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Packaged Vacations

Tourism Development in the Spanish Caribbean

Evan R. Ward

Publication Year: 2008

Evan Ward's compelling study provides analytical insight into the evolution of today's principal tourism destinations in the Spanish Caribbean. Packaged Vacations examines the political and economic forces that led to the creation of resorts in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, as well as the impact tourism has had on local environments, economies, and cultures.

By comparing and contrasting a number of case studies, Ward reveals how historical, political, architectural, planning, and environmental factors led to the unique identities of resorts throughout the region. He also demonstrates that the growth of tourism in the region into a major economic force is driven as much by local and European interests as by those of American corporations.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

This book would not have been possible without the assistance of many individuals and organizations. While space does not allow me to mention everyone who assisted along the way, I would like to name a few individuals, including Patricia Holley, Daniel G. Heimmermann, Robert Adler, Dean...

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Introduction

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pp. xv-xxvi

On July 27, 1961, after giving his blessing to sixty-four tourist cabanas, three shelters, and a club at the Playa Larga Tourist Center, Fidel Castro made his way to the Playa Girón Tourist Center some nine miles away. While Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) held great political importance for Cuba, the tourist...

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Prologue: Departures

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pp. 1-3

As the tourism infrastructure throughout Latin America improved during the 1940s and 1950s, getting to Latin America became a more sophisticated— and packaged—cultural experience as well. In the 1940s, Braniff Airways put together an international route system focused on Latin America, including...

Part 1. The American Caribbean

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pp. 5-

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1. The Rockefellers

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pp. 7-20

During the early 1940s and in the aftermath of World War II, the third generation of Rockefellers, particularly Nelson and Laurance, played a critical role in establishing paradigms for decentralized tourism. Nevertheless, their primary interests generally did not center on tourism for tourism’s sake...

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2. Conrad Hilton

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pp. 21-42

Like the Rockefeller brothers, Conrad Hilton viewed hotel development throughout the Caribbean as an undertaking that would generate profits for the parent corporation and at the same time stimulate economic development and cultivate international goodwill in the host nation. In 1956, at...

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3. Cathedrals of Chaos

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pp. 43-52

Hilton International’s early history in Latin America was marked by numerous challenges, including adverse tropical weather, earthquakes, contract disputes, and the Cuban Revolution. Adverse weather, particularly during the hurricane season, negatively affected occupation rates at Hilton’s seaside...

Part 2. The Latin Caribbean

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pp. 53-

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4. Dorado Beach

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pp. 55-70

The Puerto Rican government, through PRIDCO, was not only the first Latin political entity to develop a strategy for state-directed tourism development in the mid-1940s but also the most likely to involve American hotel companies in its projects. While the Caribé Hilton was the first state-sponsored...

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5. A Second Marriage

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pp. 71-86

Even as Laurance Rockefeller celebrated the opening of the Dorado Beach Hotel on December 2, 1958, he was already contemplating the expansion of the resort. Rockefeller had acquired the services of architect Bill Reid, who had been working for Nelson Rockefeller’s International Basic Economy...

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6. Destination Cuba!

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pp. 87-104

For all of its propaganda, Mikhail Kalatovoz’s film I Am Cuba (1964) teaches profound lessons about Cuban national identity during the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship and in the immediate aftermath of Castro’s coup. Perhaps it is no surprise, given the ubiquity of casinos, nightclubs, and private beaches...

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7. Visions of Cancún

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pp. 105-134

As Mexico turned its focus for tourism development to Cancún Island in the late 1960s, planners within the Banco de México began designing a new genre of cities, the tourist city. The Banco de México outlined its objectives for the infrastructure and superstructure of the tourist city with great...

Part 3. The Global Caribbean

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pp. 135-

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8. A Means of Last Resort

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pp. 137-154

In the spring of 1898, as Spanish hopes for retaining Cuba, its final Latin American colony, dimmed with the entry of the United States into the Spanish- Cuban conflict, Ramon Blanco, the leading Spanish authority on the island, desperately appealed to his Cuban adversary, Máximo Gomez. He...

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9. Punta Cana

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pp. 155-184

To a degree unmatched in the rest of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, the Dominican Republic packaged its tourism offering in the post–World War II era in a predominately urban setting. To a large extent, the urban orientation of Dominican tourism reflected dictator Rafael Trujillo’s desire to showcase...

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Epilogue: Observations from 135 Degrees

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pp. 185-192

Historian Anthony Pagden has illustrated that during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, European explorers often appealed to their personal experience in the Americas to validate their authority on New World topics. In historical methodology, however, appeals to documents as authoritative...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. 193-194

Notes

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pp. 195-208

Bibliography

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pp. 209-224

Index

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pp. 225-236

About the Author

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E-ISBN-13: 9780813045757
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813032290
Print-ISBN-10: 0813032296

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 9 b&w illustrations
Publication Year: 2008