Jamaica is having a bit of a renaissance in terms of its tourist industry these days. As Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett recently won the Caribbean’s Tourism Minister of the Year for 2017, and has just been named the Tourism Minister of the Year Worldwide. Bartlett accepted the prize at the ITB Berlin 2018, the world’s preeminent travel trade show, in Germany. How did this occur? How did Jamaica get back into the good graces of the tourism world? Let’s explore.
Jamaica has an incredible infrastructure including hotels from boutique to major chains, high rises to quaint Bed and Breakfast joints. You can find a DIY crash pad, a European-style dining plan hotel, or an adults-only resort. There are hotels ideal for couples and hotels ideal for families. With just under 30,000 rooms available on the island, Jamaica has the accommodations for you. Indeed has the Caribbean’s most diverse room possibilities in the entire Caribbean.
Jamaica is a transportation hub for many of the world’s most prestigious airlines. You can get to Jamaica through any of the worlds’ major cities in the UK, Canada, the United States, and Europe. There are two international airports in Jamaica, one in Kingston (Norman Manley International) and one in Montego Bay, and Jamaica’s road system is one of the most modern and extensive in the world for an island nation. Once in Jamaica, travel options include limos, taxis, rental cars and more. There are many companies that will cater to specific needs with customized services as well.
Once you are settled in, it’s time to tuck in and enjoy the variety of unique cuisines that Jamaica has to offer. Traditional Jamaican cuisine features both dishes that have developed locally as well as those with international inspirations. Curry goat, friend dumplings, friend plantains, jerk chicken, rice and peas, and the legendary Jamaican saltfish are just some of the traditional fare that is on offer to tourists. Jamaica is also a worldly destination with many Chinese, Italian, East India, and American restaurants available as well.
Every year, there various festivals and events. The mainstay musical genre of Jamaica, is of course, reggae! Reggae festivals are a huge part of the entertainment tableaux in Jamaica. Festivals such as Reggae Sunfest and Reggae Sunsplash are perennial favorites. Meanwhile, the yearly Festival of Arts features Jamaican-born music, art, drama and dance.
The nightlife is off the hook, with lit nightclubs, playhouses, theatres and pubs all over the island. The bass thumps all night long in Jamaica. USA Today recently compiled a top ten list of nightlife destinations in Jamaica. Whether you are visiting Jimmy Buffet’s famous Margaritaville chain, dancing to reggaeton in the famous dance hall, The Jungle, or visiting the incredible Floyd’s Pelican Bar, a unique rickety shack in the middle of the ocean (getting there is half of the fun!), Jamaica is sure to have a nightlife experience for you.
Jamaica is a golfer’s paradise. With world-class professional courses, you can choose to play 9, 18 or 36 holes while putting your time away! Of course, this wouldn’t be an article about Jamaica without mentioning water sports. With its white sand beaches, and gorgeous Caribbean waters, waterskiing, fishing, and scuba are all top activities on the island.
Tourism in Jamaica is one of its main economic sectors. Not only is this because of the rich natural wonders and tourist-friendly infrastructure of this beautiful island nation, but also because the people of Jamaica are notoriously as warm and inviting as the climate. Spend one week in Jamaica, and you are sure to fall in love with its food, music, art, sports, climate, hospitality and people.