Letters to the Editor

City Kingston has not always got the attention it deserves

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I read the Jamaica Observer editorial in the June 14, 2019 edition in which the visitor statistics and stopover arrival records were being extolled for being at all-time highs. While we appreciate and welcome the results of the marketing efforts of the Jamaica Tourist Board, it ought to be noted that Kingston is not just now “coming into our own”.

We, as a city, have always been vibrant with offerings of that rich heritage, more of which, in the editorial, is said to be needed. There is a wealth of museums in city Kingston, such as the National Museum, Jamaica Music Museum, Liberty Hall Multimedia Museum, National Gallery, National History Museum, Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre, Bob Marley Museum, Trench Town Culture Yard, to name a few. Perhaps there is just not enough being said about their existence and the role they continue to play in exhibiting our rich culture.

However, Kingston has not always got the attention she deserves. Most of us will recall the tough times in the past when Kingston hoteliers struggled to maintain occupancies that could pay the bills and keep our doors open. They did it mostly on their own, through both the financial volatility and the crime and violence of the past that turned our city upside down. They all hung in and did their best to sell our beautiful island and our great city. They should not be unrecognised for their collective roles in not just establishing the framework but ensuring the viability of the industry by strengthening its core with offerings of meals and lodging.

Hotels continue to be the main catalyst for economic growth in Jamaica, so while we welcome and celebrate the new players and appreciate the healthy competition their presence is likely to bring, let us hope that it is remembered that our city Kingston is a gem that just needs continuously to be polished so that all of us can continue to feel the vibes and tell the positive side of our stories.

Chris Jarrett

Chairman

Kingston Chapter

Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association

chrisjar1@yahoo.com


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