Is it just me or ...? I am only skilled at tourism and can never seem to get an industry up and running. In all of my games, the difficulty level is either hard or plain ludricious. Economic difficulty affects tourism by lowering the tourists' spending limit, but how does it effect the industry? ... My main problem is never having enough money to build my first factory. My mineral settings are minimal and my vegetation is set to barren (So that construction workers need not cut trees). In this way, I depend more on the farms to produce things like pineappes for me to can or sugar to be turned into rum. Anybody has any advice on how to handle industry?
Those settings make it nearly impossible to do anything. By setting vegetation to "barren," rainfall is corresponding set to a desert level - which makes it nearly impossible to grow a serious amount of crops. Barren is not just the trees!! Then without minerals, there is nothing left on which to base industry.
Most of the rest of the answers in the thread are helpful.