Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jamaica....the Tourist Mecca

Tourists love Jamaica. I know its not the sand, sea nor sun...quite a few places have this - extremely beautiful beaches, and a lot of them have better infrastructure - roads, airports, transportation......but still tourists love Jamaica. Now the Spanish (Spaniards, Mexicans, Dominicans) have realized this and are literally taking over the North Coast, our main seat of tourism; and when the build they do not go small, I am talking about 3000 rooms, 2000 rooms, 1500 room hotels. Pretty soon the north coast will be like Miami, in that if you don't speak spanish, you won't be able to communicate with 50% of the residents.

Now why do the tourists love Jamaica....THE PEOPLE....yup, i know you don't believe it, but the very same people who pillage and murder each other (ok, alright, the majority of us are nice) is the the same people that keep the tourists coming back (and a lot of them do)! They talk about the vibrance of life here, the fact that there is a speaker box on every corner and the sounds of reggae/dancehall blasting from every shop, shed and fowl coop in sight; the fact that a domino table set up on the sidewalk can be the seat of entertainment for hours; the fact that we are gonna approach you and 'beg u a smalls' and even if we don't get it, we will assist you and smile same way (sometimes..lol); the fact that the girls walk around in little and nothing and gyrate their bodies in the most fascinating ways while creating new dance moves that take over the world. Yes, tourists love Jamaica.

Montego Bay is the known capital of Jamaica's tourism. It has the majority of hotels room (at this time) and a population geared around the needs of the tourist. Let me describe Mobay briefly to you. There is 100 feet of flat land in from the sea, most of which is reclaimed land. The airport sits at one end and sewage ponds at the other end. The rest is beaches, hotels, clubs, restaurants and shops all geared for the tourists. The rest of Mobay is all uphill and this is where the Jamaicans live, in mainly small, hastily developed, unplanned communities, lacking in infrastructure and order which they then attempt to urbanize after the fact. Mobay also has a lot of migration into it from surrounding parishes, everybody trying to get a piece of the tourism pie and of course there are high levels of unemployment.

I say all that to say this, Montego Bay is spiralling out of control...within the last month, there have been three multiple murders recorded. It seems when they go to kill, the just make a big party out of it, and kill as many as they are able to stomach in one go. Already, the murder figures for this year have far surpassed those of last year and the we still have a month to go. Luckily for us, the killing is kept on the hills and the 100 feet of flat land remains pretty violence free, but how long is this going to last, and what happens when the tourists no longer like the tourism capital, and does anybody listening to the news make a distinction between the 100 feet of flat land and the hills?

Anyway I must big up Jamaican tourism interests, cause they must be doing something right. I remember just the other day (maybe 5-10 years ago) when we welcomed for the first time ever 1 million stop over visitors in Jamaica in one year. This year, they are projecting that we will see 3 million stop over visitors!! Considering that Tourism and Bauxite are the only money earners in Jamaica, this is an extremely good thing.

I am ending on a happy note today!

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SimplEnigma said...

LOL @ pillage and murder...Yes, the JTB gives tourists a lot of incentives to make sure that they enjoy themselves.

I don't know if it's a different perception, but I find that when I speak to people here, the black and white tourists will have had two different experiences in JA.

But you're right, there are some things that are inimitable - I just hope it stays that way.

Here's to happy Tuesdays! LOL.

Kara - Jamaican Woman said...

the thing with black vs white tourists is that the man on the street caa distinguish a black person as a tourist until they open their mouths...lol...if u go to the all inclusives though, the workers assume everbody is a guest and so u get impeccable service, no matter ur colour...uhmmm this is my theory...lol

NIX said...

i am quite jealous of ur blogs..and u have inspired me to write my own..but not enough for me to actually go do it. :wav: [is dis DHR]

Kara - Jamaican Woman said...

lol....u r the worse...and its close enuff to dhr...yes...

Yamfoot said...

dont like montego bay at all. give me port antonio any day

Kara - Jamaican Woman said...

me neither...as a destination that is....for the life of me, mi noh know what they see....but i aint complaining....lol

Enchantress said...

Interesting *taking notes*

Trinidad Shipping said...

Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.
There are various sea vessels involved in shipping to jamaica. It may include box boats or container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, ferries, cable layers, dredgers and barges.