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Conceptualizing Caribbean Tourism through Hybridity: The Grenadian Tour Product

From a geographic perspective, hybridity exposes the ways in which different components of nature and culture are entangled, effectively creating a new variant, which blurs artificial distinctions. In this paper, the concept of hybridity is applied to the case study of Grenada. While the principal attraction on this Caribbean island is sun, sea and sand, Grenada’s tourists also have a range of secondary interests away from the beach. Tourists who might be classified as conventional mass “sun-and-sand,” often want to experience more of the island, and many do so through guided tours. Such tours have developed to reflect these varied interests and are therefore difficult to classify within tourism’s typically narrow product labels. This research employs content and semiotic analysis of tourism promotional literature, as well as participant observation on guided tours to illustrate the hybrid variants that have emerged in Grenadian tour products, in which elements of agriculture, culture, nature, and others are blended together almost seamlessly. Moving from dualistic classifications of destinations and tourists, towards more complex and nuanced conceptualizations through hybridity, opens new opportunities for meeting the diverse interests of both conventional tourists as well as more niche market visitors.

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