This happens so frequently, that I felt a need to blog about it.
When helping clients choose the perfect all-inclusive resort, I offer up Jamaica as an option. It's an easy flight from most of the US, has a ton of resort options and is a friendly and safe island to visit.
Then, I hear this. "Oh, we don't want to go to Jamaica. We've already been."
When I probe further about their Jamaica experience, I find that they visited the island once, often years ago.
Well, then, you haven't really been to Jamaica!
There are so many reasons to visit this amazing island more than once.
Even if you have already been to Jamaica, here’s why you should definitely go back:
YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE WHOLE ISLAND
Chances are that you only visited one or two locations on the island. Jamaica is the third-largest island in the Caribbean and has an incredibly unique and diverse topography.
Jamaica is home to lush mountains, amazing beaches, and rainforests. Each part of the island has its own unique personality.
Montego Bay and Ocho Rios both have great shopping, beaches, and resorts, but still retain their own unique personalities.
Ocho Rios is home to Fern Gully (where visitors can observe over 540 different varieties of fern) and is located near the famous Dunn’s River Falls.
Negril has some of the top-rated beaches in the world and offers amazing snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities due to its beautiful coral reefs.
South Coast is located in a wildlife preserve and offers absolutely astounding mountain scenery.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED...A LOT
If you visited Jamaica more than five years ago, you may have been put off by the pushy sales tactics. If you found yourself running from vendors who swarmed you and pushed things into your hands as you walked by, you're in for a surprise. Things have changed!
Jamaicans have realized that Americans (who make up the largest portion of tourists to the island) do not respond well to these sorts of sales tactics. In fact, they left a really sour taste in a lot of people's mouths.
In order to protect tourism, the Jamaican government actually set about educating Jamaican retailers to employ softer tactics and it's worked! Now, tourists can shop in comfort without fear of being mobbed.
Many people buy into the false believe that Jamaica is an unsafe location for tourists to visit, but that's just not true.
Do they have crime? Of course. So does every town and city in the United States. Overall, Jamaica is a safe place for tourists to visit. The US Department of State lists it at a Level 2 Travel Advisory which is the same as France, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Antarctica, among many other Caribbean islands.
Yes, I know you heard that Montego Bay had recently declared a state of emergency. This does not mean that the city is erupting in violence. This is a tactic used to bring in extra security when needed. Montego Bay was having issues in a certain area outside of the tourist areas and set up the state of emergency to deal with it.
While you need to exercise normal levels of caution, Jamaica is generally a safe place for tourists to visit.
IT'S TIME TO GO BACK
If you visited Los Angeles, you wouldn’t say, "Oh, we've been to California. We don't want to go back."
Jamaica has so much to offer. So, if you’ve only been to Jamaica once or you haven't been for years, it's time to return. There is so much more for you to see!