Jamaica Tourism Essay

Submitted By awk1127
Words: 1327
Pages: 6

Jamaica: A Slum to a Tourist’s Paradise
From its birth in 1891, following the Jamaican International Exhibition, to 1945, the Jamaican tourist industry brought change within Jamaica. Because of tourism, Jamaica transformed from a disease-ridden hellhole to a paradise for wealthy, white tourists. To cope with the rising tourist industry, Jamaica’s government enacted laws and created tourist branches such as the Jamaican Tourists Association. These new laws and associations supported tourism and supported investors seeking to invest in hotels and other tourist sites. Socially, Jamaica underwent negative transformations. Within a few years of the first built hotels, Jamaica changed to a state full of gambling, prostitution, beggars and mafia members. Economically, Jamaica began to make strives as cruise ships, hotels, and foreign investment became a source of wealth for the Jamaican government. However, the Jamaican citizens did not gain tremendous wealth because they mostly worked the menial hotel jobs. Primarily, the big hotelkeepers and the big storekeepers, mostly foreign to Jamaica, gained the wealth from tourism. As tourism developed in Jamaica from 1891 to 1945, Jamaica politically, socially and economically changed and it became a tourist attraction for whites across the world. The Jamaican transformation from a graveyard for white people in the 1870s to a pleasure resort in the early 20th century occurred for many reasons. Before tourism, Jamaica was a place to be avoided because of the spread of diseases like malaria and yellow fever. Subsequently, the development of Jamaica’s health safety attracted tourists and raised their trust. In the late 19th century, the discovery of the mosquito as the main cause for malaria helped develop Jamaica into a safer island, suitable for travel. Before the breakthrough discovery, Malaria would spread on ships’ water barrels when traveling from different countries and act as a breeding ground for the disease ridden mosquitos. However, following the trend of breakthroughs made in the late 19th century, the steam condensing plant made water barrels unnecessary, causing the spread of malaria to decrease dramatically in the Caribbean, especially in Jamaica. Furthermore, pipes were installed in hotels, which replaced the disease-ridden barrels. These pipes helped prevent malaria from spreading and allowed tourists to stay safe from diseases. Undoubtedly, the technological and scientific innovations of the late 19th and early 20th century helped kick start the Jamaican tourist industry.
In order to help kick start the Jamaican tourist industry, the Jamaican government enacted laws and launched expeditions to attract tourists and promote the hotel building. Beginning in 1891, the Jamaican government started a huge international exhibition. In order to house the visitors expected to come to the exhibition, the Jamaican Hotels Law passed in 1890 to encourage hotel construction. For this reason, historians say the early 1890s officially marks the beginning of Jamaica’s tourist industry. Undoubtedly, the Jamaican government worked in hand with hotel owners and foreign investors to help develop tourism. Government officials showed commitment into making tourism one of Jamaica’s largest industries. In return for building hotels in their country, the Jamaican government passed a law that offered to guarantee the capital at only 3% interest for all approved hotel construction and maintenance of approved hotels. The law also allowed all building materials and furniture required for the hotels to enter the island duty free. To advertise Jamaica’s beauty, the Jamaican government established the Jamaica Tourist Association. The newly established association pulled together a body of locals with an objective of continuing to develop the tourist industry. According to historian Frank Taylor, the Jamaica Tourist Association’s primary purpose was “to enhance the claims of the colony as a health and