How do Jamaicans treat tourists
Jamaica: green and "irie"
You take seven miles of beaches, turquoise blue water, rugged Unesco-crowned mountains, lots of culture, cheerful people and garnish everything with a pinch of reggae - and that's Jamaica. Hans van Wamel from the Jamaica Tourist Board Europe recently presented with great passion what German holidaymakers can experience on the Caribbean island at a webinar. The approximately one-hour event, organized by touristik aktuell and the Tourismuszukunft network, was broadcast as a live stream on touristik aktuell's Facebook page and can be viewed again here. Gabi Sander from County Country and Daniel Schuhmacher from Decameron Hotels, which offer a wide range of accommodation options, were also there.
Heartbeat of the World
German holidaymakers have been able to travel to Jamaica again since June 15, 2020, but must show a negative PCR test and fill out an entry form (see here). According to van Wamel, some of the hotels, which are currently 70 percent full, conveniently offer their guests a Covid test for the return trip, as required by German authorities. The Robert Koch Institute still marks the island as a risk area, so that a quarantine must be observed when returning to Germany.
Direct flights are to begin on May 22nd: Condor will then take off from Frankfurt to Montego Bay on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Edelweiss Air will follow via Zurich on July 5th. There are currently connecting flights with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways via London. Eurowings also wants to fly again in winter 2021, three times a week.
When you arrive in Jamaica, you can feel the "Heartbeat of the World" without a hotel quarantine, according to the claim. The guests can experience more than 120 attractions, reports van Wamel and shows a few examples in his virtual tour: bamboo rafting is offered at four points on the island. It is a quiet form of rafting because a boatman pokes you down the river to the mouth.
In many regions you can experience the island from a catamaran or zipline through the trees. The bobsleighs can go up to 65 kilometers on the summer toboggan run in Mystic Mountain near Ocho Rios. 30 attractions await visitors around Ocho Rios on the north coast, including Dunn's River Falls, which can be climbed 60 meters.
Coffee and reggae
One of the most beautiful excursions for sporty holidaymakers is the around four-hour ascent to sunrise on a mountain in the Blue Mountains, which are part of the Unesco World Heritage. The Blue Mountain coffee, which is one of the best in the world, also grows here. Many holidaymakers associate the mountain range in the east of the island with a visit to Kingston.
Reggae legend Bob Marley is inextricably linked with the capital; you can visit the simple first accommodation in the Trenchtown district and its later villa. “I can recommend a tour of Trenchtown and the Bob Marley Museum to everyone,” says van Wamel. And: if visits to Kingston were advised against before the turn of the millennium, you can now move freely, provided you observe the rules that are also valid in German cities. Important for van Wamel: treat the Jamaicans with respect! Then everything on the island is “irie”, which means something like chill or casual.
Spoiled for choice of hotel
But where is the best place to stay? Jamaica connoisseur van Wamel reports on a large selection: from villas and boutique hotels to large resorts that have only existed on the island since 2003. For romantics looking for peace and quiet, Port Antonio on the northeast coast and the south coast with its many boutique hotels are right. For families with children, couples and singles, i.e. for everyone else, Montego Bay, near the airport and around 90 minutes' drive away, could be recommended to the regions of Ochos Rios in the north and Negril with Seven Mile Beach in the south.
Right in Montego Bay
In Montego Bay itself you can sometimes hear the planes, but many holidaymakers do not find this annoying - at least that was the case with the more than 100 travel agency employees with whom touristik-aktuell colleague Sylvia Raschke has already stayed there. Decamaron has two all-inclusive hotels in Montego Bay. The Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach only offers rooms with a direct sea view - and 146 of them - with an 89 percent recommendation rate at Holidaycheck. The Royal Decameron Montego Beach Resort with 144 rooms right next door has exactly 100 percent recommendation rate.
According to sales manager Daniel Schuhmacher, the most popular house on the German market is the Royal Decamaron Club Caribbean. The three-star domicile with 230 units - 33 of which are bungalows directly on the beach - is located on Runaway Bay between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. This recommendation rate at Holidaycheck is also impressive: 96 percent. “We have implemented our own hygiene concept and only use our hotels to a maximum of 60 percent,” explains Schuhmacher.
Beach flair in Negril
"It's not more than two minutes from any of our rooms to Seven Mile Beach," says Gabi Sander for the country country in Negril. The "beautifully colorful complex in typical Jamaican wood construction" offers 33 units with a balcony or terrace. 13 bamboo-style rooms have only been added in recent years, says Sander, who has lived on the island for more than 27 years. The three-star domicile is offered with bed & breakfast through the German organizers, of course lunch and dinner à la carte can also be booked in the hotel, provided the guest does not want to eat in one of the surrounding restaurants.
All hotels in Jamaica have prepared for the tourists with extensive hygiene concepts, assures van Wamel. In addition, tourism employees are high in Jamaica's vaccination priority, so many colleagues from the three Decamaron houses and the country country have already been vaccinated.
According to van Wamel, anyone who makes Jamaica bookings should also have them entered on the My Booking Rewards page, because here you receive rewards that can be exchanged for free nights or as an amount on a credit card, among other things.
Travel sellers can expand their Jamaica knowledge here in an online training course. Further information on the Caribbean island is provided by Hans van Wamel, who can be reached at jamaica (at) ontdekjamaica.nl and Whatsapp number 0031 - 625 134 276.
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