Tourism in Jamaica
...Now, and Then

Tourism in jamaica - by Rose-Marie Gordon-Cole

Perhaps when you hear “Jamaica”, immediately images of enjoying the sun, sea, sand and reggae music comes to mind right?

But although Jamaica's tourism was born out of the need for a warmer climate, Jamaica offers so much more!

tourism in jamaica

The tourism concept caught on like wild fire which forced the government to pass the Jamaica Hotel Law. This law gave the go ahead for the construction of hotels to satisfy the now high demand.

The step was a significant one as it speaks to the governments’ commitment to the development of a Jamaican Tourism Industry. Since then tourism as morphed into a mega industry where ‘your every wish’ is catered for.

Jamaica’s tourism history is a lengthy one. Here are the items of note though:

  • It started in the early 19th centuries when ailing persons in England and North America started traveling to Jamaica to escape the cold winters.

  • The mode of transportation were banana boats. These boats were used to export banana but would accommodate persons wanting to visit the tropical isle on their return voyage.

  • At the time Port Antonio the capital of Portland was the hot spot.

  • Limited accommodation - as the demand at that time was more than Jamaica’s ability to supply.

  • And of course only the basic amenities were available. This however did not deter the eager travelers.

  • Limited to the rich; Can you imagine how expensive it must have been at that time?

  • And it was mainly only old retirees that could afford the cost of that trip.

Major types of tourist activities in Jamaica today

-Irrespective of your interest, Jamaica has a brand of tourism tailored just for you. I recommend you take a look at what is available before planning your next trip;
  1. Eco/nature

    – environmental friendly persons who visits to enjoy the pristine and fragile ecosystem. Some of these spots include;
    • The Montego Bay Marine Park – marine ecosystem (876)952-5619
    • Black River Safari –mangrove/wildlife (876)965-2513
    • Holywell Park- tropical forest/ flora, fauna (876)920-8278/9

  2. Sports

    – visiting to catch a glimpse of one of our world famous athletes or for the reason of participating or attending a sport related event.

    To name a few;

    • Falmouth Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament (September)
    • Jamaica Cricket Tournament(January)
    • Reggae Marathon (December)
    • Pineapple Cup Yatch Race   February
    • Jamaica Intl. Invitational Athletic Meet (May)

    Read more on Jamaica's Sports here

  3. Heritage/cultural

    – Africans, Indians, Europeans, there is so much to tell about our history. Our motto says it all “Out of many, one people”.

    The festivals and cultural events are endless. For a complete list, just hop over to the Jamaica National Heritage Trust site ( In the mean time here are a few heritage sites and their location;

    • Milk River Spa Clarendon
    • Port Royal Forts Kingston
    • Nanny Town Portland
    • Rose Hall Great House St. James
    • National Heroes Park Kingston

  4. Cruise

    – making a stop at one of Jamaica’s cruise ship piers, while on a cruise makes you a cruise tourist.

    The three ports of call in Jamaica are;

So what ever your love is, whether its hiking, biking, watersports, nature, cultural or business, Jamaica is the place to be.

As we say here “Jamaica no problem mon”………..

M.B. Read More on the best places to visit in Jamaica here

Posted: 4/18/2011

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