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Travelers love the Caribbean; there’s no doubt about it. Incredible beaches, welcoming locals, amazing hotels… what’s not to love?
And while there are many popular destinations, one has been breaking tourism records despite recent U.S. travel advisories.
Tourism is thriving on the island, which welcomed a whopping 4.1 million travelers in 2023. This smashes the country’s pre-pandemic record which was set in 2019.
That’s right, we are talking about beautiful Jamaica!
More travelers visited Jamaica last year than ever before and 2 thirds of those were traveling from the United States.
At the same time, the U.S. Department of State has advised citizens to reconsider travel to Jamaica due to crime and medical services.
So why is this Caribbean destination setting tourism records despite U.S. travel advisories?
Jamaica is one of the most easily accessible Caribbean islands for American travelers. The flight time is short and flights are both plentiful and affordable.
Just 2 weeks ago American Airlines announced that they would be launching new flights to Jamaica this month. A new nonstop route will launch on Feb 24 between Jamaica’s Ian Fleming International Airport and Miami International Airport. This is indicative of continued demand for flights to the country.
According to Booking.com there are a whopping 19 airlines that fly from the United States to Jamaica. The most popular route is from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
Jamaica is also a popular stop for cruise ships, with around 1.4 million passengers disembarking on the island last year.
What all this means is that Jamaica is incredibly easy to reach and there’s something very appealing about a destination as beautiful as the island being right on your doorstep.
Jamaica has a highly developed tourism industry and many of its ultra-luxurious, all-inclusive resorts are heavily fortified to ensure that the guests inside are safe at all times.
This means that many U.S. travelers will visit Jamaica without ever leaving the pools, beaches, and other facilities offered by their resort hotel.
This high level of security allows U.S. travelers to still feel comfortable and confident that their visits to Jamaica will be safe.
These are also some of the best resorts in the world and this is an ideal option for travelers that just want to relax and unwind.
Your resort will provide ultra-luxurious amenities and all-inclusive food service, and many will even arrange their own trips off-resort so that if you do want to see a little more of the island, you can do this in safety and with the support of an expert team too.
Jamaica is best known for its beaches, and as most resorts have their own very beautiful white sand beaches, many travelers choose not to leave the resort anyway.
They’re in their own bubble, and on their own patch of island paradise.
If you do decide to step outside the resort bubble then Jamaica has a rich culture, which is why cultural tourism is a growing trend on the island.
Some of the cultural highlights of a trip to Jamaica include a visit to the Bob Marley Museum, exploring The National Gallery of Jamaica in Kingston, or learning more about the island’s rich history in Port Charles, the first fort constructed in Port Royal on the island.
On the whole, you’ll find that Jamaican people are welcoming and friendly.
They are keen to share their culture and joy for life with visitors. But it’s still important to take all the right safety precautions when getting out and about.
Consider booking a guided tour with a reputable company to help you explore the island. And never walk outside of your resort at night, particularly if you are walking or traveling alone.
American travelers are advised to reconsider travel to Jamaica in an update issued by the U.S. Department of State. This is the second highest level that can be issued in the 4-level travel advisory rating system.
This is because “Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts.”
Local police often do not respond to serious criminal incidents in an effective way. When arrests are made, cases are infrequently prosecuted to a conclusive sentence, and American families often wait for a year or more before they are issued a death certificate.
If you experience an accident or an emergency, then medical care on the island is also considered to be of low quality, with public hospitals underfunded and ill-equipped.
Jamaican authorities have responded to this Level 3: Reconsider Travel rating.
Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said the country has “made major improvements in security and healthcare in cooperation between Jamaica and the U.S. government.”
The statement also said that Jamaica has “more than doubled” investments in crime and health-related challenges, resulting in a 20% decrease in serious crimes in the last 12 months.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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