Tourism in Cuba - described by Fidel Castro as 'the evil we have to have' - has been regarded both with ambivalence, and as a crucial aspect of development and poverty alleviation. The result is a remarkable approach to tourism, one which often compels tourists to become agents of development through solidarity. Drawing on her experiences of working in an NGO in Cuba, the author uses a multi-sited ethnographic approach to investigate tourism motivations and experiences, and to examine the very nature of development. Her analysis covers a wide range of issues including social change, globalization, social theory, and sustainability. Also discussed is the way in which tourism in Cuba relates to broader debates surrounding transformation, capacity building, social action and solidarity.
'Rochelle Spencer addresses the topical concern of the relationship between the tourism industry and development. She situates the focus of her work (NGO study tours) appropriately within a rights-based approach to development and the moralisation of tourism, and she examines the links between tourism and poverty reduction, cultural exchange, solidarity, globalisation and empire. This is a refreshing approach which makes interesting reading.' Martin Mowforth, University of Plymouth, UK 'Overall, this book presents an interesting case of an alternative type of tourism and, if used in conjunction with other texts that describe various types of niche tourism, will allow the reader to come to his/her own conclusion regarding the complex relationship between tourism and development. The book will undoubtedly will contribute to lively debate in the classroom. The book will appeal to graduate students and academics interested in understanding the complex relationship between tourism and development.' Annals of Tourism Research