January 15, 2013

Honors Cohort study Bahamian tourism during Winter Break

In The Bahamas and other Caribbean islands they are called “potcake dogs,” stray animals in these vacation destinations that tourism industry professionals consider a nuisance, because of the rise in attacks on visitors.

It was one of the many aspects of the tourism industry that Fisher’s Honors Cohort students learned about during their Winter Break trip and community service project with The Bahamas Humane Society. The students spent part of their five-day trip volunteering at a no-kill animal shelter for both cats and dogs while on the island.

“There are a lot of stray cats and dogs all over The Bahamas,” said Patrick Westerlund, a student who participated in the December trip. In the past, potcake dogs were confined to “Over the Hill,” another local phrase used to distinguish tourist areas from impoverished non-tourist neighborhoods, Westerlund said.

The number of stray dogs and cats are on the rise and have had an impact on tourism. Another focus of this year’s Honors Cohort trip was on Bahamian culture and life, according to Andrea Prud’homme, assistant professor of management sciences, faculty leader for the excursion. Students toured museums, attended events and participated in activities that exposed them to Bahamian customs and rituals.