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Behind the Smile is an inside look at the world of Caribbean tourism as seen through the working lives of 21 men and women who work in the tourist industry in Barbados. The workers come from every level of tourism, from maid to hotel manager, beach gigolo to taxi driver, red cap to diving instructor. Moving through the various sites in which "hosts" and "guests" meet — airport, hotel, beach, and tourist attractions — these highly personal accounts offer insight into complex questions surrounding tourism. The narratives touch on issues such as how race shapes interactions between tourists and workers, how tourists may become agents of cultural change, the meaning of sexual encounters between locals and tourists, and the real economic and ecological costs of development through tourism. George Gmelch offers an engaging introduction to the history of tourism in the Caribbean and recent research on tourism, development, and cross-cultural communication. This lively book will intrigue students, scholars, and all readers interested in the social and cultural aspects of travel.
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