Access Jamaica Blog

Kingston the Caribbean’s next big cruise destination?


The number of cruise tourists to Jamaica over the last decade has been growing as fast as Usain Bolt can run.      

This is because the demand for Caribbean cruises has been increasing in recent years, due to, among other things, massive medias promotions.  As more vessels expand their voyages to cover Caribbean islands far beyond the Bahamas, cruise tourists now have the opportunity to see many islands within a short space of time, as they spend their vacation on a luxury ship, with all the trappings of a holiday village.

For Jamaica, the Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Falmouth cruise ports are equipped to handle the largest cruise ships, while picturesque Port Antonio caters to boutique cruise ships and megayachts. 

Kingston, by way of the historic Port Royal, is touted to be the site of the island’s next major cruise destination and a proposal is on the table for the development of a cruise shipping port accompanied by the revitalisation and restoration of Kingston’s downtown and harbour-front areas.

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JTB ramping up marketing to African American and Japanese tourists


Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) board chairman, Godfrey Dyer, says the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is ramping up its marketing efforts to re-attract some of Jamaica’s former key markets particularly the African American and Japanese to the island.

Mr. Dyer, who is a former president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), told Access Jamaica that there are signs of improvement in the number of African-American market visiting the island, though not to the extent of arrivals more than a decade ago.

“The Tourist Board is working at it.  It’s not the easiest market, but they are working at it and we have started to see some movement.  Many years ago in the 70s, we used to have in summer a lot of black Americans…we need to get back to that.  Steady work is being done and give it another year or two, we will see a resurgence in that market,” Mr. Dyer said.

In mid-2016 Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett announced his intentions to go after the African American market.  At the time he said the JTB would be using social media and other promotional means to go after the 35 million strong African-American market.

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Cybersecurity must be key focus of tourism dependent nations, says Jamaican Prime Minister


Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Governments of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as those in the Caribbean, must be prepared to implement measures to mitigate against Cyberattacks, which pose a big threat to tourism dependent destinations.

Holness was speaking at the speaking at the official launch of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Wednesday (January 30).     

“The safety of the destination comes down to many threats: local crime, global terrorism, the threat of war, pandemics - but one that is emerging in a serious what and to which we have to pay attention, which many Caribbean countries may not be totally prepared, is that of Cybersecurity,” Holness stated.

“The Cyberspace and the Cyber frontier is one that we have to pay very close attention to.  Because the truth is that global travel, is so much dependent on the whole business of the exchange of information.  So the data of the travelling person is vitally important.  It is vitally important to the efficient operation of the ports; vitally important for the operation and the provision of services and if that data is not protected and gets into the wrong hands or is stolen or used in nefarious ways then it could virtually cripple the industry,” the Prime Minister added.

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Caribbean should invest heavily in proper health response systems says Jamaican Prime Minister


PHOTO CAPTION: Right to Left: Mr. Jaime Cabal, Deputy Secretary-General, UNWTO; Minister Edmund Bartlett, CD, MP, Minister of Tourism; Mr Andrew Holness, Prime Minister;  Juergen Steinmetz,CEO, eTurbo News News

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has cautioned the Caribbean region to not take lightly its absence from a major pandemic. 

According to Holness, the Government of Jamaica is spending significant resources to ensure the country is able to respond to, and prevent diseases and health threats from morphing into pandemics, which, he says on many occasions, have had major effects on travel across the world.

“The challenge with pandemics is not that people will get sick and won’t be able to function. The real challenge is that some people will hear there is something in this region; it doesn’t even have to be in this country, there is something in (one country) and the region is avoided,” the Prime Minister said.

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Caribbean Marketing Fund in the making says St. Lucian Tourism Minister


The establishment of a marketing fund to promote the Caribbean as a premier tourism destination, is being explored by tourism ministers in the region.

St. Lucian Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Caribbean Council of Ministers, Dominic Fedee, says he will be leading the charge, in collaboration with his Caribbean counterparts.

“So I think a major priority for the Council of Ministers now, in the short run is to make sure we put in a framework that will ensure a sustainable marketing fund for the Caribbean,” Fedee told Access Jamaica in an interview at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace Trade show at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Thursday (January 31).

“For some reason this has eluded us, for many, many years, as jurisdictions and destinations in the Caribbean.  What is important now is to make sure that we bring everyone together, that we establish ourselves as a strong Caribbean brand.  I think it is one of the strongest travel brands in the world, notwithstanding our ability to come together and in a strategic and deliberate way, ensure that we promote the Caribbean brand,” the Minister added.

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Negril Entertainment Association president bats for official entertainment venue


Negril, Jamaica. Negril Entertainment Association (NEA) President Ryan Morrison, says even though the resort town gained prominence as a global brand partially due to a robust nightlife, characterised by live reggae music performances by some of Jamaica’s top acts, the town may lose its spirit if it does not get its own entertainment venue.

According to Morrison, many promoters of events are unable to book top flight international artistes to perform, as there is no venue in the town with the enough capacity to hold an audience large enough to make undertaking such a venture, profitable.

“We need an entertainment park, something that is very much close to the town centre, has adequate parking, bathroom facilities, all the modern amenities, but not a white elephant.  We don’t want any more buildings to lock up.  There is a part of Jamaican entertainment, the outdoors, there is nothing like it.  You can’t just talk about going to clubs; people don’t want that.  People want outdoor venues,” Morrison said.

Jamaica’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, which was commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in 2002, also recommended the development of a venue for the performing arts, such as an amphitheatre, may well prove a viable venture in Negril.

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TEF Chairman forecasts robust 2019 for Jamaica’s tourism arrivals


Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Godfrey Dyer says he has high expectations that the presence of the security forces in St James will remain strong and there will be no fallout in tourist arrivals subsequent to the end of the State of Emergency in the parish.

“Bookings still look great.  And it’s going to be great,” and upbeat Dyer told Access Jamaica.  “There are a number of things that will make it great.  Great promotions, but it doesn’t matter how much you promote you need seats, you need air seats.  We have air seats, more than adequate air seats, thanks to the Jamaica Tourist Board and JAMVAC.  They have made those provisions and with willing people to come, safe destination, all the seats you require, we can only go up.”

According to Dyer, who is a veteran hotelier, and a former police officer, he had hoped the yearlong enhanced security measures in the parish which ended on January 31, would have been extended for another three or six months. 

“One year ago, Montego Bay was becoming the murder capital; one year later Montego Bay is regarded as the safest resort town.  The State of Emergency worked,” Mr. Dyer said.

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Rebel Salute wows Second generation Jamaicans from Texas

Kamione-and-Breonna-Chambers-600x400-- Kameon & Bre'onna Chambers enjoy a performance at Rebel Salute daybreak on Sunday.
Breonna examines some rolled chocolate 600x400
Rebel Salute proved to be a most enthralling, rich, cultural affair for third generation Jamaicans,  Kameon Chambers and his sister Brianna, so much so that the duo is not only already planning for the 2020 show, but urging their friends back in the US to attend.

The two natives of Dallas, Texas who stayed in Lucea during their trip, were on what could be described a five day whirlwind vacation which took them to numerous attractions, local eateries, beaches and other places of interest in western Jamaica.   For them, their first ever trip ever, to the land of their foreparents, has been surreal, and they have fallen deeply in love with the island and its people.    

But it was Rebel Salute that was the proverbial icing on the cake for them.  The energy, the camaraderie, the gentleness of the artistes towards their fans, the acceptance and the mellowness and the love of thousands of Jamaicans displayed all in one setting, was what, for them exemplified the beauty of the island and the true nature of its people.

“I had an amazing time at Rebel Salute.   I was thankful that I got to meet a lot of the artistes.   I really enjoyed especially being up close and personal with the artistes.  Their demeanour was very laid back and they didn’t mind taking pictures with fans and they just enjoyed people coming up to them speaking to them and wanting to take pictures with them versus back in the US, where you can’t get close to the artistes like that due to standoffishness and their security too,” Brianna told Access Jamaica.

“Nobody was pushing, shoving; no fighting.  We were out there for 12, 13 hours nothing but  good vibes all night and I enjoyed that,” the youngster added.

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Half Pint looking to complete work on new album...artiste says it is long overdue


Veteran Reggae superstar Half Pint has his sights set on completing a new album hopefully by year-end, a feat he says is long overdue. 

Half Pint was speaking to Access Jamaica following his performance on night two at the 26th staging of the Rebel Salute Reggae festival on Saturday night. 


"I am giving nuff thanks and praise to mi fans dem and I hope they will keep with me still. One of my greatest ambition now is for them to get a new album by now and end of 2019," the singer who is known for his mega-hit Greetings, as well as the very popular classics Winsome, Level the Vibes and Mr. Landlord," told Access Jamaica.

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The Top 5 reasons for Jamaicans to Staycation

Jackies-on-the-reef1 Jackie's on the Reef, West End Negril, Jamaica
Photo Caption: Jackie's on the Reef, West End, Negril, Jamaica.In August 2018 whilst the Jamaican Parliament was on recess, the island's Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett and his wife, Carmen, decided to embark on a Staycation, to encourage more Jamaicans to become "Staycationers" - which is essentially a fancy term for domestic tourists, or person...
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