Travel to Jamaica continues to grow with new and expanded options for 2018. Chief Destination Concierge, Myrtle Dwyer is on top of the developments and is rebranding to become Glamour Luxury Destination Concierge. We caught up with Myrtle Dwyer, Director with responsibility for Sales & Marketing to find out what’s happening this year with Jamaica’s busy travel scene.
Q: Tell us how your rebranding to Glamour Luxury Destination Concierge is going.
Our rebranding is on track as we evolve. Why? We want to separate ourselves from the pack as we possess the knowledge of the island, are creative in presentations and have explored areas that are exciting and different. We will continue to provide personalized and customized services. Our website will be launched at the end January.
Q: What’s happening in Jamaica for 2018 and what are the most popular options for visitors?
Jamaica is more than a beach. It has always been an island of flavor, diversity and a colorful culture. With the new wave of interest being cultural, culinary and experiences off the beaten track, Jamaica fits in snugly.
Boating life in south coast Jamaica. Photo Credit Dave Rodney
Culinary Tours are being explored heavily and while visitors will choose a hotel on the beach, they are venturing out to sample the fine and tasty fare of the island.
• A scenic tour or private air charter is the order of the day as people go to the south coast destination of Treasure Beach to revel in a farm to table experience put on by Jake’s hotel.
• A trip up the Black River on an open boat to see nature at its best is not complete without heading to Pelican Bar, which is on a sandbar in the sea.
• Jamaica Culinary Tours is a company which offers A Taste of History with guided walking and bus tours which take you on a culinary adventure through various towns and villages of Jamaica. In between savoring the delights of our cuisine, you will visit interesting architectural sites, many dating back to the plantation era, and learn lots about Jamaica’s history and culture which have significantly influenced the Jamaican palate. Guests leave our tours feeling like a local – with an insider view into the real Jamaica and a “belly full” of food and fun!
Accommodation – Away from major hotels, many people are opting for community experiences. Such places can be found in the mountains or along the coast away from tourist centers as Jamaicans are known for their hospitable attributes. Treasure Beach and Bluefields on the south coast and Port Antonio are the spots to get away to. The Blue Mountains provide the perfect retreat. Sports is always top of mind in Jamaica and there is increasing interest in our great sportsmen and women as they display their athletic prowess. A sporting event here is more like a great festival!
Q: Tell us about other highlights around the island.
• Kingston City Breaks – A trip to Kingston for a day or few is worth it after all. Our busy Capital, cosmopolitan Kingston is one-of-a-kind; half exotic jungle, bursting with sunshine, and half thriving business. There is much to see and do. Overlooking the city are the Blue Mountains, home of the world’s best coffee where one has a chance to hike, take a dip in the cool waters or relax at one of the cozy guest houses or villa.
• Spanish Town (Santiago de la Vega) – former Capital still boasts the influence of the Spanish, who first invaded Jamaica under Christopher Columbus.
• Port Royal – The sunken city and former Capital of the island was destroyed by earthquake. There is so much to explore in the wreckage and Gloria’s, a famous seafood restaurant and bar will take you back in time as you sit back and watch the fisher folk pulling in their catch of the day. Kingston is always abuzz with activity – cultural plays, fine restaurants and great entertainment.
• The island is known for its great music as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh along with other top musicians introduced our wonderful musical rhythms to the world. Pop in at Usain Bolt’s tracks and records to enjoy a meal and the good vibes. Musical festivals are abounding and visitors are gravitating towards this not so new rave.
• Kingston is always abuzz with activity – cultural plays, fine restaurants and great entertainment.
• A visit to the Maroons, or Rastafarians to experience how they live is for the adventurous.
Health is a huge item in the lives of many thus Yoga and other retreats are on the uptake here. Hotels are sprucing up their spas to provide major relaxation and health benefits. Mineral baths like Bath in Saint Thomas and Milk River in Clarendon are welcoming more international visitors.
Jamaica is spiced with the variety that life needs