Future of Tourism in Jamaica
Tourism is the single main source of revenue for many Caribbean countries with Jamaica being one of them. This wonderful industry provides employment, generates foreign exchange and taxes. There is also linkages with other sectors, as individuals including but not limited to farmers and carpenters earn part of their income from tourism.
Jamaica is viewed as the land of white beaches, warm friendly people and radiant sunshine. The government along with various organizations seek to capitalize on this imagine and spends millions of dollars each year advertising trying to woo and mesmerize prospective guest. With the exploits of the success of our athletes internationally as well as the popularity of the music has added to Jamaica’s attraction. Brand Jamaica is everything uniquely and creatively Jamaican; it is a name derived from the many success stories that have taken place, and how well known is brand Jamaica is a question that can be answered by referring to Jamaica’s reggae and dancehall music, reggae being the most dominant of them all, famous artists, Jamaican athletes, spices, historical sites and resorts.
Although Jamaica has an unmatched worldwide appeal, there are some issues facing Jamaica and by extension “Brand Jamaica”. Jamaica is often perceived as an unsafe destination due to the high Crime Rate, issues of visitor harassment as well as the pollution of the environment. Crime and security are a concern that might be the largest constraint to the growth of the tourism sector. Mexico is a perfect example as to how crime can tarnish a tourism product. Mexico’s tourism has suffered from the storm of violence in the country. Tourists, even though they come to the hotels and resorts, they do not think it is safe to leave the properties. The island has also been under a cloud of economic debt despite the successes in the tourism industry. As a result, it has led to over taxing tourism for income which in the future will not be beneficial as there are many other competitions including but not limited to Mexico and other Caribbean countries.
Anything that makes a destination more expensive compared to its competitors will lead to a substantial decline in total revenues. The constant raises in taxes will impact Jamaica’s ability to compete both regionally and internationally. Every country and island are competing for tourists, therefore Jamaica’s tourism product must be priced competitively. High-cost structures and taxes will result in a financial burden on the tourism industry. It is important to remember that tourists have a choice of destination, and they are less likely to choose the island that is priced outside of the market because of taxes.