Updated: Jun 28
Congratulations to Jamaican Tourism Ministry for their decision to restructure elements of their operations to better support the demands of tomorrow's travellers.
While their success to date has been built on mass market and large investment in infrastructure type tourism operations, the new structure and direction recognizes and will offer increased support to small and medium sized business offering travel opportunities for guest that want to experience Jamaica, but on a more intimate, smaller scale.
Marketing will become more streamlined and integrated with the new powerful channels such as Google and AirBnB to extend their reach worldwide. A quick search of Jamaica on AirBnB revealed 300+ properties ranging in price from $39 to $2500 USD per night - now that's selection and a variety of traveller types! VROB is currently offering houses for $50 - 950 USD per night.
This is excellent news. Two years ago when we were working in Treasure Beach supporting their tourism product development, community tourism and experiential travel initiatives, the Ministry had already recognized this need and was working with the Inter-American Development Bank and their Compete Caribbean initiative to support rural tourism business and destination development.
Just a short drive from Montego Bay you find another world - one filled with local gems and small businesses that take you into the heart of the Jamaican culture, it's the antithesis of mass market tourism and simply 'amazing'. The people you meet, the businesses that offer local, authentic, intimate travel touch your heart and the opportunity, in my opinion to learn about the destination, its culture and people is unparalleled.