My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Ministry of Tourism says Airbnb brings 32,000 to Jamaica to Bob Marley's Trench Town


Friday, March 3, 2017

Ministry of Tourism says Airbnb brings 32,000 to Jamaica to Bob Marley's Trench Town

Airbnb, the Bread and Breakfast website, is raking in the dough and helping us Jamaicans get some too. At this point, now would be a good time to play Bob Marley’s One Love to all my Trench Town people, as this article is really about you.

The website has brought some 32,000 Visitors to Jamaica since November 2016 as reported in the article “Airbnb Brings In Over 30,000 Visitors To Jamaica Since Partnership – Bartlett”, Published Sunday February 26, 2017, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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So says Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett during a tour of the culturally rich Trench Town in Kingston. They're benefiting from an increased number of visitors who come to visit the hometown of legend Bob Marley overnight, rising to the insatiable smell of boil dumpling, ackee and saltfish with MILO as noted in my blog article entitled “How Ministry of Tourism over-reacting to 1000 Jamaicans on Airbnb as Trench Town Rocks”. 

His words were the most interesting that should be a delight to anyone trying to make money from the Bread and Breakfast industry, which caters to the overnight traveler.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett – Trench Town has more rooms than hotel industry

First, he acknowledged that the majority of accommodations on Airbnb are from Trench Town and other inner-city communities. No surprise there; I see lot of Americans milling around Cross roads and Half-Way-Tree.....and they are not the Pegasus crowd in fancy clothes but in Jamaican-styled clothing.

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In fact, the number of locations far surpasses that of most of the major hotels in Jamaica in terms of the number of beds....and couches and possible verandah spaces to sleep offered. Apparently Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett doesn't realize that budget-conscious Americans, seeking an authentic Jamaican experience and the nostalgia of Bob Marley while visit to do business, aren't too mindful of the accommodations, especially if they can avoid paying US$157 (JA$20,000) at the Pegasus Hotel for one night in any of their rooms, which is a tad overpriced.

So let the hotelier pass all their dirty remarks, Bob Marley style. His children, the people of the community of Trench Town, benefit immensely from his legacy. Diversification of the Hotel sector is putting money in the hands of local Jamaicans as pointed out in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Jamaicans can make money from Airbnb”.

This entrepreneurship within the tourism sector will most likely upset the hotel that thrive on providing clean sheets and warm bed, as they are being beaten by a little man who may merely be offering his bed to a weary American while he sleeps on the verandah or couch.

But for Americans, Airbnb makes their stay in Jamaica truly Jamaican and not sugar coated as the Jamaica Tourism Board might wish.

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