Using Local Cuisines when Promoting Small Caribbean Island Destinations

Fevzi Okumus, University of Central Florida
Gerald Kock
Michael Scantlebury
Bendegul Okumus


This study compares how four Caribbean small islands—Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Martinique—use their authentic cuisines to promote their destinations. Brochures, catalogs, websites, and other promotional materials for each destination were content analyzed. Although all four destinations seem to use their authentic cuisines for tourism promotion, key differences exist among these islands in their marketing and promotional strategies. Martinique appears to use its local cuisine most aggressively, using a combination of locally prepared foods, cocktails, rum, fruits, and vegetables to visually portray this aspect of the country’s heritage. Jamaica, in contrast, uses mainly fruit and vegetable imagery. The study findings suggest a need for these four Caribbean island destinations to develop expertise in culinary tourism, followed by promotion through brochures, catalogs, websites, and other marketing materials.