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A Tropical tourist area - pros, cons and management
Think about it


Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean Sea within the Tropics.  It is located close to other major islands such as Cuba and is a great example of mass tourism occurring in a Tropical area.

1)  Watch the video below and list as many reasons to visit Jamaica as possible

2)  Try the scatter exercise at the base of the page

3)  Read all of the text opposite and attempt this exercise

4) Complete the Venn diagram at the bottom of the page

Jamaica has mass tourism because many people visit every year (1.9 million stopover tourists in 2011) People visit for the beaches such as Montego Bay, deep sea fishing at Port Antonio, caves at Cockpit County, golf courses such as next to Kingston Town and water sports in Montego Bay. More cultural activities include various historic plantation houses such as at Port Maria and there are environmental tourist attractions such as bird sanctuaries inland from Montego Bay and Botanic Gardens and a National Park in the Blue Mountains.   You can see the huge rise in tourist numbers over the past decade on the graph opposite.


Jamaica does have problems however, because its tourism numbers are declining slightly due to competition from new resorts across other Caribbean Islands.  This is despite the fabulous climate shown below!

Mass Tourism also brings problems and positives to the Island.



Tourism brings in money to Jamaica 20% of its GDP this money can be spent on essential services such as health care and education which can boost the overall level of development.  This does have a downside however, as Jamaica is dependent upon this income and if tourist numbers fall the economy would be affected.

220,000 Jamaicans work in tourism it is a vital employer.  People work in a wide range of jobs, from the construction of hotels and tourist facilities, to service work cleaning, working in bars, caddying on golf courses amongst other jobs.

Tourism benefits many sections of the economy as people spend money in bars, restaurants, and other local businesses, so tourism has a positive multiplier effect.

Montego Bay


Many of the jobs created are seasonal, so people can become unemployed

Large TNCs (Trans National Companies) such as Thomas Cook organise the holidays and make most of the money, so the profits go out of Jamaica and into MEDCs

Local employees are paid low wages, whereas managers from other countries tend to earn more.

There is cultural pollution/dilution; Jamaica has a problem with sex tourism and a problem with drugs.

Land for the massive hotels takes away land from famers.  Water use also increases for drinking water, washing and recreation, taking water from local people.

Local people cannot afford the facilities put in place for the tourists.

 As a response to some of the problems and in an attempt to become more sustainable, Jamaica is branching tourism out into community tourism were tourists stay with locals in their homes, directly benefitting locals, and ecotourism, in the inland area of the Blue Mountains with low densities and tourist lodges. There are also ecotourist lodges along the coastline.  The features of these lodges include an approach to low or zero waste, solar panels to produce power, very low visitor numbers (many resorts have less than 16 lodges or huts) and recycling of water.  Great Huts Resort near Boston Beach has some of these features and also offers educational tours of its local area.

Blue mountains in Jamaica - an ecotourism area 


List as many reasons as possible to visit Jamaica as possible


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