A New Kind of Caribbean Tourism?

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - September 26, 2014

Above: Statia (CJ Photo)

By Alexander Britell

STATIA — Could this be the next big form of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean?

Eco-tourism pioneer Jem Winston thinks so.

Winston is a proponent of “homestay” tourism, which sees tourists and travelers pay to stay in the homes of Caribbean people, spending money, making lifelong friendships and finding a deeper, different kind of connection to a place.

Winston explained how Caribbean homestay tourism works in an address at the Statia Sustainable Conference, which concluded Friday in Oranjestad, St Eustatius.

Winston operates the award-winning 3 Rivers Eco Lodge in Dominica, which also has a homestay component.

Winston acts as a kind of homestay concierge, helping to book the stays on behalf of owners and connecting people to people.

Guests are connected to homestay operators, living with them, learning about their culture and interacting with their community.

It’s a kind of tourism he and several others at the conference hope catches on in the Caribbean, offering what they see as a series of tangible benefits for local communities.

Winston said he always urged homestay operators to keep their homes exactly the way they lived in them — not to change them for guests.

The underlying message is all about authenticity, with homestays acting as a way to get a direct view of life in the Caribbean.

“Don’t change it, don’t make it different,” he said.

It sounds a bit like the definition of sustainable tourism, in fact.

Popular Posts all-inclusive montego bay resort by marriott

Marriott Just Opened Its New All-Inclusive Resort in Montego Bay 

Marriott has continued its rapid expansion into the Caribbean all-inclusive space with the debut of its newest adults-only resort in Montego Bay: the new Hideaway at Royalton Blue Waters, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort.  The 352-room resort is part of […]

Yes, You Can Stay at an All-Inclusive Resort in St Thomas, USVI

the beach at the bolongo bay resort

The Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas may be the most popular all-inclusive resort you’ve never heard of. It’s not that the resort itself isn’t well-known: this family-run and managed, beach resort has been in business since 1974. But […]

The 15 Best Spa Resorts in the Caribbean

como parrot cay

Resort spas have become almost as common as fitness centers on amenity lists, but while it’s simple enough to carve out some space for a few treatment rooms, there are some spas that offer a true “experience” to go along […]

Related Posts belize american airlines daily

JetBlue Is Launching Its First-Ever Belize Flights Next Month

JetBlue is now flying to a new destination: the rainforest-filled, reef-lined, beach-covered hotspot of Belize.  The increasingly popular getaway on the Caribbean coast of Mexico will soon be served by nonstop service from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.  […]

Frontier Airlines Just Restarted This Nonstop Flight to Cancun 

riu cancun

Another day, another Frontier Airlines flight to Cancun. The fast-growing carrier has restarted another nonstop route to the Mexican Caribbean hotspot, this time with daily nonstop service from Detroit.  Detroit-Cancun flights are now operating once every day, with intro fares […]

The Grand Cayman Marriott Is Getting New-Look Rooms (And Some With Bunk Beds)

people floating on seven mile beach

One of the Cayman Islands’ signature places to stay is getting an upgrade: the Grand Cayman Marriott Resort.  The Seven Mile Beach property has begun what it’s calling an “extensive renovation of rooms and suites,” according to a statement from […]


Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.

No. Thank You