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In a destination dominated by all-inclusive resorts, a different tourism venture seeks to offer guests a genuine connection to the community. “VillageLife Tourism” and its associated “Okra Inn” demonstrate how tourism can be sustainable and can benefit both tourists and local purveyors. This message has so far gone largely unheard in a market that celebrates sand, sun, and service—in resorts that operate in fenced-off compounds. This case study analyzes VillageLife’s challenges and prospects, the most promising of which is partnering with the all-inclusive properties.


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Also published as: Hawkes, E., & Kwortnik, R. J., Jr. (2010). Connecting with the culture: A case study in sustainable tourism. In C. Enz (Ed.), The Cornell School of Hotel Administration handbook of applied hospitality strategy (pp. 766-777). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.