Jamaica loves its tourists. Even in economically strained times, there’s no denying that the tourism industry feeds many people, and in return the industry feeds right back, much to the delight of sunseekers, Reggae enthusiasts, weedhead students and Stella’s of all shapes and sizes all looking to get their proverbial grooves back.
Not surprisingly, Jamaica’s tourists are as varied as the places they habitually return to: Italians on the South Coast, Germans in Portland, the Japanese in Kingston and timid returnee Jamaicans in the North Coast hotels.
In Negril, there’s actually a well-established community of repeat tourists who’ve been returning to the west end ever since wandering this way in the 60s when Negril was more or less just a lot of sand, coconut husks, and, of course, dreadlocked disco-dreads selling mushrooms that do bad things to the sky.
Year after year these tourists come back, regardless of the ever-reported crime and the lack of a Starbucks or a Sbarro’s. Ask one of them and almost all will tell you that even if they could have gone to the Bahamas, there’s nothing quite like the personality of this island and its people, who they watch with great interest.
And we watch back…
Photographed June 2009 in Kingston. This set featuring the beautifully beligerent Jamaican poet, writer and reluctant model is called ‘The Quiet’ for a reason: just try telling Jones to be quiet and you’ll see what we mean.
Photographed June 11, 2008 at Anchor Studios, Windsor Road, Kingston.