The Great Escape?: An Examination of North-South Tourism


89 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-920494-59-5




Reviewed by M.W. Conley

M.W. Conley was Associate Professor of Political Science at Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.


This short book is derived from a University of Toronto doctoral thesis. As such, it could have the disadvantages associated with such works: wordiness, turgidity and limited appeal. Fortunately English’s work suffers from none of these faults.

The Great Escape? is a readable, highly informative piece of work which should be required reading for all those interested in the Third World. It highlights the advantages and disadvantages of North-South tourism and concludes that, overall, tourism is beneficial to the Third World. Unfortunately, the author’s conclusions do not always concur with his empirical analysis. Many of English’s conclusions appear to be subjective desires rather than proof derived from the data.

In spite of this, English is to be congratulated for assembling the diverse studies written on this subject, and for providing the reader with an overview of the benefits and problems of Third World tourism. Given the structure and power of transnational organizations, this reviewer is rather pessimistic that the prescriptions offered by English, such as “Hotel companies must do more to reduce the import content of their operations, phase out expatriate employees, respect local customs and culture, and preserve the environment” (p. 79) are readily obtainable.


English, E. Philip, “The Great Escape?: An Examination of North-South Tourism,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024,