance of its social and economic benefits. Visiting tourists
were received hospitably as desirable guests of the country and every
facility extended for their enjoyment and comfort. The importance
of this friendly attitude on the part of the people of a country visited
by tourists cannot be over-emphasized.
In this connection Mexico may be cited as an interesting example.
Prior to 1934, when only a small number of American tourists visited
the Republic of Mexico, foreign visitors were regarded by large num-
bers of the Mexican people with suspicion and in many instances were
not received as welcome guests. Since that time the rapid develop-
ment of the tourist industry in Mexico has brought about a general
public acceptance of foreign visitors as desirable guests of Mexico and
greatly improved neighbourly relations between the peoples of Mexico
and the United States of America. It is not too much to say that the
recent flow of tourism to Mexico has contributed in no small measure
to the spirit of cooperation which has proven so beneficial to the cause
of the United Nations.
Area Cooperation for Tourist Development
While all of the organizations which were set up to develop tour-
ism were in effect cooperative efforts, they were generally for a single
country or area under one sovereignty. A number of them, however,
knitted together essentially competitive regions within one area. As
of special interest to the proposed development of tourism in the
Caribbean, three examples of such co-operative efforts are discussed
The New England Council is an outstanding example of an or-
.ganization representing six different states whose interests are more
or less competitive and whose traffic originates from the same sources
and offers substantially the same attractions. The Canadian Govern-
ment Travel Bureau also provides an interesting example of coopera-
tive effort by competing regions. The several provinces of the Dom-
inion work jointly through the central governmental travel bureau at
Ottawa for the benefit of Canada as a whole, The promotional activi-
CARIBBEAN TOiRIST TRADE
ties! "of the' Government Bureau complement and supplement, the
individual efforts of the provinces, giving them added strength; Fur-
thermbre, the central agency works for the improvement of trans-
portation and tourist facilities throughout the entire. Dominion and
ienders valuable service in creating a more widespread public accept-
aice' of Canada as a major field for tourism.1 '
'. 'The objective of Caribbean area cooperation is well exemplified
by the French Riviera: Nd tourist region in the world has the wide-
spread acceptance of the French Riviera; for aniy years its tourist
revenues have been enormous. There-a e-agreat number of compet-
ing resorts spread along the Riviera, with innumerable hotels, pen-
sidons .and guest houses, ranging from the most luxurious establish-
ments to those of very moderate price. The Riviera draws its visitors
from every part of the world and in the recent years preceding the
present war the Riviera was recognized as a year-around resort; the
volume of traffic during the summer season equalled that of thewinter
-:: Regional promotion, advertising and publicity have made the Rir
vierik synonymous with four outstanding travel appeals : sunshine
gaiety, interesting cosmopolitan atmosphere and crowds of visitors.
In every part of the world the travelling public recognizeses these at1
tractions of the Riviera, though few potential visitors to this area
know the names of many of its individual hotels or of its resorts aside
from Nice and Monte Carlo. However, every hotel, pension and
guest-house along the Riviera benefits from the reputation of the area
as.,a whole. In normal times every resort along the Riviera is well
patronized and has its enthusiastic following. It is also signiicat
that many persons who visit the Riviera during a season travel
through the entire area, stopping for a time at one resort and then .at
another, The two words French Riviera associated with any re-
sort in the region make it desirable to visitors. This end has been
fostered by regional publicity sustained over a longperiod of years
and spread to every part of the world.
.'_While the French Riviera is a region of comparatively limited
geographical extent, the principle of area-appeal. exemplified in its
Spperdix C of this report contains statement by Mr. D. LeoDolan, Chief
of the Canadian Government Travel Bureau, outlining its inception 'ana
ra'diual recognition throughout the Dominion as an organization increasing
' 91st incom.ie for all reions,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
development, may be successfully applied to a much larger region,
provided its component parts possess similar climatic and scenic at-
tractions. The islands and adjacent mainlands of the Caribbean have
numerous attractions in common. Certainly the basic appeal of travel
to the Caribbean is a regional appeal rather than that of any indivi-
dual island or resort. It follows that this fact may be capitalized for
the benefit of the entire area just as in the case of the French Riviera;
3. SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL VALUES OF TOURISM
It is fully recognized that the development of a large-scale tourist
industry in the Caribbean necessarily involves important social conse-
quenceg. "A programme of this nature must take into account'more
than the economic factor, important as this may be. If the! devlop-
ment of the area for recreational purposes is to be successful, it must
frankly accept as a major objective that the opportunity' for enjoy-
inent of the facilities of the area must be as freely accessible to 'the
millions of people in the area as to the transients who come fromnithe
outside. This point is deserving of emphasis.
Tourist travel is a positive factor of first importance in the in-
crease of friendship, understanding and international good-will. 'It
should be remembered that a tourist may include any person trayel-
ling for a period of 24 hours or more in a country other than that in
which he usually resides." A tourist, therefore, may be a businessman
or a diplomat, a commercial, traveller or a scientist, a teacher or- a
student, and he may be travelling either for pleasure, for domestic or
business reasons, for education, for health or for the purpose of attend&
ing meetings. .
Contacts between people of the islands and people of different
countries are established by encouraging those who are accustomed to
travel to visit the West Indies. It is also hoped that the development
of: tourism in the Caribbean will ultimately give to the population of
th6 Caribbean the, opportunity to travel within and outside,their joWs
homelands. A result of this interchange should be mutual understand
ing and respect.' [
.. In addition, good-will and neighbourliness between the visitors
from overseas and the people of the islands are essential to the, success
of any effort to create a large-scale tourist industry in the Caribbean.
The provision of amenities and attractions for the development, of the
,tourist industry is not in itself sufficient to achieve the desiredI end.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Those who undertake to provide the necessary services for the com-
fort and pleasure of these guests from abroad must realize that they
contribute not only to the prosperity of their communities and their
countries as a whole, but that they also make an essential contribu-
tion to a better understanding and closer relationship between mem-
bers of the human family. Those who come into the islands as visitors
must recognize that their hosts are entitled to and must be accorded
full respect and appreciation.
4. POST-WAR OUTLOOK FOR TRAVEL IN THE
As national and international travel expand under peace-time
conditions, millions of people will seek immediate release from war-
time restrictions. There will be available large sums of savings which
could not be spent under war economies. An escape from present
routine, a vacation and rest in a different environment will: be one
of their first considerations, and the region which is accessible and
prepared for visitors will benefit.
These conditions are similar to those which existed after the close
of the last war when national and international travel expanded rapid-
ly, rising to an all-time peak in 1929, then falling and recovering by
1937-38 to approach again the peaks of 1928-29. The habit of travel-
ling to a different environment to enjoy one's vacation or to gain new
experience as a student, teacher or professional person has become a
firmly established trend in the United States and was increasing be-
fore the war in other countries. It will be an important factor in post-
During the past 20 years, many factors have contributed toward
a permanent expansion of the travel market. The average traveller
with only two weeks' vacation has been limited in the past because of
time-consuming transportation. In the post-war world, with rapid
air transport, he will be limited only by the amount of money he has
Peace-time work hours have been progressively decreased. Vaca-
tion periods with pay have become a recognized principle of modern
economic structures. More people are receiving incomes that permit
travel. The necessity of maintaining full-scale employment and high
purchasing power in post-war years will tend to continue this trend.
The phenomenal developments in communication and transpor-
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
station, particularly the radio and the airplane, will be additional fac-
tors working to increase the potential of travel. The dissemination of
radio news on a world-wide scale has familiarized people with coun-
tries that a few years ago were no more than names. The war-time
increase in air transport has been so enormous that it has become
commonplace. Millions of United Nations citizens engaged in the
war, wh6 had never travelled more than a few miles from home, have
been transported safely and within a few hours to distant foreign
countries. Remoteness as a geographical concept has virtually disap-
peared. Hundreds of trans-ocean flights are completed daily and are
accepted as a matter of course. No one seriously doubts but that
international post-war air transport will be abundantly available at
Air services throughout the Caribbean are still in a formative
stage. This means that new tourist facilities in the West Indies can
be developed in relation to airfields and airports which in some cases
may not be located near existing seaports. In the future air cruises
are virtually certain to take their place alongside of sea cruises and
the Caribbean area is particularly suited to such air cruising.
The enormous job done during the war by ocean shipping has
received much less public attention. The carrying of civilians has
virtually ceased. At the present time, however, ship-owners are aware
of the preference of many travellers for an ocean voyage and increas-
ingly recognize the possibilities of volume economy traffic on the part
of the great majority of the travelling public to whom money is more
important than time. With increased construction and labour costs,
the profitable operation of large passenger vessels presents many diffi-
culties. However, the Commission believes that these difficulties can
be overcome and that the ship-owners will be able to provide adequate
passenger accommodations for increased post-war travel.
An increase of ocean-freight traffic will accompany an increase
of tourist traffic. While the area can be largely self-sufficient in pro-
viding tourist facilities and services, some increase of imported ma-
terials and provisions will be inevitable. Furthermore, the annual
accrual of tourist dollars to the area will make possible additional im-
ports from abroad. Consequently, steamship companies will not only
be enabled to provide better freight services but also better passenger
services on these same vessels.
The variety and flexibility inherent in sea-air traffic make a com-
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADU
bination that promises a partial solution to the difficult pre-war prob-
lem of providing adequate one-way transportation for stop-over visi-
tors to the West Indies and adjacent mainland'areas. The speed of
airplane travel and the particular appeal of ocean voyages in the
Caribbean provide the post-war traveller the attractive combination
of pleasant travel with a sojourn in one or several places in the West
Indies within whatever time he has at his disposal.
A recent survey conducted by Time magazine among its Cana-
dian readers, as analyzed by the Alcoa Steamship Company, which
made it available to the Commission, reveals several significant, factors
for the Caribbean area. Of the subscribers polled, 8.0% had previous-
ly visited the West Indian islands other than Cuba, Nassau: (Baha-
mas) and Jamaica. In response to the question as to which areas
they hope to visit some day, over 12.2% indicated the West Indies.
The responses further indicate 12.6% of the subscribers polled are
desirous of taking a vacation cruise to the West Indies. In this re-
spect, the West Indies ranked second only to South America .
The following figures from the Time poll are significant:
Have Expect Hope
Visited To Visit To Visit
.Cuba ........... ..... .. ............. 8.9 4.5 15.0
Nassau (Bahamas) ................ .......... ... 8.5 4.1 17:5
Jamaica ............................. .. .. 4.9 5.3 15:0
W est Indies .. ............. ......... .. .................. 4.9 2.8 10.0
South America (North Coast) ........... 3.3 1.6 6.5.
S TOTAL ._ .............. .......... 30.5 18.3 64.0
-5. WHAT THE AREA HAS TO OFFER -
'The duBois report, Part III, sets out in detail the beauties and
harm of the individual islands. As a whole, the area is ideal for
recreational development. The West- Indies naturally draws people
from the principal tourist-traffic generating areas in the United States,
-Canada, Central America and South America. .They are rbadily
-acessible to the eastern half of the United States which has been to
-date'theworld's great travel market. Any point in the region can.be
reached within three to seven days by steamer and in from three to
-tefi hours jby aii-plane. Travel by steamer is available to those who
'cni- take longer vacations or prefer cruises, while, the. airplane is
convenient for the traveller whose time is limited.
The development of air transportation .particularly favors ,the
-region., The I.nite' $States Civil Aeronautics Board in its recent
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
report on overseas air service patterns says, "The topographical
characteristics'of the Caribbean area are extremely favourable to air
transportation the total air traffic of the Third Area (all of
South America excepting Colombia and Venezuela) in terms of
numbers of travellers,,was considerably less than that of the Caribbean
area in 1941." Furthermore, the Caribbean area serves as a transit
region for all traffic, sea and air, interchanged between the United
States and Canada and South America.. In addition, it is on,:the
routes of many other world air and sea services.,
The West Indies are the nearest tropical resort islands to Great
Britain and in the past attracted many British winter vacationists.
With the expansion of rapid trans-Atlantic air services following this
war, it is believed that a much larger number of British and other
European winter sunshine: seekers can be induced to visit the Carib-
The climate of the Caribbean is one of its greatest assets. It is
ei~table and suitable for visitors the year around. During th6 winter
months the climate of the West Indies is unexcelled. Bright sunshine
And delightfully warm weather are assured: 'The nights are cool and
refreshing. This factor is important in view of the increased tendency
of' Uiited States vacationists to take winter holidays. :The region is
eSpecially appealing to winter vacationists. The temperature of the
sea water is ideal for bathing. Even during the warmer months, from
VMay to November, the islands are cooled by the Trade Winds and 'in
many cases by land winds from the mountains. Maximum tethperal
tures in mid'-summer are lower than the maximums in many partsof
N6rth America. In the larger mountainous islands there is a consider-
able range of 'temperatures as between sea levelt-and the higher
altitudes. The following temperature table of Jamaica is edited as an
; i '. A. Average Annual ,a
Degrees of Fahrenheit
Sea L evel .................................... .. .................................... 87.5 70.8
2,000 feet ................................................ ........... ...... 78.6, 66.1
,3,000 feet ...... ............................... .. .. ................... 74.9 63.3S
5,0 0 feet .................... ..................................................... 68 8 56.8
7,000 feet- ................................ .. ............................................ 64.3 4 3
The rainy seasons during the summer, months are usually-of short
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
duration and are marked by sudden showers rather than by steady
rains. September and the early paft of October are generally the least
favourable months due to a partial failure of the Trade Winds and
occasional heavy tropical storms, but these are of infrequent occur-
rence and many islands go for years without experiencing such dis-
The Caribbean area as a whole is healthy and remarkably free
from diseases which are prevalent in many other tropical regions of
the world. In recent years, sanitary arrangements have undergone
great improvement throughout the area. Effective programmes for
the protection of public health are widely sponsored by the several
governments and the Commission.
The health-giving properties of the sunshine and of the sea air of
the Caribbean are recognized as important assets to the area in respect
to its development as a major field for vacation travel. Radio-active
springs exist in some of the islands and offer opportunities for the
creation or development of thermal spas which will attract visitors
Scenic attractions characteristic of the whole Caribbean area are
palm-fringed beaches and lagoons, rugged mountains and dense tropi-
cal forests, luxuriant flowers and fruits. There are many natural
wonders : magnificent Kaieteur Falls in -British Guiana; the volcano
of Mt. Pelee in Martinique; the tiny volcanic island of Saba in the
Netherlands West Indies; Roaring River Falls in Jamaica; the splen-
did mountainous regions of Haiti and the Dominican Republic; the
tropical rain forests of Puerto Rico and the rich valleys and plateaus
of Cuba. Many of the smaller islands are scenic gems set in blue seas.
SAlmost all of the islands possess actual or potential recreational
areas, facilities for sea and surf bathing, deep sea fishing, sailing,
hunting, golf, tennis, riding and hiking. The Caribbean is a yacht-
ia'n's paradise and will become a unique area for the private plane
The flags of seven different nations fly in the Caribbean area dis-
cussed in this report: Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the
United States of America, Great Britain, The Netherlands and France.
These varied backgrounds add considerable interest from the tourist's
point of view-variety of languages, manners, customs and traditions.
There is scarcely an island without its story of Conquistadores, great
pea-captains and buccaneers,
CARBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
The West Indies have become, in a sense, a melting pot of diverse
races, a common meeting ground for people of American, African,
European and Asiatic origins. Each of these elements has contribu-
ted to the form of Caribbean civilization and given it a character and
significance which is of great interest to the student of human relations
and racial cultures.
There is already one city in the West Indies Habana which
offers the diversified attractions and other facilities of a large metro-
politan center. Other cities in the area have in a lesser degree
attractions of this type which can be expanded. Horse racing is a
popular sport in several islands; polo is played in Jamaica. In
addition, throughout the area social life and diversions of the type so
successfully provided in Bermuda and Nassau are available or may be
made available. The simplicity, peacefulness and comparative
remoteness from the hurry and bustle of modern urban life which may
be enjoyed in these islands give them a special appeal to those who
seek health, rest and outdoor recreation.
The Caribbean, with its numerous islands and its diversity of
appeals and climatic attractions, is admirably adapted to pleasure
cruises at all seasons of the year, and possesses almost every natural
advantage conducive to its development as a major tourist field.
6. BASIC REQUISITES
The Caribbean must compete with the world for much of its busi-
ness; but as far as stop-over traffic is concerned its chief competition
in the visible future is likely to be from established resort areas in
Florida, Bermuda, Mexico, California and Hawaii. These areas are
generally similar in climate, basic attractions and in distance from
major travel markets.
Careful analysis of the assets of these competing areas and the
reasons for their public acceptance for stop-over traffic confirms again
the fundamental assets of the West Indies and accentuates the five
principal requisites for the development and maintenance of a tourist
industry of the magnitude proposed.
They are listed and discussed as follows :
1. Facilities and Attractions
People travel for a diversity of reasons, but they require as a
minimum in the lands they visit comfortable and spotlessly clean
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
accommqlqations,' ample and courteous service, good food,i some-
thing to seemisomething to do and something to buy. :
Since ninety percent of prewar tourist traffic to the Caribbean
originated in the United States and a similar percentage of; post-
war traffic may be expected from this same source, American
standards of comfort, cleanliness and service should be considered
as desirable. This will in no way detract from the individual
characteristics of the different parts of the area.
The bulk of the accommodations for visitors should be in the
medium price range. Cottage and bungalow developments and
guest-houses are considered to be particularly appropriate to the
Caribbean area. There should also be a moderate number of
high-grade accommodations of the accepted .international type
available at scattered points which are regarded as most suitable
.to this kind of resort development. Adequate sightseeing,:reorea-
tional and shopping facilities must be developed as necessary
adjuncts to resorts and hotels. All of the above facilities deve-
loped especially to create stop-over traffic will at the same time
serve to attract a larger number of cruise travellers.
The region must be served by adequate. transportation from
the principal traffic-generating centers. These services must com-
pare favourably in speed, frequency, schedule and cost with the
transportation facilities serving competing areas. : Here special
attention may be called to the' long-range objective of the
Commission, namely the development of an annual volume of
600,000 visitors to the Caribbean area which would produce an
annual revenue of $60,000,000 spent within the area.1
Tourist resorts and transportation are interdependent. There
can be no successful resorts without transportation to serve them;
there can be no satisfactory transportation services without a
public demand created by the existence of attractive resort and
tourist regions. The area must take the initial steps in creating
tourist demand. Only then can the transportation companies be
expected to undertake the investments necessary .to serve the
1 See Part IV.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
3. Promotion and Advertising
A broad-scale advertising and publicity programme, sustained
over a period of years, is essential to successful competition with
other well-established tourist regions. Obviously the Caribbean
area is better known than it was twenty years ago, due to exten-
sive pre-war cruise traffic and to the presence during this war of
a concentration of United Nations ships, planes and troops there.
The existence of United States bases has served to publicize the
area to a considerable extent in the United States. Tourist travel
to the area, however, has been impossible during the war-time
years. Consequently, West Indian resorts as such have received
little or no publicity. This ground should be regained as speedily
4. Government Support and Public Acceptance
The governments of the various territories, colonies and repub-
lics should regard the tourist industry as in the national interest
and take suitable measures to encourage it and to bring about
public acceptance of the industry among the peoples of the area;
In a recent report on post-war tourism to Great Britain, the
first recommendation was ... that government should develop
.the national tourist industry as an object of policy, and as an
item of post-war export trade, announcing its intention to
harmonize all other affairs with such a policy in as far as it is
possible to do so."
Government support may be emphasized in various ways.
Governments should give official or semi-official status to such
committees, boards or organizations within their jurisdiction as
may be engaged in the development of tourism. Furthermore,
they should encourage the development, of travel facilities by
private capital, and foster legislation which facilitates the move-
ments of travellers. Governments should seek, as far as
practicable, to remove regulations or restrictions which hamper
the free movements of travellers and the maximum development
5.: Adequate Funds and Financing
Adequate' funds must be assured from various sources to per-
mit, on the one hand, development. of the necessary. -facilities
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADt
within the area and, on the other hand, to assure the necessary
programmes of advertising and publicity abroad for the successful
promotion of the area. This financing must be sufficient for a
period of years long enough to achieve the final objective. Any
temporary hit-or-miss scheme is foredoomed to fall short of the
7. PRE-WAR TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN THE
Official or semi-official tourist promotional organizations existed
in many of the colonies, territories and republics of the Caribbean
before the war. In view of the limited funds available in most cases
and the difficulties imposed by inadequate transportation and stop-
over facilities, they did excellent work in attracting tourist travel.
Special mention must be made of the Corporacion Nacional del
Turismo of Cuba, which was organized on a broad scale and represent-
ed transportation, hotel, civic and business interests. It dealt with
all aspects of tourism with special emphasis upon its educational and
cultural values. This was a government agency, organized along far-
seeing lines, having in view development and integration of the entire
tourist industry of Cuba. Its work was most beneficial, and it pro-
vides an excellent example of unified effort.
The Jamaica Tourist Development Board, a semi-official body,
with government approval and assistance, rendered valuable service
in improving tourist facilities and in increasing travel to Jamaica.
Puerto Rico's National Institute of Tourism was active in the promo-
tion of Puerto Rico as a tourist resort and for a time maintained its
own offices in New York City, cooperating with transportation
companies and tourist agencies. 'The Nassau Development Board
played an important part in stimulating tourist traffic to the Baha-
mas. Similar organizations existed in Trinidad, Barbados and British
Guiana. Their efforts were constructive and met with considerable
success, considering the means at their disposal. Chambers of Com-
merce and leading businessmen in the Caribbean area have long recog:
nized the desirability of coordinated effort for the development of a
larger tourist industry.
On the whole, however, adequate funds were not available for a
broad-scale development of resort facilities designed to create a large
volume of stop-over traffic. Governmental support of tourism was
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
limited to relatively small appropriations for promotional activities.
The advertising and promotional efforts made by these organizations
were not comparable to the intensive campaigns of cruise advertising
sponsored by steamship lines and tourist agencies which operated
West Indies cruises. This cruise advertising adopted a regional ap-
proach and tended to sell the Caribbean as a whole rather than any
one island or port. It did not foster the idea of stop-overs; quite the
contrary. Cruise advertising gave the prospective traveller the im-
pression that only brief visits were necessary to any port or island,
and it emphasized the pleasures of life aboard ship.
Habana and Nassau, aided by their proximity to the great resort
areas of Florida, were the most successful in developing a substantial
volume of stop-over traffic. Many winter season visitors to Florida
found it convenient to make extension trips to Habana or Nassau.
Habana with its many large hotels, excellent entertainment facilities
and other big city attractions received the lion's share of the stop-over
business of the whole Caribbean area (68,667 passengers in 1938).
Other sections of Cuba, however, with potential tourist appeal were
largely neglected by visitors. Nassau secured 11,290 stop-over visitors
in 1938, a good record in view of existing hotel facilities. During the
years immediately preceding the war, Nassau had begun to develop a
considerable colony of winter visitors who took houses and- cottages
for the season.
Jamaica, through its Tourist Development Board, was concen-
trating on the creation of more stop-over traffic and in 1938 received
9,908 visitors. Stop-over visitors to other islands were:
Puerto R ico ........................................................................ 5,822 in 1939
T rinidad ...................................................... ............... 4,853 in 1938
B arbados ................................................................................. 4,283 in 1938
Other islands and regions of the Caribbean were less successful in
developing stop-over traffic. A large part of their tourist revenues
came from cruise visitors.
The area faced certain transportation difficulties. During the
popular winter seasons, most accommodations were sold to cruise
passengers making the round-trip voyage on the same liner. There
was little accommodation available for potential stop-over traffic ex-
cept in the case of Habana which had direct steamship services from
New York and from Florida ports. Nassau was similarly served dur-
ing winter seasons. The pre-war air services reaching the West In-
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
dian islands were mainly long-haul services to South America. Con-
sequently, one-way passenger accommodation to and from any
particular island was difficult to obtain. For both steamship lines and
air lines it was more profitable to sell round-trip cruises or long-haul
air passages than short trips to and from island resorts. In justice
to the carriers it must be pointed out that public acceptance of the
Caribbean as a resort area, as well as the resort and hotel facilities
existing within the area, did not justify the provision of more. adequate
one-way passenger accommodations. Sufficient freight business was
not available to justify direct steamship services to and from most of
the individual islands.
The failure of the Caribbean area to develop a more substantial
tourist industry, especially a large volume of stop-over and resort
business in addition to cruise traffic, may then be traced to three
major causes :
1. The area was not adequately served by steamship and air-
lines to accommodate a large number of stop-over visitors, nor
were there existing resort and hotel facilities within the area
(excluding Habana) to justify such transportation services.
Cruise traffic was largely during the winter months and was not
balanced by summer vacation traffic.
2. The promotional efforts by individual islands and groups of
islands were insufficient to create a general and widespread pub-
lic acceptance of the area on a year-around basis, for stop-over
and season-stay visitors.
3. With a few notable exceptions, governmental support of
tourism within the Caribbean area was inadequate for any large
scale development. The efforts of individual islands were con-
structive in purpose and to some degree successful in attracting
tourist travel. However, they were insufficiently financed to meet
the competition of other well-established tourist regions.
4. Finally, though excellent work was done individually, there
were no measures taken for integrated action and for an over-all
regional cooperation, which in the opinion of the Commission, are
necessary for the development of a great tourist industry in the
CARIBBEAN TOURIST ARADt
PART III. REPORT OF THE ANGLO-AMERICAN
CARIBBEAN COMMISSION ON A POST-WAR
TRAVEL SURVEY OF THE CARIBBEAN AREA
By COERT duBOIS, United States Commissioner
At the meeting of the Commission at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, in
August 1943, in the course of discussions on the possibilities of indus-
trialization in the over-populated islands in the area, the tourist indus-
try was taken up. It was clear that the area offered many exceptional
recreational advantages but these had never been systematically sur-
veyed with a view to outlining a comprehensive plan for the develop-
ment of these resources in British and United States possession in the
Caribbean. As a member of the United States Section of the
Commission, I was directed to undertake such a survey. Accordingly,
I proceeded to the area and between September 25 and November 18,
1943, visited Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola,
Antigua, Nevis, St. Kitts, Anguilla (with St. Eustatius, Saba and St.
Martin en route), Barbuda, Montserrat, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vin-
cent, the larger islands in the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad, Tobago
and Barbados. Every kind of land, sea and air transport was used
from a stratoliner to a bamboo raft.
When the report on this survey was written and presented to the
interested authorities it became clear that a regional travel plan for
the whole Caribbean area would require similar information from the
remaining countries and islands, which up to then had not been
After conferring with the appropriate officers of the Department
of State, the interested embassies, legations and missions in Washing-
ton were approached and the project of a Caribbean-wide cooperative
travel study was outlined. In every case the chief of mission welcomed
the opportunity to participate. In my capacity of a career officer
in the United States Foreign Service and in every case working
through and as a member of the staff of the local American Embassy
or Consulate, I again proceeded to the Caribbean and visited Curacao,
Aruba, Bonaire, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Martinique, Guade-
loupe, Grande Terre and Cuba. Trinidad and Barbados were revisited
on this trip which took from September 29 to November 22, 1944.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Method of Work
Upon arrival in an island I at once called upon the head of the
Government, explained my mission and requested to be put in touch
with the men most interested and knowledgeable in the travel and
recreational resources of the area in question, It was emphasized that
I had neither the knowledge nor desire to tell what should be deve-
loped or how it should be developed, but that I would consider myself
an agent of the people of the island and that in subsequent discussions
of plans for the Caribbean region as a whole I was prepared to present
whatever they had to show me. An itinerary was then arranged with
the head of the local tourist organization or persons most interested
in promoting travel to the island sometimes a Government official,
sometimes a steamship agent. All of the sites (and sights) that were
thought to be capable of attracting visitors were visited, their deve-
lopment discussed and notes and photographs taken. Unavoidably
many people were not seen and interviewed who should have been
and certain sites were missed for lack of time or means of transport.
An effort was made to keep a strictly objective point of view. I
tried to maintain the uncritical and interested state of mind of the
average tourist of moderate means who had not travelled very widely.
In fact a separate set of notes was kept, some of which were used
later to make more vivid the descriptions of sites, which I called
"tourist impressions." Here is a sample of the "T.I." of a rafting
trip down the Rio Grande in Jamaica:
1". Freshness of the air at breakfast on the veranda of the Titch-
2. Varieties of unknown and brightly coloured small birds and
of the shore and wading birds along the river.
-3. The East Indians in the .River settlements-residue of in-
dentured labor. Their beauty and picturesque costumes.
4. The rafting trip-thrill of rapids, cool plunges into deep pools
in the slow-running stretches, the play of muscles of the rafts-
men, their cheerfulness.
.5. The jungle vegetation on the steep banks-bamboo clumps,
trumpet trees, breadfruit, tree ferns, coconut palms, wild
bananas,, ginger lilies and lianas,"
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Of course no one person can appraise the comparative value of a
large number of widely varying recreational sites nor can any one
person -suggest the best means for their development. But if one per-
son has seen them all he can at least create in his own mind a scale
of recreational values. Probably everybody's scale would be slightly
different because of variations in interests. These interests are im-
portant in judging the scale of values applied by the recreational
resource surveyor. For that reason I am stating that my interests in
vacation travel abroad lie mainly in historical associations, how the
country people live, the forests, botany and wild-life of a region, the
picturesque and the unusual, sport fishing, cruising preferably under
sail, swimming, native dishes and local drinks and engineering
It was kept in mind during the survey that any Caribbean-wide
plan of recreational travel development necessitated an inter-relation
of sites regardless of sovereignty. That is why, until it was completed,
the survey resembled a jig-saw puzzle just after it had been dumped
out of the box. As it proceeded, a picture gradually took shape, of the
relationships between the people of one area and the sites in another,
for example, the workers in the hot Maracaibo oil fields and the Morne
du Selle hill stations in Haiti or the refinery technicians and their
families in Curacao and the resorts on the north coast of Jamaica.
Obviously the development of one area helps another and cooperation
in promoting travel between countries is an essential of the scheme.
As an example of such cooperation, after the sea level, inter-republic
highway between Port-au-Prince and Ciudad Trujillo is completed,
visitors to Haiti should be encouraged to take the overland auto trip
through the mountains and past the interior lakes to the Dominican
Republic and the Jaragua Hotel in Ciudad Trujillo.
If each country and island will accept the idea of inducing its
visitors to see other Caribbean lands before returning home, the whole
Scope of the Survey
It is fully realized that the survey was sketchy and incomplete and
that there are many sites other than those described capable of
profitable development, The Guianas were not visited on this trip
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
although on two previous occasions I have been to British Guiana.
The Central American countries and the Caribbean coast of South
America should undoubtedly be covered in a similar survey at some
future time in order to complete the regional scheme. Certain sites,
for reasons which will appear in their descriptions, are emphasized
as of importance and their early development is indicated because
they fit best into a regional scheme of Caribbean travel. Other sites
are mentioned for possible development at some future time. It may
well be that local authority will not agree with the emphasis I have
given in which case, of course, their judgment should govern.
For such projects as may be considered as paramount by all
concerned, it is hoped that detailed surveys; estimates and financing
plans may be forthcoming at an early date worked out by competent
technical and professional men.
In preparing the report I have purposely skipped about among
political boundaries and described the islands in the order that one
would naturally follow on a ship voyage through them from the
Yucatan Channel to the South American mainland following the
curve of the Greater and Lesser Antilles. For those unacquainted
with the political geography of the region it might be explained that
these islands are divided among sovereignties as follows :
The Republic of Cuba
The islands of Hispaniola
the Republic of Haiti and
the Dominican Republic
The United States possessions
Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands
British Colonies of:
The Leeward Islands
The British Virgin Islands
St. Christopher (St. Kitts)
The Windward Islands
Trinidad and Tobago
The French Colonies of:
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Guadeloupe comprising The Netherlands Overseas
the islands of Territories:
Guadeloupe Curacao. comprising
Basse-Terre the islands of
Marie Galante Bona
Les Saintes St. Eustatius
St. Bartholomew Saba
St. Martin (north half) St. Martin (south half)
It is proposed to take up each country, island or homogeneous
group of islands, outline its position in a Caribbean travel scheme,
tell what it has to offer to both international and inter-regional
travellers and what is needed to make its recreational resources
available. Each area has some features peculiar to itself although
all share in common the climate, the colour, the charm and the beauty
of the Caribbean. It has been said that if one can discover it there
is "a spirit of the island" on each. We shall make a try.
Transportation to and in the Caribbean
Excluding all military and naval transport, the Caribbean area
as a whole is today-i.e., November 1944-inadequately served even
as regards a demand restricted by war-time necessities and priorities.
Once these restrictions are removed, the lack of passenger transport
is going to be glaring unless steps are taken to increase the facilities.
Briefly, today's civilian services include:
Pan American Airways
Based solely on Miami and operating to Habana and Nassau.
Cienfuegos, Kingston and Barranquilla.
Panama, Cartagena and Maracaibo.
La Guaira and Trinidad.
Camaguey, Port-au-Prince, Ciudad Trujillo, San Juan, Antigua
Trinidad, Fort de Franee, Pointe a Pitre and San Juan (sea
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
British West Indian Airways
Trinidad, Tobago and Barbados.
Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua and St. Kitts.
Trinidad, Grenada, Barbados and St. Lucia.
Trinidad, Barbados, St. Kitts and Jamaica. 1
Koniglijk Luchtvaart Matschappij (Royal Dutch Air Line)
Curacao, Aruba, Kingston, Camaguey and Miami.
Curacao, Aruba, Ciudad Trujillo, Port-au-Prince, Camaguey
Curacao to St. Martin, Leeward Islands.
The Cuban Line (Cia. Nacional Cubana de Aviacion)
Habana, Camaguey, Antilla, Manzanillo and Santiago de Cuba.
The Powellson Line (Caribbean and Atlantic Airlines)
San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Croix.
As to water-borne inter-island passenger transportation, the
situation is even more sketchy. Practically all of the small-boat
(power and schooner) operators are interested almost exclusively in
freight and the few launches and sailing craft that will consent to
carry passengers are so sporadic in their schedules and so over-crowded
as to deck passengers that inter-island passenger shipping may, from
the tourist point of view, be considered non-existent.
There are, or will be three main trans-island roads suitable for
motor travel across Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic and
Puerto Rico, all of them badly in need of maintenance work and
one of them, the Hispaniola Sea Level Route, as yet uncompleted.
Jamaica is .well supplied with good roads; Antigua is well supplied
with roads in a poor state of repair and many of the other islands
have an incomplete system of narrow and poorly surfaced roads.
Road building and road improvement programmes on a considerable
scale undertaken by the local governments and other responsible
agencies are essential parts of any area-wide tourist travel develop-
'lt is hoped shortly to extend the last-nalmed service to the ahamas Ran
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
What further transport facilities will be needed and just what
points and areas should be served will, of course, depend as to details
upon the recreational development program that may be adopted.
But certain broad transport needs of the area are obvious now.
Among them are:
1. Provision of direct air service to terminal points in the Carib-
bean from Miami and other North American cities.
2. Provision of service to islands and points off the main estab.
3. Rendering accessible outlying points on the larger islands-
Jamaica and Trinidad for example-by local air services.
4. Organizing coastwise and inter-island sea-borne passenger
5. Resumption of regular sea-borne passenger traffic and
The Trade Wind Belt
The whole area is within the northern limit of the Northeast
Trades which is roughly 25 degrees north latitude. These winds,
which blow from 10 to 20 miles an hour nine months of the year
from east-southeast to north-northeast, are a primary factor in the
local climate. "Windward" and "leeward" are not simply terms used
by sailors but facts which enter deeply into the life of the people.
Cities were built on the leeward side of the mountainous islands to
protect shipping in the days of the old sailing ships. Airports, on the
other hand, must be built on the windward side so the take-off will
be towards the sea and not towards the mountains. Houses are built
and real estate valued with reference to the direction of the Trade
Wind. The supply and distribution of island products depends largely
on the Trade-Wind driven schooner fleet.
The so-called "hurricane season" is not a season of hurricanes.
It is a period, usually from the middle of September to the end of
October, when the Trades are weak or lacking. This results in a
meteorological condition conducive to the formation of a tropical
disturbance which may dissipate or may build up into a hurricane.
In these days of greatly improved meteorological services as a result
of war needs storm warnings are so accurate and given so far in
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
advance of any danger period that ample precautions can be taken.
And the islanders certainly know how to take them. So important
are the Trade Winds in the life of the community that in certain
islands the first Monday in November is set apart as a holiday
called Thanksgiving Day because the Trades are supposed to blow
again and the season of variables and calms is over.
There is a rainy season during the summer months. But the
rains are in the form of tropical squalls-showers of warm rain soon
over-which dio uno particularly interfere with ordinary activities
and which add immensely to the freshness of the air and the lushness
of the tropical vegetation.
The principal block to immediate after-the-war expansion of
tourist travel is the paucity of hotels and the somewhat inadequate
accommodations in many of those which do exist. The building of
accommodations must be undertaken on a wide scale wide, that is,
as to the number of sites. Further building of large luxury hotels is
unnecessary with some exceptions and the bungalow type of accom-
modations will probably meet most needs provided that they are
attractive, well-built, comfortable and include such amenities as the
travelling public is used to and expects to find.
Private ownership of strategic sites which block development and
inadequate, faulty or antiquated structures on privately owned tracts
which prevent their full utilization or coordination with other develop-
ments are prevalent throughout the area. Measures should be
adopted by the local governments to insure that recreational areas
which are essential to any area-wide scheme of development are made
available for such use as will best serve the public interest. Monopoly
and exorbitant charges must be prevented while capital for legitimate
and approved projects must be safeguarded. The term "approved
projects" should include the improvement and modernization of
many small existing enterprises which, with a little financial help,
could serve the area adequately.
The Republic of Cuba
To visit this island neighbour, nearest to the south of the United
States, requires only an overnight trip on a steamer or an hour and
a half flight by plane. It has all of the attractions common to
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Caribbean lands and has publicized them in the United States in a
most effective manner. There is no salesgirl in the city of New York
who does not know all about the romance and tropical beauty and
piquant lure of Habana and who does not dream of going there on
some future vacation. Because of its accessibility and the propa-
ganda in regard to it, the city of Habana means Cuba to the majority
of people in the United States. What is needed now to promote
further tourist and vacation travel from the United States is to
develop and render accessible the resources and attractions of Cuba
as a whole and particularly its beaches, mountains and coasts. The
following figures I show this need clearly:
Visitors to Cuba
Year Cruise Stop-over All Pass- Total Total
Passengers Passengers engers to all Passengers Tourist
Other Ports Expend-
To Habana $ 1,000
1938 ........................ 68,667 89,346 2,200 160,213 14,987
1939 ........................ 62,990 72,645 5,541 141,176 13,634
1940 ....................... 77,814 49,648 2,571 130,033 14,411
1941 ...................... 79,895 46,195 2,703 128,793 14,564
The task of the organization responsible for promoting tourism in
Cuba is to maintain the flow of visitors to Habana and to increase it
to other parts of Cuba either direct or through Habana. The
organization in question is fully aware of this and their plans to this
end will be discussed fully below. One factor in the situation which
has come to the fore in the war years is the development of the airport
at Camaguey in the center of the island which gives a port of entry
for the central and eastern provinces.
The spirit of Habana is best exemplified in its propaganda,
publicity pamphlets and slogans such as -" The Holiday Isle",
" The Perfect Summer Resort ", "What a Marvelous Cuban Winter ",
" Habana, the Magic City ", Sun, Gaiety, Romance ", Open Door
to Dreams", "The Paris of the Americas ". Their illustrations
feature beautiful brunettes in bathing costume or in elaborate Spanish
dress, rhumba dancers, beach parties, comparsa parades at carnival
1 Figures from La Corporacion Nacional Ole1 Turi.mg,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
time, big game fish, yachts at anchor and under way, jai alai games
and horse races. And these pictures tell the truth. Habana is
indeed a city of pleasure and beauty for the visiting tourist. In
,addition to the night. life and sports it has all the historic interest of
the early explorers and Spanish conquistadores. It should be
remembered that its language,- culture and traditions are Spanish and
that it remained under Spanish rule until forty-seven years ago.
Modern Habana is beautiful-imposing public buildings, the Malacon
or sea front boulevard, Fifth Avenue through the newest residential
district and the parks and monuments.
Facilities have been provided for the enjoyment of Habana's
vacation resources by its visitors whether they are one-day cruise
passengers, stop-over tourists or winter residents. Shipping is
efficiently handled at the wharves, auto caravans are provided and
organized, the hotels are numerous and excellent and arrangements
are made, when requested, for guest cards to the beach and country
clubs. There are fishing guides with boats and the downtown shops
are full of attractive goods, particularly Habana's specialties good
rum and good cigars.
Cuba has had a long experience with tourism and has profited by
it to develop a most highly organized and effective governmental and
private body to promote and control it. This is called the National
Tourist Corporation (La Corporaci6n Nacional del Turismo). Its
members are all associations, societies, chambers, clubs or centres -
not individuals. There are 229 such members called entidades divided
into twenty-one sectors. Without going into too much detail, a few
sectors may be cited by way of example with an indication of the
entidades composing it. The Sector of Tourist Auxiliaries includes
the Association of Tourist Agents, the Association of Guides and
Interpreters, the Association of Customs Brokers, the Waiters Union
and the Musicians Union. The Social Sector includes the American
Club, the Automobile Club of Cuba, the British Club, the Spanish
House, the Andalusian Center, the Vasco Center, the Athenian Club
and the Union Club. Other Sectors are Wholesale Merchants,
Retailers, Chambers of Commerce, Contractors, Chauffeurs, Hotel
Operators, Restaurateurs and Women's Clubs. These 229 entidades
elect a Consejo Superior or- Superior Council of twenty-one members
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
which in turn elects an Executive Committee of seven members which
employs a paid, full time Commissioner. The Executive Committee
works with twenty-one Technical Advisory Organizations of six
members each on such subjects as communications and transport,
terminal stations, publicity, research 'and -statistics, fairs and
expositions,, private aviation, fishing and yachting and protection
It will be apparent that the Corporation represents a cross section
;of the business and professional world of Habana and that it speaks
with the authority of public opinion when it requests appropriations
of government funds or proposes projects to the Government.
Development Plans of the National Tourist Corporation
The Corporation has submitted a programme of projects to the
President of the Republic in an elaborate memorandum. These are
now under consideration but it is doubtful if they will go much beyond
the survey and estimate stage until after the war. They include:
1. A Tourist Center on the north coast of Cuba between
TararA and Boca Ciega--that is, between a point a few
miles east of Habana and a point near Santa Cruz del Norte
to be called Esmeralda Beach- and an automobile road
along the north coast connecting this -development with
Habana. This is an elaborate project including, besides the
road, the expropriation of all the land between these two
beaches, reserving to the Government areas necessary for a
waterfront boulevard, administrative offices, four hotels, a
casino and theater, police headquarters, a cinema, an 18-hole
golf course and four tennis courts, and parks and public
gardens. The remaining land is to be sold under building
restrictions at public auction,
2. A Pier, exclusively for Yachts in Habana Harbor..
3. Reconstruction of certain Steamship Line Piers.
4. A National Airport as close as possible to Habana and
connected there with a double track auto boulevard.
5. Signal Lights from the center of Habana to the country to
show where the Central Highway leads out to the east and
to the west.
6. A National Museum.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST .RAD)1
7. A National Aquarium to contain specimens of all tropical fish
(not only Cubani) for scientific study and public entertain-
8. Making the Zoological Park--now a modest private
enterprise a public utility.
9. Completion of the Bosque de la Habana, an artificially
wooded park along the Almendares River.
10. Four tennis courts in the Bosque de la Habana.
11. An 18-hole golf course and club house at Santa Maria del
12. Repair and maintenance of the pavement and central gardens
along Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue).
13. Comfort stations in Central Park and Plaza de la
14. Embellishment of the public gardens and parks and care
and conservation of all the trees in the city.
In addition, the Corporation requests legislation along the follow-
ing lines :
1. Effective protection of public, artistic and historic places and
monuments throughout the Republic and the creation of
Municipal Commissions to insure it.
2. Conservation of the particular colonial and other character-
istic features of Matanzas, Santa Clara, Trinidad, Sancti
Spiritus, Remedios, Caibarien, Cienfuegos, Camaguey and
Santiago de Cuba in order to enhance their tourist value.
3. Creation of a National Forest in each Province and of
National Parks with proper facilities for their use by tourists
in Vinales Valley (Pinar del Rio), Valle de Yumuri
(Matanzas), Sierra de Cubitas (Camaguey) and a survey of
the Provinces of Oriente and las Villas for suitable sites.
4. Construction of landing fields in or near Pinar del Rio,
Matanzas, Santa Clara, Sancti Spiritus and Trinidad and
extension df that in Cienfuegos with the primary idea of
their future use by private aviation.
5. Completion of many interior roads branching from the
Carretera Central and particularly the construction of the
road through the Province of Pinar del Rio to the west coast
which will be the Cuban section of the Atlantic-Caribbean
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Branch of the Pan American Highway a project which
Cuba and Mexico are cooperating in promoting.
6. Requirement that all gasoline stations on the Carretera
Central be modernized and properly manned to give prompt
and courteous service.
7. A technical and scientific study of the therapeutic value of
the mineral springs of Cuba.
8. A general and immediate clean up of all places in the
Republic of touristic interest and value -particularly the
beach of Varadero and the streets and sanitation of Santiago
de Cuba and Guantinamo.
9. Creation in Habana, and later in Camaguey and Santiago de
Cuba of a School of Hotel Management to build up
technically trained hotel staffs similar to those in Argentina,
Switzerland and France.
10. Establishment of Government credits to make working
capital available to private enterprise for undertaking
approved tourist development.
It will be seen that the development plans of the National Tourist
Corporation are indeed comprehensive and little can be added to
their programme. It is with a certain diffidence, therefore, that the
following suggestions are put forward.
Varadero Beach, a sand spit five miles or more in length
separating Cardenas Bay from the ocean, is one of the most valuable
tourist attractions that Cuba has. The Kawama Club, with a central
building for social rooms, dining room and kitchen and a bar and
sports room, together with separated one and two-room cottages is
an ideal scheme to utilize this beautiful site. The use of local building
materials and the simple yet picturesque architecture, together with
moderate construction costs, combine to make this a type of develop-
ment that may well serve as a model for the treatment of other
beaches in the Caribbean, particularly in the Windward and Leeward
Islands. Varadero Beach should not be spoiled by overcrowding, and
some overhead control of private building and land speculation should
The Thermal Baths of San Diego de los Banos, San Miguel de
los Banos, Amaro, Madruga, San Jose del Lago, Santa Rita and San
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Vicente are reported to possess medicinal properties of great value.
None of them, however, is equipped with the facilities to insure their
full potentialities as tourist resorts large, comfortable and well-
managed hotels, golf courses and tennis courts, rides and drives and
Yachting in Cuba has meant to most American yachtsmen the
annual St. Petersburg-Habana yacht race and the festivities that
terminate it. It is not generally realized that Cuban waters are a
cruising ground par excellence and yachtsmen should be told more
about the possibilities of the cays along the Santa Clara coast from
Cardenas to Caibari6n, the Bajos Colorados and the Gulf of
Guanacabibe, the Gulf of Bataban6, the Isle of Pines and the Gulf of
Cochinos. These possibilities could be enhanced if all captains of
ports gave visiting yachts every courtesy and facility and port and
pilotage charges were kept at the minimum. The mouth of
Almendares River should be considerably improved and moorings
should be made available for visiting yachts. Guest cards to the
Habana Yacht Club and the facilities of its marine railway should be
offered them on arrival. The best way to publicize facilities for
visiting yachtsmen is' first to see that they exist and then write up
actual cruises for the yachting magazines.
Fishing, deep sea, reef or river mouth, has not received the
attention it warrants. Both Miami and Bimini are better known to
American sport fishermen than the Cuban waters. It is not generally
known that in season it is quite likely that one can get a 300 to 400
pound marlin within three miles of Moro Castle; that off a fishing
smack in Bataban6 Roads, an hour and a half from Habana by auto,
thirty tarpon strikes in an evening's fishing is not unusual; that bone-
fish abound in the mangrove cays of the north coast or that an hour's
trolling in the Gulf Stream may result in landing a kingfish, a Spanish
mackerel, a wahoo, a bonito or a'dolphin. This again is a question
of more and better boats and guides and then publicity.
San Juan Hill and the Teddy Roosevelt tradition are dear to the
hearts of United States citizens. Little or no effort is made to show
visitors the terrain of the campaign of 1898 from Siboney to Santiago
de Cuba with competent guides and in comfortable cars over good
roads. This would be a welcome feature and serve to induce tourists
to visit Oriente Province. A further inducement would be more and
better hotels in Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo or other centers in the
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADt
eastern province. These would tend to promote fuller use of the
Carretera Central by motorists who bring their cars to Habana.
Cuba has much to offer and has already done much in making
her resources available to tourists. Her help in the development of
the Caribbean region as a whole can be counted upon. The National
Tourist Corporation and particularly its Executive Council is made
up of highly intelligent and farseeing men who clearly realize that the
more people hear and learn of the Caribbean, the more will come to
Cuba. They realize too that in passing on their visitors to other
Caribbean lands they will be promoting the goodwill of their
neighbours who will reciprocate, particularly with respect to travellers
from the South and travellers within the area.
The largest island of the British West Indies, Jamaica, has an
area of 4,200 square miles and a population of over a million and a
quarter. Her scenic and topographic features are similar to those of
Cuba but the interior of the island and the outlying points around its
coastline are more accessible to the visitor and are more fully
developed for his use and enjoyment than are the rural resources of
her neighbour to the north. To put it succinctly Cuba offers in a
large measure the pleasures of the city; Jamaica, in an equally large
measure, those of the country. It is accessible by air from Miami via
Cienfuegos and from Barranquilla and La Guaira via Curacao and to
Trinidad via St. Lucia. The north coast of the island is indented with
a series of bays protected by coral reefs, headed by sand beaches and
backed by forested uplands and mountains which are already a
popular vacation area for the people of the lowlands of the north coast
of South America and its outlying Dutch islands. Cruise ships, when
they resume operations, will presumably discharge their passengers at
Port Antonio who, after they have made the trans-island auto trip,
will be picked up at Kingston as they were before the war. Stop-over
.passengers and vacationists will reach the island by regular scheduled
steamship lines from Panama, New York, Miami, New Orleans and
Habana, as well as from Canadian and British ports.
The lure of Jamaica lies in the bays and beaches of its coast, the
wild and unexplored uplands, particularly the Cockpit country, the
comfort, charm and historical interest of Kingston and its environs
and the recurrent scenes of pure beauty throughout the whole island.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Port Antonio Area
Port Antonio, sixty miles from Kingston by good motor road, was
formerly one of the principal banana loading ports of the United Fruit
Company. Its steamers used to bring tourists from the North,.
disembark them at Port Antonio and send them overland to Kingston
while the ships went around the eastern coast of Jamaica picking up
bananas at Manchioneal Bay, Holland Bay, Port Morant and Morant
Bay. The Company built a large and luxurious hotel at Port Antonio,
the Titchfield Hotel, to accommodate this trade. The Panama disease
killed the banana trees throughout this region and Port Antonio
ceased to exist as a banana port. The white ants made such inroads
into the Titchfield Hotel that it was demolished and the material
shipped away. A wooden annex to the old hotel, with very comfort-
able accommodations for fifty guests, is now connected with a group
of other buildings and operated under the name of the Titchfield
Hotel. Its excellent location and panoramic view of the bay must be
augmented with increased, modern accommodations if it is planned
as a center for future vacation travel for the northeastern portion of
the island of Jamaica.
There is in Port Antonio Bay, close to the peninsula on which
stands the Titchfield Hotel, a hundred-acre island known as Navy,
Island. It is elliptical in shape and rises to a plateau in the center
. about 150 feet in altitude. It is at present uninhabited and is planted
in coconut trees which produce about 70,000 nuts a year. Grass and
other herbaceous vegetation under the coconut trees provide pasturage
for cattle and sheep. Connection with the mainland is by rowboat
to a boat house and pier on the west end of the island. A marshy
spot on the plateau furnishes water enough for the- livestock and
possibly could be developed into an adequate supply.
This island, although privately owned, is an ideal site for a
cottage development. If carefully subdivided and landscaped, it
should provide space for 70 to 100 cottages or bungalows. The
development of Navy Island is the only logical way to expand
materially the capacity of Port Antonio as a recreational center.
The northeast coast of Jamaica is indented by several beautiful
bays with sand beaches at the head, bluffy sides and headlands
covered with tropical vegetation. Four of these are within eight
miles by road of Port Antonio and together with the Titchfield Hotel,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
as the nucleus, might well be considered as a single recreational unit
for that part of the island.
Boston Bay is eight miles by road from Port Antonio with a
half-mile of yellow sand beach at the head. This has already been
appropriated by a Port Antonio club.
Blue Hole is a small bay with deep. water close in six miles from
Port Antonio. From the road and with the sun on it, the water is of
a vivid azure color. The bay has no beach but is a favorite picnic
Unity Bay is located five miles from Port Antonio. A picturesque
rocky island in the bay could be developed as an attractive picnic
ground. It has no beach.
Cold Harbour, four miles from Port Antonio, is a beautiful and
picturesque little bay with two small beaches at its head separated by
a heavily forested ridge. The swimming is reported to be particularly
fine off these beaches. There are no developments or improvements.
These four areas should all be provided with good attractive bath
houses with at least ten cubicles and up-to-date plumbing fixtures,
fresh water showers and towels. There should be a bar and a simple
lunch room and a resident attendant on each. Landscaping should
be carefully planned. These bays are 40 to 50 miles from Kingston
by a good motor road and would, if made attractive, be used by its
population for week-end picnics and beach parties.
The Rio Grande Rafting Trip
About ten miles by fair auto road from the Titchfield Hotel one
comes to the point on the Rio Grande where the rafting trip starts.
This is a tourist attraction that was very popular in the heyday of
United Fruit travel and may well become popular again. Several
men and rafts are available for hire at this point where there is now
only a Chinese store at about twenty shillings for the trip. The
rafts are made by lashing twelve to sixteen bamboo poles about
twenty-four feet long side by side to cross pieces; the butts, about
six inches in diameter, being at the stern. Four raised cross pieces are
lashed two-thirds of the way from the bow to serve as passengers'
seats. One raftsman stands at the front and one behind the
passengers each with a bamboo pole and the raft proceeds with the
current. Down the quick water stretches the trip is thrilling while in
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
the deep reaches between, where the raftsmen have to paddle or pole,
one can always swim.
The banks of the river are steep in some places cliffs and
covered solid with jungle. Clumps of bamboo, ficus, trumpet tree,
tree ferns, lianas, wild banana and ginger lilies alternate with planted
coconut and yam patches. There are many birds herons, bitterns,
egrets, snipe, sandpipers and some bright plumaged forest birds. The
trip takes about two and one-half hours when the river is low and one
and one-half hours when there is a good head of water. The trip
cannot be safely made when it is in flood.
A proper rest house and place to dress for the rafting trip (in
bathing costume) should be provided at the starting point on the Rio
Grande, and the road to it from the surfaced road should be
improved. Raftsmen should be properly clothed and organized by
a person like a caddy master" in charge. Prices should be
standardized. The rafts can easily be improved by having something
softer than a bamboo pole to sit on and they should be provided with
a water-tight box to hold towels, shirts, cameras, etc. The lower
terminal should be at the Rio Grande Bridge on the main road where
there should be a small rest house provided with a telephone to Port
Ocho Rios Area
Ocho Rios is a small town on a beautiful bay about half way
along the north coast of Jamaica and connected with Port Antonio
and Montego Bay by good auto road. The town offers no tourist
facilities but two and one-half miles south of it at an elevation of
1,200 feet is the Shaw Park Hotel, a 50-bed establishment, that is one
of the best vacation spots in the West Indies. In all respects, cuisine,
bar, social rooms and grounds, it is a high class establishment.
On the grounds is a fresh water swimming pool fed by two
mountain streams, and trails through the surrounding forest offer
walks and horseback rides. There is a swimming beach on Ocho Rios
Bay itself owned by the hotel and boats and fishermen are available
for reef fishing in the Bay. Dunn's River and Roaring River
described below are naturally tributary to Shaw Park Hotel and could
easily be made accessible to its guests.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Two miles west of Ocho Rios is Dunn's River, a series of cascades
falling down a steep rocky slope into a small bay with no beach. On
the point above the mouth of the river is a small guest house and
cottage with total capacity of ten beds. This could be renovated,
modernized and enlarged.
Roaring River Falls ard Beach
Roaring River, three miles west of Ocho Rios, tumbles over a
green cliff a half-mile inland from the mouth and makes a beautiful
white curtain of water 150 feet high and 50 feet broad. The falls and
the river banks are owned by the electric light and power company
of Kingston but the beach at the mouth of the river is privately
owned, and has been developed as the particular bathing beach of the
Shaw Park Hotel. It has a clean, well constructed bath house with
cement floors and all necessary equipment.
Swimming from this beach at the mouth of the Roaring River
offers the unique experience of passing from the cold current of the
river, which continues for a hundred yards or more out to sea, to the
warm water of the Caribbean which then seems almost hot.
Good Hope Ranch
Eight miles south of Falmouth (which is twenty miles east sof
Montego Bay) is a large property known as Good Hope ". The
owner raises cattle and horses, operates a sawmill and woodworking
factory, has extensive coconut plantations, makes copra and runs a
dude ranch. The plantation house, 130 years old, is an excellent
example of the architecture of those days. Together with the annex,
the place can accommodate about thirty paying guests. Its attrac-
tions are riding parties, hiking and swimming from its private beach
on Bush Cay near Falmouth or in a fresh water swimming pool on the
place. It is a beautiful and restful spot, excellently managed and in
the best of taste.
The Cockpit Country
Stretching southward for twenty miles from the Good Hope
property is a region called "The Cockpit Country" the southern
portion of which is designated on the official map of Jamaica (Colin
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Liddell's) as District known by the name of Look Behind ". Much
of it is unexplored and there are no roads across it. Topographically
the region is unique. It is composed of very porous limestone or
uplifted coral rock and the rains disappear into it as they do into
desert sand. Consequently, the hills have not been eroded down in
the same way that run-off shapes most topography. The result is a
jumble of gulches and low hills that presents a brush-covered,
The Cockpit and Look Behind Country is the land of the
Maroons. This is the Anglicized version of the Spanish word
cimarrdn wild, unruly, a name given by the Spanish settlers to
runaway slaves. From the time of its discovery by Columbus until
1655 Jamaica was Spanish. In that year an expeditionary force sent
out by Cromwell took over and when the Spanish plantation owners
were dispossessed their African slaves took to the brush and later
congregated in considerable numbers in the Cockpit Country. For
years they kept up a guerrilla warfare with the British and their
bush-wacking tactics led to the practice on the part of the pursuing
British cavalry of mounting two men on a horse one musketeer
facing aft- hence the "District known by the name of Look
Behind". After more than a century of this kind of warfare the
Maroons were pacified in 1795 and all those caught were deported
to Nova Scotia. But a sufficient number still roamed the Cockpit
Country to force a treaty out of the British Government in 1842 under
which they were accorded some special privileges with regard to
It is across this fascinating country that it is proposed to work
out a wilderness trail for saddle and pack horses from Good Hope
Ranch to the railroad line at 'Balaclava on its southern border. The
cooperation of the Maroon community will. be necessary .and
considerable pioneering will have to be done to prospect a route, locate
camps and develop watering places.
Montego Bay is in the northwest corner of the island and
accessible to Kingston both by rail and motor road. An airfield just
east of the town is nearingcompletion. This is the most ntenvel
developed d tourist center of Jaranic with fourteen hotels and boarding
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE 55
houses which have aggregate accommodations for about 400 persons.
It is a typical resort town with well stocked shoppers ", an esplanade
along the sea, beach clubs, a country club with tennis courts and an
interesting 9-hole golf course.
The principal attraction of the town is theswimming_ at Doctor's
Cave bhathing._beach where the water is particularly clear, salty and
warm and there is no surf. Unfortunately the beach is very limited
in length for the demands made upon it- which are heavy and
conflicting. The Doctor's Cave Club owns the first 250 yards of the
beach which is about 500 yards long altogether. This is an attractive
club with elaborate club house and bathing facilities. The next 100
yards of beach cannot be developed because it is a part of a cemetery
which the local authorities have not as yet obtained permission to
remove. The remaining 150 yards of beach, which is the least desirable
on account of rocky ledges which begin at the water's edge, is used by
Montego Bay, unlike other bays on the north Jamaica coast,
looks across at the north coast and the green range of hills of Hanover
Parish which give the effect of the other shore of a gulf. In fact
the view from the waterfront hotels is not unlike that of the Sorrento
Peninsula and the Gulf as seen from the Grand Hotel in Naples. The
Hanover shore is indented with several beautiful bays Musquito
Cove, Lucca Harbour, Lances Bay, Couins' Cove, Davis Cove and
Green Island Harbour all of which would be ideal anchorages for a
one or two night cruise in a 35-foot cruising cutter from Montego
Bay. There are no yachts and as yet no harbour or other facilities
for visiting yachtsmen at Montego Bay. In fact, the possibilities of
the recreational use of the sea now unused except bathing in a 250-
yard strip of it, appear to be a great future asset at Montego.Bay.
Sport fishing now non-existent could be developed along the
reefs which parallel the shore one-half to three-quarters of a mile out.
The Bogue Islands are two fair sized islands and several islets in
the southeast corner of Montego Bay near shore which appear to be
entirely covered with mangrove swamp. However, the outer or
larger one appears from the air to contain some hard ground and the
owner believes that they may be capable of development by filling
in with suction dredges as was done with the islands in Biscayne Bay
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Kingston and Environs
The Myrtlebank Hotel in Kingston with its excellent cuisine, bar,
dance floor, social rooms, swimming pool all under efficient
management is one of the best existing tourist attractions in the
West Indies. With this delightful spot as a base, the following points
may be visited.
Hope Gardens is an agricultural experiment station with a formal
garden, an arboretum and a particularly fine orchid house in the
outskirts of Kingston.
Castleton Gardens has a fine collection of tropical trees,
particularly palms, and is located about an hour by auto on the Stony
Newcastle and Greenwich are hill stations on a spur of the Blue
Mountains at about 3,800 feet elevation and reached by a tortuous
mountain auto road. At present the accommodations are occupied
by troops and prisoners of war but in peace-time it is the "Simla"
Trails in the Blue Mountains
Hiking is not as popular in the tropics as in the United States but
certain trails and rest camps have been constructed among the high
ridges of the Blue Mountain Range readily reached from Kingston
This system can easily be extended by working in cooperation with
the Forest Reserve patrols under the direction of the Conservator of
Forests of the Jamaican Government.
The Royal Jamaica Yacht Club
With a club house and anchorage in the upper Jamaican harbour,
this Club could offer much pleasure and sport to visiting yachtsmen
particularly small craft racing such as snipes, stars and comets. At
present it has few boats and no racing fleet.
The Manor House Hotel and the Constant Springs Golf Club
A few miles out of Jamaica at about 500 feet elevation is a very
interesting 18-hole golf course and a good hotel at which golf
enthusiasts can stay. A "Rutley's Special" makes a unique and
delicious 19th hole.
There are, of course, other areas in various parts of the island
which are popular, particularly with local vacationists, and which may
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
be considered as parts of a larger plan to -be developed later. Among
these may be enumerated:
the hill resorts of Mandeville and Christiana;
the historic towns of Port Royal and Spanish Town;
the Milk River Thermal Mineral Baths;
Negril Beach and those in the Black River area;
Bog Walk Gorge and the Rio Cobre.
THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
These three small islands aggregating 100 square miles and lying
150 miles west-northwest of the western point of Jamaica are
dependencies of that Government. The population most of whom
get their living directly or indirectly from the sea by sailoring, ship-
building or fishing, number 5,300 on Grand Cayman, 1,300 on
Cayman Brac and 60 on Little Cayman. They are an independent
and upstanding lot with a love of the sea and a skill in navigation
derived from their seagoing ancestors.
The tourist value lies in the miles of splendid beaches that offer
sea bathing, boating and fishing with primitive cottage sites for
spending the months of December, January and February at a
moderate cost. The Government plans on building small thatched
cottages for persons of moderate income who may wish to escape the
rigours of a Northern winter. Sailing dinghies can be bought for a
comparatively small sum.
Transportation at present is sketchy. An auxiliary schooner is
supposed to make two trips a month from Kingston to Georgetown,
Grand Cayman, but often cancels a sailing. Navy seaplanes have
used the Caymans and because of their flat topography it would be
easy to construct a satisfactory landing strip. When private aviation
becomes general, the Caymans may prove a popular escape" resort
for vacationists from Panama, Jamaica and perhaps from the United
The Cayman Island schooners are well known throughout the
area for their trim lines, stout construction and their sailing qualities.
Yachtsmen who are thinking of having a boat built might do well to
consider the boys in Grand Cayman. Royal Bodden, master boat-
builder, Grand Cayman, can build anything from a dinghy to a two-
topmast schooner from the plans of any yacht designer,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
THE REPUBLIC OF HAITI
In terms of hours of air travel, Port-au-Prince, the capital of
Haiti, is the center of the Caribbean area if Central America is
excluded from and the Bahamas are included in the area. Operating
air lines run from it to Miami and Port-of-Spain by the perimeter"
route; to Curacao and the cities of the Spanish Main via the Royal
Dutch Line and to Jamaica by seaplane via Santiago de Cuba. Port-
au-Prince, in short, is the most accessible point by air to any other
point in the Caribbean.
There is a mountain area 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level with
some existing facilities and capable of indefinite future development
along the line of hill stations and mountain resorts accessible in
twenty minutes to two hours by auto over good existing roads from
the population center of Port-au-Prince. This area can be reached
in a matter of hours from the hot flat lands of the region and Miami
and southern Florida and, in a day, from the coastal plains of the
In the north of Haiti are the remains of the architectural
splendours that were achieved by the African slaves who freed them-
selves under the leadership of such men as Toussaint I'Ouverture,
Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Henry Christophe the Palace of Sans
Souci and the fort called the Citadel.
Haiti, then, is easily reached by travellers from within the region
and from both, continents and it offers relief from the heat in cool
mountain resorts, picturesque scenery, a historical and ethnological
'background unique in the western hemisphere.
Life in Haiti is fascinating. The people are cheerful and friendly
and independent since they draw most of their sustenance from their
little mountain farms and bring their produce to market on the heads
of caravans of smiling girls and women. The fact that they speak a
foreign tongue and have their own folk religion adds to their piquant
Hill Station Possibilities
Port-au-Prince, the port of entry to Haiti, by sea or air, lies at
the south end of -the base of a triangular plain, the apex or east end
'of which is the lake Etang Saumatre. This intensively cultivated
and thickly 'populated plain is called the Cul de Sac and directly
'adjacent to it on the south is the inland or eastern end of the mountain
chain which foirmis the backbone of the southern peninsula of Haiti,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
The proximity of the steep northern face of this range to the
populated areas in and adjacent to the capital city makes a
geographical site for hill station development unique in the area. To
exploit it fully, however, requires further hotel development in Port-
au-Prince either in the form of extension and modernization of existing
hotels or in building a new one.
Kenscoff is a scattered settlement built on contour roads on the
ridge above Petionville consisting of some 100 cottages built by Port-
au-Prince businessmen and officials who occupy them for perhaps two
months in .the summer. They are usually rentable during other
months. It is situated at 5,000 feet elevation and is reached in half
an hour by a good motor road from Port-au-Prince. There are five
small hotels in Kenscoff with an aggregate of about 100 rooms. In
the rainy season, August to November, the clouds hang low. The
flowers and vegetable gardens are strictly north temperate zone and
remind one of New England. Onions, leeks, Irish potatoes, peaches
and plums are raised locally and are supplied to the hotels and
,cottages. The ridge is well wooded with native pine occidentaliss)
and planted eucalyptus globuluss).
A mile or so above Kenscoff, over a road so steep and slippery
that not even a jeep can get over it in wet weather, is a small hotel
called the Refuge, ten rooms, and a mile beyond that is the point of
Furcy from which a magnificent view may be had of the Cul de Sac,
the Gulf of Gonave and the mountains to the north, east and west.
Mornes des Commissaires is the name of the ridge which
carries the pine forest which is being exploited under scientific forestry
management by SHADA. The operations are under the direction of
Mr. L. R. Holdridge, a technically trained forester who has an enviable
professional reputation. The settlement known as "Les Pins is
fifty-seven miles from Port-au-Prince and takes about two hours by
car. The road runs across the flat plain of the Cul de Sac and from
Croix des Bouquets to Fond Parisien (the last five miles in the plain)
is a cooperative road built under Lend-Lease funds as a part of a
strategic connection between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
From Fond Parisien the road climbs rapidly through rough mountain
country over a good grade, well drained and maintained (by SHADA)
to the pine forest at 5,000 feet elevation,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
At the headquarters of the lumbering operation, where, by the
way, the forest shows no.signs of having been cut over and is as clean
as the floor of a room, there is a cottage settlement built originally as
a rest and recreational area for SHADA employees but now operated
on a commercial basis. It consists of a central "club house" with
kitchen and dining rooni where excellent meals are served. One side
of the main room is taken up by a huge fireplace where slabs from the
mill are burned. There are five guest houses of two types of construc-
tion one stucco over cement costing $3,500 and one all wood costing
$1,400 to build. Each has a living room with large fireplace an
essential at this altitude one bedroom with twin beds and another
with a double decked bunk (for children), a bathroom with shower
and the usual fixtures and a kerosene hot water heater and boiler in
a closet off the bathroom. There is a total of twenty beds in the
cottages of this type. In addition, there are two family cottages
accommodating six persons each in three bedrooms and provided with
kitchenette and facilities for housekeeping. These rent for $40 a
month. Transients pay $3.50 a day, for the first three days, and $3.00
thereafter. Chauffeurs and servants, for whose accommodations
there are two log cabins, pay $1.50 a day.
There are tennis courts and ping pong tables, trails to high points
and walks in the forest. The nights are cold it has been known to
freeze. A horse trail is planned along the Morne du Selle which would
run through to Furcy and Kenscoff thirty miles to the westward.
This would be furnished with a rest house half way with overnight
accommodations for man and beast so as to make it a two day trip.
The idea is to make The Pines a vacation rendezvous for students,
professors and scientists interested in forestry, botany, ornithology,
entymology, ophiology and other natural sciences with lectures in the
club house and field excursions under the leadership of scientists of
The Port-au-Prince agent for most of the visiting cruise ships
before the war proposes to develop a hill station on either Batillier or
Fourmi, two hills of 3,500 feet elevation on the north front of the
ridge, Morne d'Hopital, directly above the plain south of Port-au-
Prince. The site is about a mile by steep trail from the Petionville-
Kenscoff road taking off about one-fourth of a mile above the former,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
The Haitian Government is to build the road which will be about
two and one-half miles long and other improvements will be built in
the nature of cottages with a central pavilion. The view from this
site is really magnificent. The city of Port-au-Prince is directly at
one's feet; the Gulf of Gonave, the Ile de Gonave and the mountain
ranges of the southern peninsula lie to westward; Morne & Cabrit to
the north and Petionville, the Cul de Sac, Etang Saumatre and Lago
Enniquillo (in the Dominican Republic) to the east. When made
accessible by two and one-half miles of road Batillier will be a half
hour's drive from the center of Port-au-Prince.
This high range, the Morne du Selle, offers unlimited possibilities
for the future development of hill stations for the people of the low-
lands of the whole region.
Scenic Drives and Airplane Trips
From Port-au-Prince-which, by the way was not named after a
prince but after a French warship called le Prince "-to Les Cayes
near the western end of the south shore of the southern peninsula, a
distance of 209 kilometers, is a typical drive through Haitian mountain
scenery. The road runs through the small towns of L6ogane, Petit
Goave, Miragoane, Michel du Sud, Aquin and St. Louis du Sud. It
is well located and graded but the surface is rough. The small streams
are forded but the rivers are crossed by good steel bridges.
From Miragoane the road turns inland and runs through the
mountains that form the backbone of the southern peninsula. The
tropical growth along the roadside is lush and varied-coco, royal
and silver palms, flamboyant, tamarind and other acacias, logwood,
lignum vitae, silk cotton, trumpet and calabash trees mingled with
the lovely pink flowering vine called couronne de marine ". In small
patches of cultivated land whittled out of the forest are growing
bananas, plantains, corn, rice, malangas, papayas, melons, squash,
breadfruit, sugarcane, sisal, castor oil beans, coffee, yams, pigeon
peas, cassava and sweet potatoes.
The traffic on any Haitian road is endless and fascinating-a
continuous stream of women swinging along with enormous loads in
baskets on their heads, many of them topped by a rolled-up matting
bed and a pair of shoes. Little donkeys and child-sized horses, used
mainly by the men, carry, in addition, woven matting panniers with
local produce. Throughout this region an open-air market is held at
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
various designated spots each day of the week. At Brisballe, a road-
side village, for instance, the March6 de Mardi or Tuesday market
was in full swing with well over a thousand people milling around
selling and buying minute quantities of local produce and handmade
articles. Les Cayes, the terminus of this road, is a coffee shipping
port with no harbour but an open roadstead. If these drives, which
are fascinating in themselves in that they afford the only opportunity
to see rural life, are to become a feature in Haitian tourism, clean,
comfortable, sanitary accommodations adequately serviced must be
provided at points where an overnight stay is indicated.
A plane trip from Port-au-Prince to Cap Haitien affords another
and more extended look at Haiti. The course is north three degrees
east and it is necessary to climb rapidly to get over the Morne &
Cabrit, the mountain wall directly north of the plain of the Cul de
Sac. Behind it is the Artibonite, an intensively cultivated wide valley
with the Artibonite River winding through it in-big River loops. Over
the next range, the Montaigne Noir, is the Plateau Central, a rolling,
green (in the rainy season) cattle range country with few farms. It
is the beef producing area of Haiti. The next-mountain range is the
Massif du Nord on a northerly spur of which, called the Bonnet a
l'Eveque, stands the Citadel of Christophe-a most impressive sight
from the air. Beyond stretches the whole northern plain, described
by Columbus as "a fair plain reaching three leagues inland ", and the
The landing strip at Cap Haitien is not too good. It has a soft
place in the middle while the first and third 1,000 feet are fairly hard
gravel. The hotel facilities in Cap Haitien are limited. The obvious
site for a hotel is the ruins of the villa occupied by General Leclerc
and his wife Pauline Bonaparte whom Napoleon sent to Haiti in 1801.
These ruins are just north of town in a charming site on the edge
of a good bathing spot.
To appreciate the meaning of the monuments of one of the most
dramatic and tragic chapters in the history of the western hemisphere,
it is necessary to outline one or two episodes.
In 1790 the whole island of Hispaniola, then called St. Domingue,
was France's richest colony and was populated by some 40,000 land-
owning whites and nearly half a million African slaves. Cruelty and
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
oppression plus the ideas emanating from the fall of the Bastille in
Paris resulted in a slave war that lasted from 1791 until its termi-
nation in complete victory for the Negroes in 1801 when Toussaint
l'Ouverture, their leader, was proclaimed Governor General of the
whole island. This was a period of great confusion and military
weakness in France but when Napoleon came into power he decided
to retake St. Domingue and punish the revolted slaves. He sent
General Leclerc and 20,000 troops which landed at several points.
Pauline, Napoleon's sister, married Leclerc and accompanied the
expeditionary force. The military operations were successful but
yellow fever decimated the forces to such an extent that the remnants
of the French forces were driven from the island in November 1803.
Seeing the grip of France loosening in the New World, Napoleon sold
the Louisiana Territory to the young United States in April 1803.
But all through the careers .of the first three rulers of the revolted
slaves, Tousiaint. Dessalines and Christophe' ran the haunting dread
of Napoleon's vengeance and it was under Emperor Dessalines in
1804 that Henry Christophe, then Governor of the Department of
the North, began the construction of the Citadel which was to be
the last refuge of Haitian independence should the French come back.
There is much that is legendary about the building of the Citadel.
One source says that the plans were drawn and the work supervised
by two captured French officers who were killed on its completion to
safeguard many structural secrets. Sir Algernon Aspinall, in his
Pocket Guide to the West Indies, says, "Designed, it is said, by a
Scotchman named Ferrier ", while H. P. Davis in Black Democracy
says that a Haitian mulatto named Henri Besse was the designer and
engineer. Whoever designed it had a vision and an imagination as
vast as the architect who conceived the Angkor Wat in Indo-China
or the Temple of Boro Budur in Java.
The site selected was the highest of a range of several peaks
called collectively le Bonnet a l'Eveque (Bishop's mitre) rising
abruptly 3,000 feet above the northern plain. The tip of the peak was
whittled off down to the solid rock to which the foundations are
pinned. It is roughly rectangular in shape except that its north face is
curved and tapers like a tower at the base of which a great masonry
prow like that of a battle ship juts out along the slope of the
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADP
mountain. The highest wall is 140 feet and the walls are said to be
as thick as 30 feet in places. The building material is shaped stone
(not in very large pieces) and mortar with brick insets at several
levels. Four floors of galleries armed with a total of 365 smooth bore
muzzle-loading guns commanded every avenue of approach. The
guns came from captured English and French forts and ships, and
in their variety are worth a monograph in themselves. Several have
the sunburst insignia of Louis XIV on the breech and "Libert6,
Egalit6 et Fraternit around the muzzle-which could have been
taken from the captured Bastille. How these enormous weights were
moved up the precipitous mountain trails that are the only means
of access is a mystery.
The whole Citadel is a mystery. This impregnable fortress built
like a ship of the line on top of a mountain with magazines and
storage space for cannon ball, powder, corn, beans, rice, gold and
water enough for a garrison of 10,000 to stand a four months' siege
makes it clear that these revolted African slaves were not, repeat
not, going back into slavery. Their fear of Napoleon's vengeance
may explain this outsize mountain fortress but can one explain the
African house servant of a French family in Cap Haitien who con-
ceived the idea of it and marshalled the architectural and engineering
skills and the unnumbered labourers who toiled up that awful hill
with neck-breaking loads on their heads for nearly a generation ?
As frozen human labour the Citadel has no equal.
Inaccessibility of the Citadel
From Cap Haitien there is an auto road to Milot, the village
from which the trail to the Citadel starts. It is one of the J. G. White
Company roads and was good. It is beginning to washboard badly.
The trail from Milot to the summit of Bonnet & I'Eveque is seven
kilometers (4.2 miles) of pure torture for man and beast. There is
no trail properly speaking. It is the washed out track of what used
to be a trail. The bare bed-rock is exposed in many places, the
gradient on some of the switch backs is 45 degrees ; it is full of loose
stones that turn and roll under foot and wherever there is seepage,
there is a bog hole. It is cruelty to animals to ride one of the little
barefooted horses up and down it-a trip that requires four hours
under present conditions.
The Citadel is Haiti's most valuable tourist asset. Visitors from
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
all over the world will come and see it if they can do so painlessly.
There is another trail from Grande Riviere to the Citadel,, longer
but on a better grade than that from Milot. This should be the basis
of a new jeep road, carefully surveyed, graded, drained and main-
tained, and jeeps should be available at Grande Riviere to take
parties up to the Citadel for a reasonable price. The idea that has
been advanced that difficult access to the Citadel enhances its
grandeur and romance is, to my mind, absurd. None of the splendour
will be lost if it is made accessible to tourists.
The regal state that was maintained by the slave-emperor
Christophe and his court is clearly indicated by the ruins of his
residential palace of Sans Souci at Milot. It was badly wrecked by
the earthquake of 1942 but there is enough of it left to show an
elaborate system of halls, reception rooms, galleries, courts and stair-
ways surrounded by barracks and terraces and servants quarters. It
is in the style of Louis XIV's palaces and reminds one of Marly by
reason of the canals and pipes with which the waters of the valley
stream were distributed throughout the palace and the grounds. It is
located at the head of a nearly circular valley in an easily defensible
position and directly behind the palace itself begins the steep trail
to the Citadel.
Both the ruins of Sans Souci and the Citadel are beginning to be
overgrown with bushes and trees sprouting in the interstices of the
stonework. Cleaning should be done if these monuments are to- be
preserved. The enormous disruptive power of the roots of woody
plants in the tropics is well illustrated by what has happened to the
monuments of ancient civilizations in Indo-China and Java..
Fishing and Shooting
Good sport fishing can be found close to Port-au-Prince in the
Gulf of Gonave. Tarpon are plentiful in the mouths of the streams
which flow into the Gulf north of the city while further out, off the
eastern end of the Ile de Gonave, there are sailfish, kingfish, Spanish
mackerel, bonito and other deep sea fish. On Etang Saumatre, the
lake at the head of the Cul de Sac near the Dominican frontier,
migratory waterfowl settle in large numbers in the winter. It is easily
reached in an hour from Port-au-Prince by a good auto, road.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
There are three cities in the -Carihbeanthat_ now have luxury
hotels-Hab' na. Ciudad Trujillo and San JuaRii\The Hotel Jaragua
in Ciudad Trujillo is situated strategically as regards travel distance
to those in the other two cities and offers a most comfortable and
attractive base from which to make leisurely trips to see what else
the country has to offer. It is essentially_a stop.-.o._er joint .rather'
than a one-day port-of call.
The Jaragua is situated directly on the sea front and surrounded
by a handsome park. Its architecture is modernistic-white paint over
concrete with plenty of monel metal and glass. On the sea side each
room has a balcony and some of the deluxe suites have, besides a
balcony, three bedrooms and baths, living room, dinette and
kitchenette. The bar has an outdoor terrace, there is a solarium on
the roof as well as a dance floor. The large salt water swimming pool
is surrounded by tables under marquees where lunches and drinks
are served. There are seventy-five rooms on four floors in addition
to the suites.
It is a unique hotel operation in that its owner, the Dominican.
Government,(wants the finest and most luxurious hotel in this part
of the Caribbean and is not worried if it does not show a profit..
The American Hotels Corporation of 570 Lexington Avenue, New
York City, operates the hotel under contract with a Board of which
the Under Secretary of State is chairman. The rates are high, very
high and purposely so since it is the moneyed vacationist that the
owner wishes to attract.
This, then, is the center and main attraction for tourist travel to
the Dominican Republic. From it one can see the country-one of
the most beautiful and productive in the Caribbean area. Vacation
needs of the local city d sellers ar e_ metby_cottaige_developments-in
the central mountain region.
The principal development is in a rolling, mountain valley twenty-
seven kilometers from La Vega at about 1,000 feet elevation. The
road from La Vega is wide and well laid out but its surface is badly
holed. It climbs through pine forests and breaks suddenly into this
rolling upland where country houses of well-to-do Dominican business-
men and officials are set about on knolls each surrounded by a flower
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
garden bright with dahlias, chrysanthemums, shasta daisies and
roses. The scene is cheery and comfortable and reminds one of
Massachusetts. There is a small hotel, the Nacional, which can
accommodate about twenty__guests. (Considerable new building is
going on and the place is evidently growing in popularity with the
local population. )
Forty kilometers further on to the southwest of Jarabacoa is the
mountain village of Constanza which is planned by the Government
for a hill station but which at present has only a few houses and the
most sketchy accommodations for visitors. It is considerably higher
and cooler than Jarabacoa from which it is separated by two high
ranges. For all practical purposes. Constanza may be considered in-
accessible at present since the road is impassable even for a jeep
during the rainy season. However, work is in progress on what will
be an excellent road from Jarabacoa, four kilometers of which have
About twenty-eight kilometers from Ciudad Trujillo along the
south shore to the eastward is a mile long, crescent shaped, white
sand beach known as Boca Chica, a_favourite bathing place for the
city dwellers. The bay is very shallow; one must go a quarter of a
mile out before a depth of one fathom is reached. The bottom is pure
white sand and a line of reefs across the entrance makes it safe from
sharks. The white breaking reef, the dark blue of the deep water
and the pale green of the shallows make a striking colour scheme.
There are a half dozen good looking, modern white stucco houses
with attractive terraces along the shore, but no development of the
beach for public use.
Its value as a resort could be established with the construction of
a casino with a clean, well-run bathing establishment, bar and
Drive to the North Coast
From Ciudad Trujillo, the first ten miles are through rolling
pasture lands standing thick with bright green guinea grass and
dotted with good looking beef cattle showing a strong Brahman strain.
The forests have been girdled and burnt well back into the hills
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
to make these pastures and the process is still going on. At Monsignor
de Noel one strikes the south edge of the huge inland valley called
the Cibao which was discovered by the expedition Columbus sent
inland from his trip along the north coast of Hispaniola in January
1493. This is now intensively cultivated in corn, beans, rice, cassava,
coffee and cacao on small farms and is rapidly becoming the food
supply reserve of the eastern Caribbean. North of the Cibao is
another range of mountains from the crest of which there is a
magnificent view of the. north coastal plain and the sea. The terminal
of the road is Puerta Plata, a sleepy but picturesque little town on
an excellent harbour. There should be a good hotel on the north coast
where tourists, who take this drive across the island could spend
the. night comfortably and return next day by another route farther
to the eastward, but there is none at present..)
There is a good site for a hotel at Sosua, twenty-seven kilometers
east of Puerta Plata over a good but unsurfaced road. This is a
colony of 530 Jewish refugees settled under the auspices of the
Dominican Government and the Joint Distribution Association, a
Jewish relief organization with headquarters at Seventy-one West
Forty-seventh Street, New York City. They have 25,000 acres, most
of it in pasture, and 125 buildings in scattered settlements. Their
main industry-dairy products-is carried on by a cooperative. Other
industries are meat products from their beef cattle and hogs-fancy
beef and pork sausage and loaf-with recipes brought from their
home farms in Europe. They also operate a furniture and hardwood
The settlement headquarters is situated on a 500-yard crescent
shaped white sand beach-the best beach in that part of the island.
It shelves fairly rapidly and there is a small surf. There is, however,
a reef across the center of the bay which moderates the surf and
should deter sharks. Immediately back of the beach is a thirty-foot
rise and a bench paralleling the beach. Here is an excellent site for
a modest fifty-room hotel and cottage development.
There are several small cottages on this beach at present which
should be torn down and an attractive cottage hotel development
should be carefully planned by a.competent architect.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Beata Island Fisheries
Off the southernmost point of the Dominican Republic are three
small islands, Beata, Alto Velo and Los Frailes. Columbus discovered
them while cruising along the south coast of Hispaniola in the late
summer of 1494 on his second voyage. He sent a man to climb Alto
Velo to look for his consorts the San Juan and the Cardara, probably
from the very spot where the lighthouse stands today.. On his third
voyage he anchored under the lee of Beata on August 20, 1498, en
route from his discovery of the mainland of South America in the
Gulf of Paria to the Ozama River, the present site of Ciudad Trujillo.
But its interest today is the fact that the triangle marked by these
islands is one of the best sport fishing grounds in the Caribbean.
Reached by power cruiser from Caldara Bay in nine hours or from
Barahona in four hours, they will be easily accessible by auto if and
when the road is extended from Barahona to Cape Beata. Two good
cruisers completely equipped for deep sea fishing based on Barahona
could serve the area. Sailfish have been caught here and marlin have
been seen. The ordinary week-end catch would average twenty to
thirty good fish and might include blue fin tuna, albicote, bonito,
Spanish mackerel, kingfish, wahoo, yellow tail, amber jack, groupers
There is an excellent site for a fisherman's lodge on the southern-
most of the two long beaches on the lee (western) side of Beata
Island. A water supply could undoubtedly be developed as has been
done for a Dominican Coast Guard station on the northern beach
and logs for the walls could be obtained from the dense forest with
which the island is covered. This, together with a small landing pier
would make possible week-long fishing parties with congenial (male)
This island possession of the United States set in blue tropic
seas with urban, beach and mountain attractions the equal of any
Caribbean Island should be a mecca for tourists. It has the charm
of Spanish culture, fortifications and monuments of the early sixteenth
century, tropical agriculture and "forests, social and economic and
political developments and experiments that should be of absorbing
interest. It also has the convenience, rare in the Caribbean. of good
roads throughout the area, San Juan with its Spanish influence, scenes,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
music and night life could be as attractive a resort asis Habana.
There is every reason why both Atlantic and Gulf ports should
have direct connection and a profitable passenger traffic with San
Juan, the capital and largest city, and steamship companies will
doubtless rise to this need as soon as possible in the post-war period.
(The importance of San Juan as a cross-roads for air travel is con-
siderable now and is bound to increase greatly after the war. Here
is a reservoir of potential tourist travel if inducements for stop-overs
(Another problem is the matter of providing sufficient accommoda-
tions for tourists in San Juan and other large cities of the Island
which combine comfort, novelty, beauty, entertainment and good
service at moderate rates.)The two high_jpricedluxury hotels in San
Juan do not meet the requirements nor do the numerous boarding
houses and pensions help to fill the need to any marked degree.
There are a few good restaurants specializing in the Spanish cuisine,
but many more are needed.
If and when proper and adequate accommodations are provided
and transportation assured at a reasonable cost then is the time to
tell the world and especially the United States what Puerto Rico
has to offer the tourist. The average continental American can and
should be educated to include Puerto Rico in his mental itinerary,
Puerto Rico, meaning "rich port ", offers the charm of a small
island and the interest of a large one. As distances are measured by
American tourists, the island is small-100 miles long, 35 miles wide.
However, its mountainous nature and its population of two million
offer surprising scenic, climatic and cultural diversity. Its smallness
makes it possible for the tourist to look at a small nation with an
historic and cultural tradition of its own in a few days. The island
offers all the charms of a Caribbean tropical setting plus historic
sites matched in interest by only a few other places in the Caribbean
Puerto Rico's recorded history dates back to November 19, 1493,
when Columbus discovered it-the only part of the United States of
America where he ever set foot. In 1508, the first settlement was
established by Ponce de Le6n, the famed seeker of the Fountain of
Youth, who became the first Governor General. However, the historic
monuments which have been preserved date from about the middle
of the sixteenth century,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
The San Juan Area.
From the historic and scenic points of view San Juan is most
impressive.(It is situated on an islet two and one-half miles long by
one-half mile wide and is connected with the main island by three
bridges.) Founded in 1521, it still retains the charm of its historical
past. This modern, enterprising commercial center, dotted with
skyscrapers and remnants of Moorish and Arab architecture, offers
magnificent contrasts. Like many ancient cities, San Juan was
enclosed by sea and land walls, running to thicknesses of twenty
feet. Some of these old fortifications, commanding the spacious view
of San Juan harbour, are still mounted by ancient cannon and
picturesque sentry boxes.
The visitor will be impressed by the staunch bulwarks of El
Morro, Casa Blanca and San Cristobal Castle-one of the most
extensive and complete fortifications in the Western Hemisphere. La
Fortaleza, originally designed as the island's principal fort and directly
beneath which is the only remaining gate to the city, has been
converted into the executive residence of the Governor.
Old San Juan, with six narrow streets running from east to west
and six from north to south, is the home of most of the Government
offices, both Federal and Insular.(The city is the center of the
intellectual, commercial and financial activities of Puerto Rico.)
However, the hustle and bustle of a modern busy metropolis does
not overshadow the appeal of the past.
San Juan of the sixteenth century in its architecture, streets and
atmosphere still exists but requires for the full expression of its
charm some restoration. (Certain streets, selected for their interest
and atmosphere, should be restored to their original appearance.)
Some of the old buildings should also be restored; with special
attention to the courtyards which were a feature of the old Colonial
Spanish casas. A few of these buildings could well be converted into
hostelries and restaurants.
ITo supplement the historic interest, various recreational facilities
could be easily developed in the area adjacent to the city to provide
sea bathing, boating in the bay, horseback riding and dancingJ
San Juan itself now has several hotels for tourists,(but these
should be added to and improved in accordance with tourist ideas
of comfort and cleanliness.)
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Isla Verde and Loiza
)' pA few miles east of San Juan are the Isla Verde and Loiza areas,
historically Negro in background. In this area there has been pre-
served an atmosphere different from the rest of the island. It is the
area where the bomba, a type of music sung to drum accompaniment,
is still flourishing. There are several restaurants and dance pavilions
which could be improved and made attractive to tourists Local
orchestras could be used here to good effect.
Puerto Rico has preserved native music and dance forms among
which the danza, bomba, plena and decima can be adapted for tourist
purposes. The rhythms are reminiscent of the rhumba. The words
sung to the plena generally deal with some public event in a satiric
vein which will appeal to American humor. Native orchestras could
be used generally at places of amusement and restaurants to give
local colour a technique employed very successfully in Mexico.
Coconut groves along the beach furnish desirable sites for tourist
Of the large number of beautiful sites on both coasts of the
island, perhaps the one offering the greatest possibilities for' develop-
ment is the Luquillo site.
On a flat bench on a ridge about 1,300 feet elevation one-half
mile outside the north boundary of the Caribbean National Forest
through which passes the motor road across the island is a site on
which could be built an up-to-date tourist hotel. The elevation is
such as to give it a wonderful climate and view. The site. is within
easy reach of the Luquillo Beach below (four and one-half miles)
and the cottage development in the rain forest of the Caribbean
National Forest (four miles) above. An architect and landscape
engineer should study and report on the project which is an hour's
drive from San Juan, twenty minutes from Fajardo and forty minutes
from Ensenada Honda.
The Luquillo Beach, a mile and a half crescent of yellow sand,
backed by a coconut grove encloses a blue bay protected by a line
of white breaking reefs. The coconut plantation, which is young and
clear of undergrowth, furnishes excellent cottage sites which should
be operated in connection with the hotel on the ridge above. A strip
along the beach should be left clear and the frontline of cottage
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
properties should be the edge of the coconut grove. Every quarter of
a mile or so should be a section of beach with bath houses reserved
for trippers from San Juan. At present, the whole property, beach
and grove, is privately owned.
A short distance up the road from the hotel site is the famous
rain forest, El Yunque, which is within and protected by the Carib-
bean National Forest. Here is a trail and cottage recreational
development which has been constructed by the United States Forest
Service. It has a central log dining hall, dance floor and bar and
several surrounding small two-room concrete cabins each with two
beds, toilet and septic tank. A mountain stream provides two
swimming pools. The forest in the vicinity, which is rendered
accessible by several miles of foot trails, has all the characteristics
of high tropical jungle-buttressed hardwoods, tree ferns, thick
undergrowth, flowering vines, colourful .birds and insects.
Taken together the hotel, the beach and the forest offer the
possibilities of an attractive and well-rounded development to serve
the people of San Juan as well as visitors from the Continent.
The southeastern corner of the island is dry, although much of
the land is irrigated and used for sugar cultivation. It has an
atmosphere distinctly different from the north coast.
Maunabo, a small town in the southeast corner of the island is
one of a number of places where tourist accommodations should be
provided. It is an excellent place for a dude ranch. There are many
horses in the surrounding country and there is a great deal of open
space for horseback riding. The surrounding country is hilly. Most
of the southern coast is now given over to the cultivation of sugar
but the higher lands are still used as range.
Central Aguirre, a large sugar mill, located between Guayama
and Salinas on Jobos Bay, has for many years made it a practice
to entertain visitors. There is a guest house whose facilities could be
expanded, and guests could be taken on a tour of the sugar mill
and the surrounding countryside. Jobos Bay offers excellent bathing
Ponce, on the south coast, is the second largest city in the island.
It impresses visitors as a clean, modern and progressive urban corn-
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
munity.jln the city there is a night club which offers dancing and
whose owners are looking forward to tourist possibilitiesJ Ponce has
a unique central plaza. It is the site of the Cathedral and of the
Parque de Bombas (fire house)-an ornate, gayly painted structure
reminiscent of playroom architecture. Following the old Spanish
tradition, the citizens of Ponce foregather in the Plaza in the evenings.
The addition of music and a few sidewalk cafes would produce a
major tourist attraction.
A restaurant on the road between Ponce and Adjuntas offers
possibilities. It is situated on high ground on what was formerly a
coffee plantation and commands a fine view of mountain scenery.
The food is exceptionally good. This restaurant, however, would need
further improvement and modernization to take care of the tourist
The coffee region of Puerto Rico is contained within the triangle
formed by Adjuntas, Lares and Maricao. This is high land covered
with forest in the shade of which coffee is grown. Here are some
large, old plantation houses generally built of heavy cedar planking.
Coffee plantations such as Esperanza, Buenavista and Arbela could
be converted with a little improvement into tourist hostelries or even
dude ranches. The countryside is rugged and beautiful. There is
abundant water in the area for the development of swimming pools.
Horesback riding could be promoted, and local music could provide
colour and atmosphere.
San GermAn, the second oldest settlement on the island, dates
back to 1521. It has an old and interesting church, Porta Coelis. The
town is the home of the Polytechnic Institute which, with its
attractive campus, constitutes a point of interest for tourists.
Renovated, the Hotel Oasis, formerly the large home of one of the
wealthiest families of the district, could furnish comfortable overnight
accommodations. The building, of purely Spanish architecture, has
an inner patio which has been converted into an attractive beer
La Parguera, due south of San GermAn on the coast, also offers
tourist possibilities, It is a small picturesque fishing village. Several
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
vacation cottages have already been built there by wealthy Puerto
Ricans for their own use. Along the shore and on the small islets in
the bay are quantities of sea shells. Coral formations and tropical
fish of many varieties combine to create a spectacular and easily
visible underwater world of great interest.
fMayaguez, the third largest city on the island, has a tourist house
called the Coconut Grove, with simple accommodations and a good
restaurant. It is situated on the beach, and offers facilities for bath-
ing, sailing and fishing./In the town there are three institutions of
interest to travellers-tihe College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts,
the Institute of Tropical Agriculture, and the Federal Experiment
Station. Their gardens are of exceptional beauty.
Outside of Quebradillas, on the north coast, there is a road house
offering overnight accommodations on the seashore. It is ideally
situated, but its accommodations should be improved.
Near Cidra, a tourist camp has already been developed called
Treasure Island. This has cabins and a good restaurant. There are
also a swimming pool, tennis courts and riding horses. The resort is
situated on high ground, with a good view across a gently sloping
mountain valley. The countryside produces tobacco and citrus fruits.
The one or two-day tourist could be landed at San Juan in the
morning and picked up in Ponce by his boat late the same night or
next day. He could see historical San Juan in the morning, devote
an hour or so to a local beach, have a late lunch at Cidra, or some
other mountain locality, reach Ponce by late afternoon, and spend
the evening in the city.
For the tourist who can spend a week on the island the following
itinerary could be followed: First day, San Juan; second day,
Luquillo and El Yunque; third day, sugar area on the south coast,
spending the night in Ponce; fourth day, coffee area-Adjuntas,
Maricao-spending the night on a coffee plantation; fifth day, San
Gerain and the fishing village of La Parguera, spending the night
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
in San Germin; sixth day, Mayaguez, spending the night there;
seventh day, San Juan.
When tourist facilities have been further developed, it is reason-
able to expect that Puerto Rico will prove attractive to long term
vacationists. The island is rich in the raw material for tourist trade.
THE EASTERN GROUP
The Eastern Group of islands comprises those that stretch from
Puerto Rico in the north to Barbados and Trinidad in the south.
They include territories of the United States, Great Britain, France
and the Netherlands. Many of the islands are isolated at present
from the main travel routes of the Caribbean and from one another
yet have certain features that render them fascinating. In the first
place they have the charm that isolation gives. They are unspoiled,
and if one ever gets as far as, say, Anguilla he has all the thrill of
an explorer. They teem with the history of the French and English
wars and with the American War of the Revolution. The people have
different origins on the different islands which are interesting to note
and trace. A large number of the islands have beaches-most of them
undeveloped and all of them beautiful.
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
The quaint little town of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas of
the United States Virgin group still has a strong Danish flavor and
its street signs indicate this or that gade. Bluebeard's Castle Hotel
on the summit of a high ridge above the town is comfortable,
picturesque and well-managed. It has one of the finest views in the
Caribbean from its spacious terrace.
As ,an island, St. John is the most beautiful of the United States
Virgin group. Its west coast is dotted with beaches and the Caneel
Bay bungalow development has shown what may be done at com-
paratively low cost to make them usable for recreational purposes.
Here two and three-room bungalows with kitchen, toilet and shower
and cook (!) are available, in limited numbers, it is true, for a
moderate monthly rental. There is nothing to prevent similar
development on at least ten other beaches on Government House
Bay and Hognest Bay. The swimming, fishing and sailing in the
waters around St. John are all that a vacationist could wish.
The island is covered with second growth tropical forest dating
from the time, some sixty years ago, when a slave uprising that was
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
at first successful, wiped out the Danish sugar, plantations. The
industry was never restored on the island and the forest growth that
has occupied the old cane fields not only furnishes walks and rides
of great beauty but is of deep scientific interest to the professional
Furthermore, St. John is the only well wooded island in the Virgin
group-British or American-and the only source of charcoal, the
poor man's cooking fuel, for the people of Charlotte Amalie and
Road Town in the British Virgins. Under scientific forest manage-
ment there is no reason why St. John's woods cannot supply the
needs of the group for. forest products for an indefinite time to come
-and this without detracting in the slightest from scenic value.
It is, therefore, urgent that immediate steps be taken to create
a National Forest comprising the whole of the island of St. John.
The coastline and a strip a quarter to a half-mile inland should be
managed with the recreational use paramount and a working plan
prepared for the interior forest which would keep strongly in mind
its scenic and recreational values but at the same time provide for
the utilization of short-rotation charcoal material on a sustained
yield basis. The systems of coppice or coppice under standards might
Antigua now has a hotel which was intended for the tourist
trade-the Antigua Beach Hotel near the airport and the Army
Base. It is jointly owned by the Antigua Government and private
capital. Since its capacity is only about twenty-five persons and it
is often called upon to take care of thirty or more when Pan Air
planes are grounded in Antigua and Pan Air has first call on its
accommodations, it is not satisfactory as a headquarters for vacation
travel. A new hotel could well be located at a beach on the northern
coast-Fort James, Corbizon Point or Judge's Bay, for example-
which would be quieter and roomier than the. Antigua Beach Hotel.
More facilities should be provided for the entertainment of the guests
in the way of bathing facilities and sports. These guests, it should
be remembered, will comprise most of the vacationists who will be
visiting any or all of the other islands in the, Leeward Island group.
The island of Antigua is deeply indented with many bays most
of which have fine beaches at some point in their shore line. There
is practically no beach development. Besides the beaches mentioned
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
above, there are Half Moon Bay on Falmouth Harbour on the south
and Willoughby on the southeast. All of these beaches and, in fact,
the whole island are accessible by an elaborate system of narrow
paved roads which require much repair work.
On the south coast of Antigua in the lee of a range of hills ending
in the commanding point of Shirley Heights is English Harbour, the
naval base of the British High Seas Fleet in the Caribbean from
1725 to 1889. The heyday of the base was from 1784 to 1787 when
Lord Nelson in his flagship, H.M.S. Boreas, commanded the fleet and
the station. It is a highly interesting relic of the old wind-jamming
navies and should by all means be preserved for study by historians
and naval experts. It is built on made ground surrounded by a cut
stone sea wall that gives a depth of three fathoms all around and
contains what are rapidly becoming the ruins of the commandant's
house, officers' quarters, seamen's barracks, paymaster's office, sail
lofts, storehouses, sawmill, boat building shop and careenage. The
woodwork in all of these buildings (except the officers' quarters) is
reaching the last stages of decay and most of the roof beams have
given away and the roofs have fallen in. Recently a survey has been
made of the works which would be necessary to restore the buildings
There is a small landing strip four miles from Basseterre suitable
for use by the seven-passenger Lockheeds used by the British West
Indies Airways and a hotel, Shorty's, on the "Circus in the town.
This is clean and well run but can accommodate only six persons
and while adequate for transient and transit travellers cannot be
considered as a tourist hotel. If one is built, it should be to the north
of town near the country club.
There are no suitable bathing beaches on the northern peninsula
of St. Kitts, the only part of the island that is supplied with roads.
The small southern peninsula has excellent white sand beaches at
Frigate Bay, Major's Bay and Cockleshell Bay. These are accessible
at present only by boat. A road connecting them with Basseterre
and bathing houses or inexpensive bungalows at each beach would
be distinctly worthwhile.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Close to the leeward shore near the north end of St. Kitts is
Brimstone Hill, 780 feet high, which was heavily fortified between
1690 and 1700 with one of the best designed and strongest Vauban-
type of works in the. New World. This was at the height of the
French and English struggle for supremacy in the Caribbean. It
remained in British hands until the French took it after a siege and
concentrated bombardment in 1789 during the American Revo-
Some restoration work has been done on the fort by a local
committee, but considerable more could be done to advantage. It is
a historical monument of great value and it should be completely
restored after a study made by a competent military engineer.
Accessible only by sea from St. Kitts, Nevis has less than her
neighbours to offer in the way of attractions for the traveller. The
Bath House Hotel, its principal attraction, is a relic of the early
eighteenth century when slave operated sugarcane plantations, control
of the sea and a steady market had created a world of wealth and
fashion in the Indies. It was then the thing to go to Nevis and take
the waters as one went to Bath in England. The hot baths are still
there and doubtless as hot and as curative as they ever were.
The islands of Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius, Saba, St.
Bartholomew, St. Martin and Anguilla lie in a line not over eighty
miles long from north to south. At present there is practically no
communication between them except by casual schooner or sloop.
Each presents points of interest. None of them has accommodations
for visitors except of the sketchiest sort. What is needed is a service
of two or three good sixty-foot power cruisers of the Chris-Craft,
Mathews or Peyton type capable of sleeping six to eight passengers
with crew's quarters forward and all accessories and amenities for
living aboard. These might be based on Basseterre and available for
charter to parties of visitors who could go where they wanted and
stay as long as they liked up and down this string of quaint and
interesting islands, living on their own floating hotels.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Although there is little to see on 'Statius its history is interesting
and at one point closely touched that of the United States. The
Dutch occupied the island in 1632, and with one or two piratical
interludes have held it ever since. It has always been maintained as
an open market and in the late 1600's and early 1700's Orangestad,
its little capital, was one of the three open slave markets in the
Caribbean where slaves were brought from Africa and from the
Spanish, French and British islands and freely bought and sold. It
was this open door policy which brought disaster in 1781 when the
warehouses along the waterfront were bursting with goods and
munitions of war brought from France for the American revolutionists.
One of the American privateers coming in to refit received the first
salute ever fired to the American flag. But on February 3, 1781,
Admiral Rodney with two British naval squadrons sailed into the
harbour and opened a bombardment which reduced the waterfront
This unique island is an extinct volcanic crater rising sheer out
of the sea with no surrounding reef, no beaches and no landing. The
town at the top is called Bottom. The crater is intensively cultivated
and well watered from the clouds that nearly always hover over its
top. The men of Saba are the. best sailors in the Caribbean and are
taught navigation in their boyhood by the old Saba. skippers who
have retired to this sea-going rock. The captain of nearly every inter-
island Caribbean schooner is a Saban.
St. Barts, as it is always called by Caribbeaners, was acquired by
settlement by the French in 1639. It contains eight square miles of
rocks and brush but is indented by many deep-water bays and coves
which made it an ideal place for buccaneers in the early 1700's.
France traded it to Sweden in 1783 for certain shipping privileges in
Swedish ports but took it back in 1877 after a plebiscite, which went
350 to 1 in favor of the French, and a pay-off of 400,000 francs. It is
now a dependency of Guadeloupe.
St. Martin, a little island of thirty-eight square miles, has the
peculiar distinction of having been under the sovereignty of two
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
European powers, France and the Netherlands, since 1647 with never
a fight. In fact during the troublous times of 1942-3 when the French
colonies in the West Indies were cut off from the mother country
both by enemy submarines and divided loyalties, the Dutch fed the
French half of St. Martin with supplies from Curacao. Philipville,
the Dutch capital on the south coast, is connected with Marigot,
the French town on the north coast, by a good motor road but no
one knows where the international boundary crosses it.
This little-known island has a charm that is hard to define but
there is something fascinating about it. The air is fresh and the
breeze is what they call salubrious." The land consists of low rolling
hills and everywhere the eye meets pleasing-not grand-scenes, neat
houses, sheep in stonewalled pastures, fields of pigeon peas, the main
crop of the island. Something about it reminds one of New England.
The people are superior and own their small plots of land. Dr.
McDonald, the Warden, believes it is the pride of ownership that
keeps them content on their wind swept and stony little island. They
work for wages in St. Thomas and Tortola and improve their places
There is no hotel on the island but there is an excellent site for
one at Island Harbour on the east end. An inexpensive establishment
with central dining and service rooms with bungalows built as the
demand develops would meet the need. The surrounding country
lends itself to the making of a golf course and the small bay is an
ideal yacht harbour. There are more and better bathing beaches on
Anguilla than on any "other of the small islands in the Leeward
The Anguillans are good boat builders and if supplied with
designs and instructions could build any sort of sailing craft desired.
Perhaps a one-design "Anguilla class" racing fleet could be built
up. Cruises for picnics and fishing to Lhe outer cays, Dog Island,
Prickly Pear Cays and Scrub Islands, would be an added attraction.
Reef and pelagic fish are plentiful along the north side of
Anguilla and guides are available but not boats or gear. The ponds
on each end of the island have seasonal visits from migratory water-
fowl-duck, snipe and plover.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Formerly the property of the Codrington family, wealthy planta-
tion owners of Antigua, Barbuda was left to its ex-slaves when
emancipation in 1834 made many of the British landed proprietors
throw in their hands. It is the least developed and least populous
of all the British West Indies today and apart from a small area of
cultivation close to the one village, is practically a wilderness covered
with thick impenetrable brush. It is, however, a sportsmen's paradise.
It was stocked with European fallow deer in the early days, and wild
pig -the descendants of tame hogs who have taken to the brush.
The ponds along the south coast offer duck (teal, whistler and white
cheek), plover, curlew and snipe. In the brush are wild guinea fowl
and whiteheaded pigeon. The island is surrounded by reefs and
lagoons and fish are plentiful -jacks, snappers, groupers, grunts,
parrot fish, trigger fish, surgeon fish and all the other bright colored
species found on coral bottoms and, in the deeper waters, bonito,
mackerel, barracuda, kingfish and dolphin.
The only village on the island fronts on a landlocked lagoon and
cannot be reached by boat. A landing should be developed on the
mile-long white sand beach which stretches westward from Spanish
Point. With this should go buoys and marks to guide visiting boats
through the outlying reefs.
Other facilities needed for the development of the fish and game
resources of the island are i
1. A hostel type hunting lodge at the landing with rough but
comfortable camps at two or three strategic points inland.
2. Clearing of roads and trails to make the interior, particularly
the Highlands, accessible from the south shore.
3. Education of guides in the technique of sport fishing and
4. Provision of suitable boats.
5. The island should be efficiently policed and closed seasons
enforced on all animals and birds. Sportsmen should be
required to take out licenses.
6. Fishing gear, guns and ammunition should be made available
for hire locally.
GUADELOUPE AND GRANDE TERRE
These two French islands are generally known as Guadeloupe,
although actually separated by a narrow strait called the Riviera
dARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Sallee, a five-fathom channel crossed by a drawbridge which joins the
road systems of the two islands. Other islands in the group are Marie
Galante, Desirade and Les Saintes, a group of four small islets five
miles off the south point of Guadeloupe. Although historically
interesting and very beautiful, these islands are very inaccessible and
will never be frequented by tourists until some other means is
provided besides a bi-monthly seaplane landing in the harbour of
Pointe & Pitre. There are a number of sites for a landing field near
the city on Grande Terre and until one is built this group will continue
to be off the beaten path. Basse Terre, the capital of Guadeloupe
and seat of government, has no harbour, simply an open roadstead
and no landing place for sea or land planes and no sites for a field.
Grand Terre is rolling country, flat in the north, partly covered
with low forest of thorn, lignum vitae and white cedar, with consider-
able sugar in small plantations much of which is manufactured 'in
family distilleries into rum. Open meadows called "prairies are
scattered through the cane fields where good-looking Brahman cattle
graze. At le Gozier, the first town east of Pointe & Pitre, there is a
good white sand beach protected by a reef with neat white stucco
bathing houses and a club house with restaurant and bar on a rise
of ground behind it. It is popular for family Sunday picnics by the
elite of Pointe h Pitre.
At Sainte Anne, a little further along on the round-the-island
road, is a very beautiful church built since the hurricane of September
12, 1928. This storm which was followed by a tidal wave was one of
the major disasters of the Caribbean but far less has been written
about it than the eruption of Mt. Pel6e. It entirely devastated Grande
Terre and killed 1,500 people. The Government of France voted 100
million francs and 400 million more were raised by popular subscrip-
tion to repair the damage. The result is that every village has a new
and attractive group of buildings around the central square -a
church, a mairie and a school.
Le Moule on the Atlantic coast was once the busiest sugar ship-
ping port on the island. Its harbour was crowded with sailing ships
loading for Marseilles and le Havre. The hurricane tore out the
breakwater and now the whole Atlantic surf rolls into what was the
harbour and smashes against'the town's sea wall.
Just off Pointe a Pitre in the bay called the Petit Cul de Sac
Marin are four little islets, Corson, Boissard, Chass6 and Cassin, that
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
are attractively built up with cottages and used for week-end parties
by their owners and their guests from the city.
On the 10th of April 1782, in the channel between the four small
islands known as Les Saintes and Guadeloupe, the relative position of
France and Great Britain in the Caribbean was settled in one of the
greatest naval battles in history- the Battle of the Saints as it is
called. When the French Admiral de Grasse defeated the British fleet
off Yorktown and so forced Cornwallis' surrender, he sailed for the
Caribbean with his victorious fleet to complete the job of breaking
the British grip on the New World and he would have done so had not
Admiral Rodney with thirty-six ships of the line against his thirty-
five overwhelmingly defeated him in a three-day fight to the finish.
Guadeloupe is a high island. Its north-south axis is a range of
mountains that rises to 5,000 feet. On the south end is the active
volcano of Soufri&re active in the sense that its crater continually
smokes. The lower slopes of the mountains are covered with sugar-
cane particularly on the windward or eastern side which is less steep
than the Caribbean side. Along the north and northeast coast where
the perimeter road runs close to the sea there are several attractive
little bays and beaches all undeveloped.
Basse Terre, the seat of government of Guadeloupe and its
dependencies, is a clean attractive town very French in appearance
with its public buildings, the Conseil G6neral, the Palais du Justice,
the Governor's office and residence, all built since the hurricane of
1928. A good hotel, the Royal, of twenty rooms stands on the public
square and matches the government buildings in architecture.
The hill station for government officials and the haut monde of'
Basse Terre lies half an hour up a steep motor climb to St. Claude on
the slopes of the Soufriere. Here are some rather pretentious houses
and grounds, some of them having been built in the early 1800's -
Napoleon's time as regimental headquarters and officers' messes for
the French troops stationed on Guadeloupe. The road up the west
coast loops around the heads of bays and climbs steeply over high,
rocky, black lava points and the scenery reminds one of Mendocino
County in California. The only thing approaching a port on this
side is Anse a la Barque at the village of Marigot where, in good
weather, steamers can anchor and load by lighters.
Guadeloupe and Grande Terre are beautiful, historic and
picturesque and well supplied with good roads well maintained. They
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
are out of bounds for the average tourist, however, until their ports
are included in regular steamer schedules or until an adequate landing
field is built. They have an article of local household manufacture
that might become popular in the tourist trade coolie hats such as
are worn in French Indo-China made of woven bamboo and
covered on top with white and underneath with dark blue or green
cotton cloth. There is a light round frame for the head and they tie
under the chin with tapes. They are distinctly de rigeur for local
Dominica has no harbour Roseau is an open roadstead exposed
from north by east through west to south-southwest limited
accommodations and no airplane landing field. It has, however, a
very good motor road, running the length of the island save for a
seven-mile gap over the central range, which is still under construc-
tion. All of the advertised tourist attractions- the Fresh Water
Lake, the Boiling Springs and the Carib Indian Reserve -are
inaccessible by auto and can be reached only by hiking or horseback.
However, Dominica has the charm of a wild and rugged beauty.
Its high, cloud-capped mountains with slopes up to eighty per cent
are covered with dense tropical rain forests with huge buttressed trees
and hanging lianas. It is just the place for husky young people who
wish to take two or three-day rough camping trips on foot or horse-
back through grand and shady forests with marvelous scenery. Until
the island is made easily accessible to travellers and provided with
hotel accommodations, there is little that can be done to develop its
recreational resources which consist mainly of mountain scenery.
The Carib Indian Reserve, where are living the last survivors of
a race that once successfully disputed the occupation of Tobago, St.
Lucia and Dominica with both the French and the British, lies on the
north end of the windward side and is accessible only by trail. There
are less than a hundred pure bred Caribs left, most of the dwellers in
the Reserve being of mixed blood. The Caribs are very interesting
ethnologically and they still make what they gave the people of the
Caribbean dugout canoes of a beautiful and seaworthy design and
the hammock. They also make a pack basket of double woven
bamboo with an inner-lining of banana leaves which fits together like
a telescope suitcase and is waterproof. Here is another article for the
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Like Guadeloupe, Martinique is beautiful, interesting and well
supplied with roads but inaccessible for visitors from the outside
world. An irregular seaplane service from Trinidad and San Juan
and an occasional French freight steamer from St. Thomas, Ciudad
Trujillo or San Juan are the only means of reaching it. The island is
particularly fascinating on account of its Frenchness and interest-
ing on account of the volcanic explosion of Mt. Pel4e and the destruc-
tion of St. Pierre.
Fort de France is a clean picturesque town on a beautiful bay
and very French. Its main square carries a statue of the Empress
Josephine, who was born June 23, 1763, across the bay on a plantation
called la Pagerie, near Trois Islets. The Martiniquais have a project
to renovate this square as a miniature Place de I'Opera with a Cafe
de la Paix on the corner tout a fait comme a Paris. Up the hill
inland from the town is a small but very attractive hotel, the Vieux
Moulin, with twenty rooms, a good table d'hote and a small swimming
pool. Vacant ground on both sides provides room for expansion.
The view across the bay is superb.
The road north along the west side of the island is narrow but
its surface is not bad considering the shortage of shipping for asphalt.
It runs steeply over the points and rounds the heads of the bays at
sea level through several fishing villages with brightly painted dugout
canoes and 200-yard long haul seines.
St. Pierre is near the north end of the island. It was a thriving
seaport town of 28,000 population which shipped sugar and rum to
France prior to May 8, 1902. On that day a volcanic blast of gas
and flame blew out the south side of Mt. Pelee five miles away and
St. Pierre, directly in line with the discharge, was incinerated in a
matter of minutes as if by a gigantic flame thrower. Out of the total
population there was one survivor The stone walls of the burned
out town still stand along the streets with present-day wooden houses
among and on them but one is ever mindful of the disaster. Before
the war cruise ships anchored in the roadstead and landed their
passengers to look at ruins and the small museum. They then
proceeded by motor car over the rugged coast road through Belle
Fontaine and Schoelcher, named for the Swiss patriot who brought
about the emancipation of the slaves in the French colonies in 1848
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
At Fort de France the travellers rejoined the ship. Six or eight cruise
ships a year used to send 12,000 tourists over this route.
The inland or mountain road from St. Pierre runs through Morne
Rouge, a village on the south slope of Mt. Pelde (meaning "peeled "
because the mountain is bare from eruptions and erosion) from which
the trail to the crater takes off a four-hour climb on horseback and
afoot. Here there is a small, clean seven-room hotel, the Mt. Pel6e,
where climbers may spend the night. The road runs through
impressive mountain rain forest scenery to Fort St. Denis and Pont
de 1'Alma where, at the bridge across the Alma River, there is a swim-
ming hole with dressing rooms for men and for women. This is a
popular Sunday resort for Fort de France people. Further on is the
village of Balata with a replica in miniature of the basilica of Sacr6
Coeur in Paris and the two mineral springs of Absalon and Didier,
the latter furnishing the bottled charged water used throughout
Martinique for rum and soda.
An airport is planned near Lamentin which is in a wide valley at
the head of Fort de France Bay which will be within twenty minutes
of the center of town when the projected connecting road is built.
The road through the mountains to Francois on the east coast
emphasizes the difference between windward and lee side vegetation.
On the former there are thorn brush, cactus and open grassy downs
- good sheep and cattle range.
The east coast from Francois to Vauclin is indented by several
deep bays at the mouths of which are small brush covered islands
thirty to forty feet high with a little beach or two on each. The
whole group is flanked on the sea side by a five-mile long coral reef
called the Banc de Roches Madreporiques which protects the islands
from the Atlantic swell and from sharks. These islands are owned by
Fort de France families who have built vacation cottages on them
and a charming summer community has grown up which visits back
and forth in sailboats of the Snipe type and holds swimming teas
and cocktail (or rather rum punch) parties.
On the extreme south point of the island at the head of the Anse
des Salines is a beautiful mile-long, white sand beach backed by a
coconut plantation. The owner wishes to develop it as a beach
resort with cottages and a central building for restaurant, bar and
dance floor. From the beach one looks out on H.M.S. Diamond
Rock, an isolated islet off shore, which in 1804 was garrisoned by the
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
crew of a British cruiser who hauled guns to the top and stood off the
French fleet for seventeen months.
While there is no free port in Martinique, tourist goods are sold
from bond which effects much the same end. Local officials are
considering establishing complete freedom from duty in Fort de
France on all luxury goods from France such as perfumes, cosmetics,
lingerie, women's dresses, hats and shoes. This would be a drawing
card for tourists and would still further enhance the French charm of,
This is a mountainous, picturesque island lying twenty miles to
the south of Martinique. Its windward coast is particularly wild and
rugged and the two spirelike peaks at the entrance of Soufriere Bay
on the leeward side, the Gros Piton and the Petit Piton rising sheer
from the sea to 2,500 feet in height, are one of the sights of the
Caribbean. Tourists visiting the interior villages will find difficulty
in making themselves understood for the country people do not speak
English but a patois that is neither English nor French but something
between the two with a liberal dash of African dialect.
The harbour of Port Castries, the capital, is one of the most beau-
tiful bodies of water in the West Indies and the peninsula to the north
of it, Vigie Point, offers a potential development on a large scale. It
is being promoted by the Governor of the Windward Islands and.
involves filling in a ten-acre mangrove swamp with material taken!
from an adjacent hill. On the flat ground thus obtained, it is
proposed to put up model houses and clear out a slum in Port Castries.
On the higher ground and along Vigie Beach, the north side of the
Point, bungalows and beach cottages are to be built while a modern
hotel for vacation visitors is to be built on the hill the top of which
filled the swamp.
There is also on Vigie Point an elaborate brick and stone
cantonment built to house a British regiment which was sent to St.
Lucia about the time of the tension with the French over the Fashoda
incident- fifty years ago. These buildings are now occupied by
local troops but if they are given up by the military after the war
they might well become part of a hotel and recreational development
in the Port Castries area,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
The road system of the island is incomplete and requires both
new construction and repair of existing roads. Micoud Bay and Port
Dennery are two beautiful bays connected with Port Castries by a
road which could be made into a good motor road. In fact, the road
all the way from Castries to Vieux Fort on the. south point of the
island, while well located and graded, badly needs re-surfacing.
On the leeward side of the island a motor road runs from Castries
to Anse la Raye. It is proposed to continue it to Soufriere where
there are sulphur springs which are capable of development.
A high volcanic island, St. Vincent boasts the other volcano that
has blown up disastrously in recent times with a heavy loss of life.
Soufri6re, in the northern end of the island, erupted in May 1902 with
a dust flow that devastated one-third of the island and caused the
loss of 2,000 lives. (It was a dust eruption of Vesuvius, not lava,
that destroyed Pompeii in 79 A.D.) The island is a port of call on
the schedule of the British West Indies Airways but its rather short
landing field on the windward side has a dangerous approach which
precludes its use by any but small planes. Kingstown, the capital,
six miles from the airport and on the leeward side, is picturesque,
clean and attractive particularly the waterfront which is the center
of the triangular schooner trade between Barbados, St. Vincent and
Grenada via the Grenadines, and where the fish and vegetable markets
are located. While there is no sizeable hotel in Kingstown, there are
small hostels and boarding houses that are comfortable and well run
and can accommodate maybe thirty persons altogether.
Four miles from Kingstown on the south coast is the Aquatic
Club, a privately financed bungalow development, consisting of four
four-room cottages and a central club house with bar and dance floor
and pier built along the shore of a narrow channel between St.
Vincent and an islet just off shore. There is not much room for
A group of St. Vincent businessmen have organized a golf club
and built a very tricky little 9-hole course along the bluffs six miles
south of Kingstown. Beside the stone club house which is its social
center, the club has put up two stone bungalows which it rents and
has ample grounds to put up several more. This is a very attractive
development and worthy of encouragement,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
!About five miles to the south of Kingstown on a hill with a beau-
tiful view, an old plantation property is being developed into a hotel
and bungalow project. It is proposed to call it the Ratho Mill Tower
Hotel. The main building is nearly completed and one bungalow is
built and occupied. It is planned to put the bar in the old round
stone windmill tower and put a terrace on top. This will be an
attractive place when finished which, of course, it cannot be until
after the war.
It may be said that the people of St. Vincent have .a clearer
conception than most of the vacation possibilities of their island and
the enterprise to do something about it.
Eight miles from Kingstown over a steep but good road is the
truck-garden center of Mesopotamia Valley, a huge extinct crater five
miles in diameter, drained by many clear streams that run together in
the center and drain out to the sea through the one gap in the rim on
to the windward coast. This is the bread basket of Kingstown and
the lush gardens look like scenes in the South Seas. Owing to the
lack of truck tires on the island, the produce of the valley moves to
the Kingstown market on the heads of the women and on a Saturday
morning a continuous procession passes townward from the Valley
"heading ", as it is called, bananas, plantains, coconuts, eddoes, sweet
potatoes, pigeon peas, yams, cassava, sugarcane, ears of corn, cord-
wood, charcoal, whip-sawed boards, breadfruit, guinea corn fodder,
maize, cans of maubi (a native medicinal drink), and shoes to
put on after arriving in town.
Lying in the shallow seas between the south end of St. Vincent
and the north point of Grenada are sixty miles of the finest cruising
grounds in the world. In this stretch are three, fair-sized islands and
some thirty small ones each with some particular charm or interest of
its own. The archipelago is a yachtsman's paradise in which one
could cruise and explore for a month without crossing one's wake.
The Trades, blowing fresh from the east to north-northeast, make
.every part of the area easily accessible to the yacht sailor.
Properly publicized, this area should attract sailing yachtsmen in
*numbers from the North who would bring their own boats or, if they
were. available, charter local craft. There are no suitable yachts
locally available, at present, either in St, Vincet .or Grenada, A
CARIBBEAN, TOURIST TRADE
suitable cruising vessel for these waters should.be forty-five to fifty-
five feet long on deck, schooner or ketch rig, with cabin accommoda-
tions for four and a forecastle for three hands, one of whom should be
a local pilot acquainted with the rocks, reefs and currents of the
archipelago. It should have a well-equipped galley and some auxiliary
power- enough to claw off a lee-shore. One or more such yachts
based on Kingstown, St. Vincent (because the passage southward can
be made on a reach or sailing free) should pay for themselves within
a reasonable time.
The following notes may be of interest to prospective yachtsmen
cruising through the Grenadines.
Admiralty Bay, with the little town of "The Harbour" at its
head recently renamed Port Elizabeth is a beautiful stretch of
sheltered water. There are shoals in the inner harbour which can be
distinguished from the masthead by the color of the water. A small
nine-room hotel has been built near the village, the woodwork of
which comes from some huge cedar-like logs which were flotsam off a
torpedoed ship that was coming from Africa.
There is a "hurricane hole" in the north coast of Bequia in the
point opposite and nearest to St. Vincent. It is useful in an
On the windward coast is Friendship Bay, and just off shore,
Semple Cay, the headquarters of the Bequia whale fishing. Here are
three whaleboats, their sweeps, tubs, lines, loggerheads, harpoons,
bomb lances and bomb guns, exactly as in Herman Melville's
Mustique and Petit Mustique
The local pronunciation of petit is petty ". The lee side of the
Mustique Islands is brush covered except for fields of corn and pigeon
peas but there is considerable open pasture land on the windward
side. There are about 400 people living on Mustique, mostly engaged
in fishing. About a mile off the middle of the lee shore of Mustique
is a small but nasty shoal with no more than one foot of water on it
at low tide. One can go inside it and there is clear water close in all
along the rest of Mustique, Petit Mustique and the Savan Islands,
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Maho Bay in the north end of the island looks fine as one
approaches but it is unusable by vessels drawing over six feet.
Charlestown Bay, half way down the lee side, is deep and sheltered.
There is a shallow spot one-half mile straight out from the pier about
three fathoms and good holding ground close in. There is a com-
munity of about 300 on the island engaged in the none too prosperous
business of raising corn, Marie Galante cotton and goats. Over-
grazing and erosion are evident.
The Tobago Cays
These are four beautiful little islands, perhaps the cream of the
group, separated by narrow channels with two to four fathoms of
water over white sand. One can enter from the west only, the whole
east side of the group being enclosed in Horeshoe Reef, a coral ledge
awash. To enter, hug close to the west side of Channel Rock and
keep the breakers of Horeshoe Reef on the port beam, steering for
the white sand beach of the right hand island as one approaches the
group. All four cays are uninhabited, but there is a beach hut and a
camp on the largest cay where fresh water can be obtained. There
-is good fishing in the vicinity and enormous spiny lobsters are plentiful
'in the rocks off the cays. The Tobago Cays are an ideal spot for a
four or five days' fishing camp.
There is a good anchorage just off the new wooden pier in the bay
on the windward side. A settlement of maybe thirty thatched
houses and a church crowns the hill and the populace who own their
little plots of ground raise food, crops, cattle, goats and chickens.
Supplies for passing boats are cheap and plentiful. Reef fishing is
good on a five-fathom bank one-half mile northwest of the north
point of the bay.
Prune Island Channel
The channel via the lee-side of Mayero to Union Island is foul
and it is best to bear in toward Prune Island. This appears to be
uninhabited and has a good beach and camping place on the west
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
This is a large rugged island with peaks to be climbed by any one
feeling that way about peaks. It has two settlements on Chatham
Bay and on Clifton Bay. This is the southernmost island under the
jurisdiction of the St. Vincent Government and to proceed to Petit
Martinique or Carriacou, in plain sight across a mile wide channel,
clearances and documentation from the Grenada Government are
necessary unless one has cleared for a voyage "through the
Grenadines from Kingstown.
This is a large, mountainous, thickly populated island which
produces limes and lime products and Marie Galante cotton. Hills-
boro Bay is a beautiful anchorage with deep water right up to the
Customs House jetty. Norbih6 Island at the south entrance of the
bay is reported to have a well on it and is a good camping site with an
anchorage on the northeast side. Just outside the Bay are the
Carriacou Sisters, two pinnacles sticking up out of deep water where
the fishing is reported to be excellent.
Kickin' Jinny and Islands Between Carriacou and Grenada
This steep volcanic peak 670 feet high is at the south end of a
current rip which has a short, steep sea even though it is compara-
tively calm elsewhere. On a rough day the local skippers say it is
really bad close in to Kickin' Jinny (named for any mean lady mule)
and they give it a wide berth to the westward. Just to the south
are Isle Ronde, Isle de Caille and Les Tantes, all well worth exploring,
and London Bridge with a hole clear through it made by wave
erosion. This brings one to the north point of Grenada and it is best
to coast down the lee side to St. George's because the windward side
is thick with rocks, islets, reefs and cays.
This island, locally pronounced Gren-ay-da" is one of the
loveliest if not the loveliest in the Lesser Antilles. Coasting down its
lee side, the views of its high rugged mountain range covered with
lush vegetation, the coconut groves and little fishing villages at the
head of every bay, the light green of the cacao plantations with the
shiny, dark green of the leaves of breadfruit bursting through in
CARIBBEAN TOURIST VRAtI
clumps are something that one does not forget. Grenada saw the end
of the Carib Indians who were massacred by the French after being
given the island as a refuge, the last survivors having jumped,into
the sea off the cliff on the north point of the island known as the
Morne des Sauteurs.
St. George's, the capital of the island and of the British Wind-
ward Islands, situated on a beautiful land-locked bay, has the usual
paucity of accommodations for vacationists that one finds throughout
these islands. It has, however, made a bid for the visits of cruise
ships and was doing well along this line before the war. Grenada has
a well developed road system which has made accessible its bays and
its mountains and their beautiful tropical forests and the planted
spice forest nutmegs, cloves and cocoa of the windward side. It
has an airport that is reasonably good, a well drained 4,000 foot run-
way with an approach that permits the British West Indian Airways,
to put its largest (14-passenger) planes into this field. The main
transportation difficulty is that the -airport is on the windward side
twenty-two miles across the mountains from St. George.
Situated on a beautiful beach called the Silver Sands five miles
from St. George's is the club house and swimming pier of the Aquatic
Club a very well-built and adequate job. It was designed primarily
as a recreational center for the St. George's people and also as an
attraction for cruise tourists who were urged to make use of its
facilities during the ships' stay in port. There is a 9-hole golf course
not far from the Aquatic Club and an adjunct to it.
There is now a project to fill in a swamp of about fifty acres in
extent between the beach and the high ground inland, and use the
reclaimed land as bungalow sites centering on a hotel to be built on
the hill behind. This was started as a private enterprise but has
now, with the fill half completed, reverted to the Government. It is
a project worthy of support should the local government decide not
to carry it through.
Levera Beach, a white sand, coconut-shaded beach on the north
end of Grenada is the take-off for two small islands a half-mile to a
mile and a half off shore called Sugar Loaf and Green Islands. There
is one rentable bungalow on Sugar Loaf and two on Green and ample
room for several more on each. Swimming, sailing, fishing and
solitude can be enjoyed in full measure. Local fishermen who had
just hauled a fish pot in the narrow channel to Sugar Loaf had taken
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADt
blue and red parrot fish, squirrel fish, butter fish, queen trigger fish,
surgeon fish and sand fish. The beach and the islands should be
developed in conjunction.
Lying well to the eastward of the line of the Lesser Antilles,
Barbados forms the apex of a triangle with St. Lucia and Trinidad at
each end of the base. It is one of the few islands that Columbus
missed and it has been under British rule ever since 1605. It calls
itself "Little England" and indeed Barbados is as English as
Martinique is French. It is already a highly developed vacation
center and is fairly well equipped with hotels and boarding houses of
the highest West Indian standard. It is a low island and therefore
cool on both windward and leeward sides and is visited by large
numbers of vacationists from the hotter climates of Trinidad and
British Guiana. Including all hotels, boarding houses and cottages
for rent, there are accommodations for about 800 visitors in Bridge-
town and its environs at the present time. There are many retired
British civil servants living in and around Bridgetown and there is a
cheerful atmosphere about the place. There is considerable social
life, living is cheap, servants are plentiful and there are drives over an
excellent system of motor roads, a 9-hole golf course, tennis courts, a
yacht club which has races and cruises, horse racing and bathing
beaches. In short, Barbados is a cheery and attractive spot and
needs nothing but a few more and larger hotels. It is understood
that projects are about to be designed to meet this need. Plans are
now being drawn for an 80 to 100-room hotel to be located on a beach
on the south coast, and several existing hotels are in process of being
enlarged and modernized.
There is a certain attraction in the windward side of Barbados
and, as a matter of fact, the Barbadians themselves go there for their
vacations. There is the invigorating breeze fresh from several
thousand miles of Atlantic Ocean, surf bathing, the "'Scotland"
country and the picturesque flying-fish fishing fleet. However, there
are few accommodations for visitors who wish to stay any length of
time on that side of the island.
The rugged scenery of "Scotland ", a district caused by a huge
geological fault, could be exploited with foot or horse trails. 'The
hotels on the windward side, Cranes, Bathsheba and Sam Lord's,
which now have an aggregate capacity of less than 100 guests could
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
well be enlarged and further bungalow developments, such as that at
Bath will small cottages, might be undertaken.
Barbados has many natural features of a vacation area and much
has been done by the authorities and enterprising citizens to exploit
them. It may well be that this is the location for a large luxury hotel
in the southeastern corner of the Caribbean to supplement those in
Habana, Ciudad Trujillo and San Juan.
This little island lying across a twenty-mile channel from the
northeast tip of Trinidad has had as complicated and hectic a history
as any of them. The Carib Indians held it against both the French
and English at one time. At another, it was claimed by the Duchy
of Courland and Louis XIV in an expansive mood (and also because
it was too far south to be guarded by his Windward Island Fleet and
was populated by hostile Caribs) recognized the Duke's claim and he
was virtually King of Tobago for a few years until he sought to
operate through a company of London- merchants when it shortly
Tobago, well-wooded and mountainous, is by way of becoming a
rival vacation spot to Barbados for civil servants and United States
service men from Trinidad. It has an excellent airport on its extreme
southwest end and nearby a very fine beach that would lend itself
admirably to bungalow-hotel development. As to existing accom-
modations there are two good hotels, the Robinson Crusoe and the
Bacolet, with an aggregate capacity of seventy-five beds. The latter
is bungalow type with a good swimming beach adjacent.
The axis of Tobago lies northeast and southwest right in the
path of the Trades so there is no pronounced windward side. Any
high point catches a fresh breeze and the residence portion of
Scarborough is built on a high ridge in consequence.
The island is cheerful and prosperous, cocoa and coconuts being
the chief products, the former grown on small holdings. More good
livestock is raised in connection with local farming than on any other
island. As in Anguilla, the care of their own little holdings prevented
a wholesale migration of labor to work on the Trinidad Bases.
One of the features of the island is the Bird Refuge on Little
Tobago Island off the northeast end. Some thirty-five years ago Sir
William Ingram had brought from the Aru Islands off Dutch New
CAR1BBEAN TOURIST TRADE
Guinea thirty pairs of birds-of-paradise at the staggering cost of
15,000. They were turned loose on Little Tobago Island and
nothing more was done about them except to make the island a Bird
Refuge on paper. Birds-of-paradise are high jungle birds and fruit
eaters and while they move about in tall trees, they are no flyers and
they couldn't make it to the main island of Tobago.
It seems that Little Tobago is covered with low bush and there is
no water on it and no fruit trees so the birds died of hunger, thirst
and disease. Someone remembered them a few years ago and a
survey was made which showed they were practically extinct -not
more than three or four pairs remaining alive. A grant of government
funds was made, water and fruit is now brought twice a month from
the mainland and mango and other fruit trees have been planted.
Their number has already increased to over 100.
Tobago has a very upstanding and independent community.
They are doing their own development particularly along the line of
mosquito control. Any recreational development that they under-
take should be heartily encouraged.
Situated at the cross roads of the airways from Europe, Africa
and South America to the United States and to Panama, Trinidad
will always be a center of transit travel. For three generations at
least it will be the site of large installations for United States naval
and military forces which will entail much travel back and forth.
When steamship operations are resumed on a peace-time basis there
will be cruise ships putting into Port-of-Spain and there will be
passengers who prefer sea to air travel coming down from Atlantic
and Gulf ports on regular scheduled steamers. In short, Trinidad
may expect a substantial passenger traffic in the future. How much
of it can be converted into tourist and vacation visitors depends upon
how her resources are developed.
Much of Trinidad's population is concentrated in the city of
Port-of-Spain and in the plain along the foot of the mountain range
which parallels the north coast of the island and shuts off the Trade
Winds. In consequence the climate is hot and the Trinidadians
themselves have need of recreational facilities on the beaches and bays
of the cool north coast. The resources are there but heavy expendi-
tures will be necessary to develop them.
CARIBBEAN TOURIST TRADE
The most obvious is the Maracas Road and Beach. This road
runs through the mountains to Maracas Bay on the north coast. It
was a difficult engineering job and on account of the steep slopes and
grades it negotiates it will require much costly maintenance. It was
built by the United States Engineers to offset the loss of a road and
north coast beach and recreational area Macqueripe which had
to he included as an essential part of the United States Navy Base.
It is proposed to develop Maracas Beach as a public recreational
ground for the people of Port-of-Spain. The plans also include the
extension of the road to a bay to the eastward, probably Las Cuevas,
and the construction of a hotel which would be run as a club but
would be available to tourists.
The airport situation is complicated and is now being studied by
the competent authorities. Piarco Field, the present airport, is
eighteen miles from the Queen's Park Hotel in Port-of-Spain where
all overnight transit passengers are brought. It is planned to fill in
that part of the huge Caroni Swamp known as the Laventille (which
must be done in any event as a mosquito control project) and build
a large airport which will be within two miles of the center of town
and will be provided with suitable hotel accommodations.
Another proposal is an extension of the facilities of the Country
Club a mile or so north of town. It now has a club house with
restaurant, bar and dance floor, an 18-hole golf course and tennis
courts and it is proposed to add a swimming pool and a moving picture
theater and encourage members to build country houses on the
ground. This club will also be made available for tourists.
Improvements in the method of handling cruise ships are also
under consideration. Hitherto there was no fixed place for them to
moor alongside but they were assigned berths by the Harbour Master
as convenient. This delayed landing formalities and most ships
preferred to anchor offshore and send their passengers ashore in
tenders although there is thirty feet of water at the bulkhead. A
fixed place is now being arranged with all facilities for passing cruise
passengers comfortably and promptly through the landing formalities.
The region that appears to lend itself best to cottage development
is that around the Northeast Point. An excellent road now runs from
Port-of-Spain across the island through Tunapuna, Arima, the Fort
SRead Military Reservation to Sangre Grande and Toco on the north
coast near Galera Point. The road traffic is interesting to watch,