Free port fallout. Gender, employment, and migration on Margarita Island

Janice Monk*, Charles S. Alexander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Life on Margarita Island (Venezuela) has been transformed by the development of the free port that attracts a stream of shoppers from mainland Venezuela. The traditional agricultural, fishing, and craft economy has almost disappeared. Rural men and women have been differently affected. Men are employed in transportation and construction, but women have not taken the new jobs in free-port stores or hotels. The pattern of predominantly male emigration has reversed; men have returned to the island and women, particularly from the middle class, migrate. Lower-class women have higher unemployment rates than men. The study implies that the effects of this domestic tourism development are comparable with those of international tourism in that outsiders appear to be significant beneficiaries. Changes in opportunities on the basis of gender contrast with findings of other research on tourism in island resorts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-413
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • employment
  • free port
  • gender
  • Margarita Island
  • migration
  • Venezuela


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