Montego Bay. Ocho Rios. Negril.
They’re some of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean — not just Jamaica.
But Jamaica is now looking to expand beyond its traditional tourism hubs with the creation of what tourism officials are calling “mini-destinations” in non-traditional areas.
“While it is commonplace to associate tourism with the island’s six official resort areas — Kingston, Montego Bay, the South Coast, Ocho Rios, Negril and Port Antonio — there are now some non-traditional areas that have started to get a look in,” said Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.
That includes places like Clarendon on the middle of Jamaica’s southern coast, he said.
“[Clarendon] is a parish that is just waiting to be unleashed,” Bartlett said, with the potential to be marketed as an “ecologically-friendly hotspot.”
Bartlett also pointed to attractions like Salt River, the Salt River Mineral Spring and Jackson Bay Beach as potential “mini destinations,” along with areas of St Thomas and Lucea, the capital of Hanover.
The idea is not just to expand the footprint of tourism, but to help ensure that local communities see the benefits of tourism, the Minister said.
“We are also looking at how best our local communities can benefit and how we can get more of our locals involved. For tourism to maximize its full potential it has to be inclusive and it has to have all hands on deck,” he said.