Artisans and the Tourism Industry Strengthening Linkages: A Case Study in the Dominican Republic

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ABSTRACT: This thesis report examines the potential of establishing stronger linkages
between artisans and the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic. Studies that aim at
improving linkages are mostly aimed at local agricultural products, the potential for locally
produced souvenirs and handicrafts seems to be under researched. This study acknowledges
that there are certain power structures that limit the establishment of linkages between local
production and the tourism sector. Linkages are analyzed from a holistic approach because a
diversity of stakeholder voices was incorporated. Information was gained from representatives
of several government institutions, non-governmental organizations, private sector
organizations, artisans and souvenir vendors. The aim of this study is to provide profound
insight into the problems and constraints that local producers of handicrafts and their
associations in the Dominican Republic have to deal with, and to provide possible solutions to
overcome those constraints.