Date Published: May 28, 2008
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Peter J. Hotez
Partial Text: Almost 40 million people live on the islands, islets, and cays that comprise the Caribbean . This is one of the most tourism-dependent regions in the world, with approximately one-quarter of the workforce involved in a business that in some way caters to tourists . According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), an association of government and private sector agencies that disseminates data on the region, almost 22 million visitors come to the Caribbean annually, where they spend an estimated US$21.6 billion . More than 80% of these visitors are people of means from the United States (11.4 million), Canada (1.7 million), and Europe (5.3 million), almost all of whom come to the region for the purpose of a holiday vacation .