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Jamaica Tourism
A Fascinating Timeline Of Key Historical Events

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Jamaica Tourism Facts & Figures | A Historical Timeline
by Wellelsey Gayle

jamaica tourism facts and figures

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This is truly fascinating! 

I recently completed my team Jamaica training and got some truly 'eye-opening' learnings about tourism here in Jamaica; the current trends, but also from a historical perspective.

I learned, for example, that the first all-inclusive concept was created by Frenchman's cove here in the 1940's.

But there are lot's more! Let me grab my book notes and share it with you right now, a comprehensive timeline of historical events in Jamaica's tourism history.

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Jamaica Tourism History| A Timeline

YearImportant Tourism Event In Jamaica' s History
1700's Plantation owners invited their friends and relatives to visit, especially during the winter season.
1880'sCaptain Lorenzo Baker brought friends of his employees on his banana boats to Port Antonio after delivering bananas to Boston. Philadelphia and New York.
1890The Jamaica Hotel Law passed which signalled the beginning of Jamaica's commitment to the development of the island's tourism.
1891The Great Exhibition took place in Kingston to showcase the natural and manufactured products of Jamaica. As a result, several hotels were built e.g. Myrtle Bank in Kingston.
1906Doctor's Cave began when Dr. Alexander James McCatty donated his beach house to found a bathing club.
1910The Jamaica Tourist Association was formed. Its primary purpose was to enhance the claims of the colony as a health and pleasure resort at home and abroad. Also to provide reliable information to both prospective visitors and those already holidaying in the island.
1920'sDoctor's Cave acclaimed for curative powers of its water in article published by Sir Herbert Baker, a British Osteopath. Sir Baker was restored to health after bathing there thus boosting its allure to become a famous overnight venture to foreign visitors. The cave was destroyed in a hurricane in 1932.
1922The Tourist Trade Development Board was established by the Government.
1930Pan American landed the first sea plane in Jamaica. Charles Lindbergh was the pilot. The inauguration of Pan Am Airline service saw Jamaica emerging as leading destination for visitors. This service continued up to the start of the Second Wodd War.
1940'sFirst All-lnclusive concept created by Frenchman's Cove.
1955The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) was established to replace the Tourist Trade Development Board with offices opened in the major markets of the United States and the United Kingdom.
1950's (Mid)Jamaica serviced by eight (8) International Airlines BOAC, BWIA, PAA, SKLAM, TransCanadian Aiiways, Delta, Avianca and Avenca.
1960'sTourism developed in Negril with the arrival of nature lovers.
1961The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) established as a Private Sector Organization.
1962Mr. John Pringle appointed as the tirst Director of Tourism.
1968Air Jamaica started its service.
1980A Ministry of Tourism was created, with . responsibility for the development of the tounsm industry
1981Toun'sm became the main foreign exchange earner.
1987Jamaica received its one millionth visitor in December.
1988The Tourism Action Plan Ltd. (T.A.P.) was formed to improve the tourism product.
1993TAP Tourism Action Plan contracted by the Government to manage the Information Officers, standards, inspections and tourism training.
1994Air Jamaica sold by the Government to the Air Jamaica Acquisition Group with Gordon "Butch" Stewart as Chairman.
1995Passage of the Hotel Incentive Act which was aimed at stimulating hotel expansion.
1996Tourism Product Development Company ('l'PDCo.) was reactivated to manage standards, Inspections, licensing, projects and training.
1997Team Jamaica Programme launched.
2013Jamaica welcomes 2,000,000 stopover visitors.
2013Disney Cruise Lines maiden voyage to Jamaica.
2014Stopovers visitors: 2,080,181 Cruise Passengers: 1,423,800
2014Carole Guntley awarded Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award by CTO.
2015Stopovers visitors: 2,123,042 Cruise Passengers: 1,568,702
2015Adam Stewart, CEO Sandals Resort lntemational (SRI) awarded Hotelier of the Year 2014 by JHTA.
2015Joyce Wright founder of Rondel Village awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by JHTA.
2015Sangster International Airport witnessed 14,000 pax & 55 flights for the day including 4 from Germany & 6 from UK.
2016National Community Portal oflicially launched in Kingston in September.
2016World's largest Cruise Ship Harmony of the Sea docked in Falmouth 8000 PAX
2016Port of Kingston welcomed its largest ever cruise ship, 'MS Monarch' 2700 PAX.

Other Key Facts In Jamaica Tourism

  • The Titchfield hotel is said to be the first hotel to be build in Jamaica with modern conveniences such as plunge elevator.
  • The Constant Spring Hotel was the first hotel which had electricity in Jamaica. This building later became the Convent at Immaculate Conception High School. 

Quite interesting isn't it?

It certainly is! I figured you'd find it insightful.

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