13.4 Global Interdependence: The management of a tourist destination - Jamaica
13.4 THE MANAGEMENT OF A
TOURIST DESTINATION: JAMAICA
Growth (of tourism) refers to the increase in numbers of tourists.
Development (of tourism) refers to the expansion of tourism activities such as
the development of adventure tourism and ecotourism.
Community tourism is the aspect of the industry that fosters opportunities at
the community level for local people. Part of the tourist income gained is set
aside for projects that provide benefits to the community as a whole.
Pro-poor tourism is tourism that results in increased net benefits for poor
Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Jamaica is the third largest of the Caribbean islands, and the largest English-
speaking island in the Caribbean Sea.
Tourism in Jamaica originated in the latter part of the nineteenth century when a
limited number of affluent people, many with medical conditions, came to
Jamaica to avoid the cold winters in the UK and North America.
In 2005 a total of 2 614 506 tourists visited Jamaica.
Jamaica is an example of a tourist area where there has been clear evidence of
growth and development.
The term ‘growth’ refers to the increase in numbers while ‘development’ refers
to the expansion of tourism activities such as the development of adventure
tourism and ecotourism.
Jamaica’s north coast, with its pleasant weather and whitesand beaches, is the
centre of the island’s tourist industry. The main resorts are Montego Bay, Ocho
Rios and Port Antonio.
While sun and sand are the main attractions of a holiday in Jamaica, the island
also has other attributes including dolphin parks, nature reserves, museums and
In 1992, Jamaica’s first marine park, covering 15 sq. km, was established in
Montego Bay. The following year Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
was established on 780 sq. km of wilderness that supports thousands of tree and
fern species, rare animals, and insects such as the Homerus swallowtail, the
Western Hemisphere’s largest butterfly.
The Negril Marine Park was established in 1998.
The contribution of tourism to total employment and GDP has risen
substantially. Direct employment numbers 92 000, but almost 300 000 jobs
depend on tourism if indirect employment is also taken into account.
The high or ‘winter’ season runs from mid-December to mid-April, when hotel
prices are highest. The rainy season extends from May to November.
It has been estimated that 25% of hotel workers are laid off during the offseason.
Jamaica’s government is working to reduce the environmental impact of tourism.
Negril is a large beach resort town located on the west coast of Jamaica. The
town’s development as a resort location began during the late 1950s.
Ecotourism is a developing sector of the industry with, for example, raft trips on
the Rio Grande river increasing in popularity.
Considerable efforts are being made to promote community tourism so that
more money filters down to the local population and small communities.
Community tourism is seen as an important aspect of ‘pro-poor tourism’.
• Produce a fact file on tourism in Jamaica, and include a map showing the
main tourism locations.
• Analyse the growth and development of one Jamaican tourism resort.
• Describe the main issues faced in the management of tourism in Jamaica.
• Evaluate the attempts made to overcome the issues you have identified.
www.greenjamaica.org – Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust
www.jamaicaobserver.com – Jamaica Observer