Tourism in the country of Jamaica has long since proven to be very popular ever since it was hyped up as a health spa in 1862. Since than mass tourism has taken full effect not only with its natural beauty and many attractions but with the work and development of the Jamaican Tourist Board it has become a favored tourist destination in the Caribbean region. Since tourism is Jamaica’s primary foreign exchange industry the Jamaican government has continually invested in tourism development. While bringing large masses of tourists in can be great for the economy it also comes with several consequences that effect tourism. While there are several negative effects dealing with tourism in Jamaica this report will be focusing on the crime and safety for tourists and the effects of tourism on Jamaica’s environment.
International airports are located in Kingston and Montego Bay. Kingston being one of the first stops for international tourists puts them at risk of falling victim to crime. This is mostly due in part that most of the problem with crime and gang violence in Jamaica occurs mostly in the inner city areas of Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city. This is found to be the result of high unemployment rates and poor economic opportunities. The primary criminal concern of a tourist is being a victim of theft. Armed robberies have been known to turn violent when victims refuse to hand over valuables. Safety and security has long been a problem for the tourism sector and has been recognized by the government. The government of Jamaica has taken steps to enhance security by providing special police foot and bicycle patrols in areas highly populated by tourists but it hasn’t seemed as effective due to the fact that police are still understaffed and ineffective. Because of this tourists are advised to take their own safety precautions which leaves some tourists to feel uneasy and unable to fully enjoy their visit. Falling victim to crime and violence is something everyone fears and being surrounded by it tends to make one think twice about putting themselves in that situation.
Since Jamaica is a developing country whose main source of foreign exchange is the tourism industry there are ongoing arguments that certain setbacks such as the fact that Jamaica wasn’t prepared enough to meet and support the needs of a vast amount of people has been overlooked. Most of Jamaica’s tourism attractions rely on natural resources and since the number of visitors is large these resource are either being used up quickly or are being permanently damaged. For Jamaica some of these negative effects include pollution, animal and plant extinction, coral reef destruction, inadequate sewage and waste disposal system, deforestation, destruction and erosion of beaches. As much as Jamaica relies heavily on tourism and does every little thing possible to accommodate to the industry it does little or nothing to replace or improve natural resources and present conditions of the island.