The Importance Of Cultural Heritage Tourism

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Jamaica possesses a wealth of culture and heritage that is exceedingly unique, hard to imitate and is one of the most easily identifiable image in the world. Such a greatness should be used to increase visitors’ interest to the various attractions but unfortunately Jamaica has not capitalized on this fact. Since its establishment as a tourism hotspot, Jamaica is flaunted as one of the Caribbean region’s most beautiful and unique getaways. This reputation has been solidified through its many grand resorts and hotels that put an emphasis on the typical offerings of “sun, sea and sand” as mentioned by Janice Francis-Lindsay (2009) in her article comparing the cases of Japan and Jamaica regarding their cultural heritage potential. In the past,…show more content…
Cultural heritage tourism contains many different components which are tangibles such historical sites and artifacts and intangibles such as cultural traditions from the past. As the need to upgrade and expand our tourism product intensifies and the world begins to focus on cultural heritage tourism. Additionally, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recognized 1052 heritage sites (as of July 2016), across the world which is expected to expand in the upcoming years. Of these heritage sites 19 are located in the Caribbean, with the majority positioned in Cuba. With millions of tourists visiting the 890 World Heritage sites each year, there has been a growing interest in the Cultural and Heritage Tourism (CHT) industry (Stupart, 2012). However, Jamaica has yet to explore the potential to which it’s cultural and heritage offerings can go. Jamaica possesses a rich and distinct culture that dates as far back as the colonial period (Francis-Lindsay, 2009). Over the years, Jamaica has tried to venture into the cultural and heritage niche market with the development of Port Royal, Moore Town and the Blue and John Crow Mountains (Griffith, 2005). However, these attractions have failed, with the exception of the Blue and John Crow Mountains which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to grab the attention of the potential visitors as stated by Chui (2013). In addition, Taylor (2014) indicated that these attractions failed because of improper management, lack of funding, the quality of the product being offered and lack of marketing. She further elaborated that,

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