The Effects of US Tourism and Militarization in Puerto Rico

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Tourism is often seen in a positive light because it can boost the local economy of a nation while allowing visitors the opportunity to be immersed in a new culture and temporarily embrace a new way of life. However, tourism can also create many long-lasting effects that short-term visitors do not see. Poor land management, land erosion, and destruction of property all lead to the decline of natural resources, further contributing to climate change and non-sustainable land for residents. Foreigners are also able to take advantage of laws and cheaper prices to build and sell luxury vacation properties while forcing residents off their land and losing access to the natural beauty of their nation. Tourism is a major source of income for the economy but can leave natives abandoned, poverty-stricken, and unable to function when tourism is halted. This presentation will focus on the US territory of Puerto Rico. When the US gained control over Puerto Rico, there were economic and military advantages, however, these benefits, too, had a negative impact on Puerto Ricans. US citizenship was granted, but basic rights, like the ability to vote, were withheld. This session will highlight how the US benefits and hinders Puerto Ricans.


How to Cite: Mutungi, G. , Romero, R. , Helton, G. & Fandeh, C. (2023) “The Effects of US Tourism and Militarization in Puerto Rico”, Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity. 24(1).