With a considerable increase in the number of leisure travellers who have been selecting Kingston as their vacation spot, things are changing positively for hoteliers and entrepreneurs alike who are eager to offer their patrons a rich Jamaican experience in the city.
Group Director of Marketing and Sales at the Courtleigh Hotel Group and Chairman of the Gastronomy Tourism Network, Nicola Madden-Greig, says Kingston has much more to offer than many think. “Kingston as a city destination is definitely attractive to visitors who are trying to experience the culture, entertainment and the natural assets that Kingston has to offer,” she explained.
She continued to describe hotels in the city by saying, “Kingston hotels are mainly European Plan (EP) properties with various packages, and we encourage the travellers to go out and explore destination Kingston. The whole modus operandi of Kingston hotels is to combine the accommodation experience with the actual destination experience because it is important for people to enjoy what the surroundings have to offer.”
Tourism is not just about sun, sand and sea; there is a lot that can be done and experienced in Kingston including UNESCO’s heritage site; the Blue and John Crow Mountains, the extraordinary Jamaican cuisine, and A-list entertainment.
Mrs Madden-Greig said based on her analysis of the sector, she believed that events are major attractors and excellent opportunities for investors who are considering Kingston as their investment location. She said the growth of Carnival, Kingston City Marathons and the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival is symbolic of the potential that exists in hosting events in the city. These events also continue to attract visitors who desire an authentic experience in Kingston.
Excellent opportunities and experiences in Kingston
According to Madden-Greig, there are quite a few areas in Kingston that are ripe for investment. Investments are already rising in city hotels, with two new properties currently in development.
“We see Port Royal as one of our strong assets. We have done work at Hollywell and we are going through a developmental stage right now. The Blue Mountain culinary trail and coffee festival is another of our attractions,” she noted, “There are a lot of opportunities for new events, new attractions, entrepreneurs and investors. We can continue the development with places such as the National Gallery, and building sport and music museums.”
Madden-Greig said that she is pleased that more persons are looking to invest in Kingston, as the city provides multiple experiences in one location. She said, “There is a different kind of traveller interested in the city experience with an adventure and I think persons are getting it. We are hoping for a lot more investments and less talk, and we are definitely heading in the right direction. Persons are seeing what we are doing and are coming in; we are aiming to be the showpiece of the Caribbean.”