Most Tourists Harassed!

A study on harassment was conducted in Barbados between 1991 and 1994. Alarmingly, it showed that most visitors to the island were harassed.

Here is the abstract of the report:

“This first study of its kind presents data on tourist harassment derived from satisfaction surveys of those visiting Barbados between 1991–94. Most reported experiencing harassment, primarily at the beach and secondarily in the streets and sometimes while shopping. Males were more likely to be harassed by drug peddlers, females by vendors. Younger and first-time tourists reported more harassment than those in the older and repeat categories. Types of harassment included persistence of vendors without uniforms, drug peddling, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and physical abuse. The study also summarizes results from informal interviews with vendors, taxi drivers, etc., as well as qualitative observations of host–guest interaction.”
Get the full article here .

Types of Harassment Mentioned in Abstract

  1. persistence of vendors without uniforms
  2. drug peddling
  3. verbal abuse
  4. sexual harassment
  5. physical abuse

Cause for Concern?

I experience harassment on every trip to the island, particularly in the parishes of St. Lucy and St. Michael. There are some aggressive panhandlers in Bridgetown, St. Michael, and that is not too bad. What is more disturbing is men stopping cars by standing up in the middle of the road in St. Lucy and asking for money. We Bajans may take this in our stride, but some tourists may get scared.

Can Harassment lead to Robbery?

Barbados’s murder rate is about 50% higher than that of the US. The US rate is regarded by some as high. However:
“A case study of

Barbados revealed that visitors were three times more vulnerable to robbery and larceny than residents (de Albuquerque & McElroy, 1999a) but less susceptible to violent crime (murder, rape, major assault).”
Source: Crime in the

Caribbean: Provisional Evidence

This means that the crime rates the tourists experience will be much worse than the locals experience.

Does action need to be taken, or is this harassment unavoidable?