Traditionally, Jamaica has been seen and promoted as a sun, sea and sand, winter get-away with foreign-owned, multinational corporations (MNCs) having a controlling interest. Coupled with this, the policies adopted by the state to encourage tourism infrastructural development protected the interests of the MNCs and were seen by many Jamaicans as not being in the best interest of their country. As a result, high levels of resentment existed and at times boiled into open conflict between tourists and the Jamaican working class who viewed tourists as ”confused white people.” While efforts were made to promote Jamaica’s tourism internationally, little was done to promote its benefits locally. Now, Jamaica’s tourism industry is at a watershed for even the innovative, largely indigenous and successful ”all-inclusive” concept has failed to market Jamaica other than as a sun, sea and sand destination. If Jamaica is to participate actively in global tourism and continue to make its presence felt in the tourism marketplace of the 21st century, indigenous and ‘authentic’ cultural heritage has to become a part of the tourism product. Also, the tourism industry has to continue to develop avenues through which the Jamaican working class can participate and derive meaningful benefits.


Jamaica, tourism, multinational corporation, all-inclusive, cultural heritage

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