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Open Jaw

Jamaica’s Irie For The Whole Family

Children are distinguished guests, and there’s so much to do!

Children are cherished guests in Jamaica, says Philip Rose, Regional Director, Canada, for the Jamaica Tourist Board. And their parents can come too if they promise to behave.

“Our family resorts accept adults,” Rose jokes. “But the kids get absolutely doted on.”

Dunns River

He knows this from firsthand experience. “I have travelled all over the world with my wife and 7-year-old daughter, but when I ask my daughter what was her favourite place -- and it wasn’t the fanciest resort -- she says Jamaica. When I ask what makes it her favourite, she says ‘Because everyone cares for me there.’”

Jamaica’s family tourism product has evolved over the past few decades, as early visitors who fell in love with the island got older and had children.

Jamaica’s tourism industry has always been an innovator -- especially in the all-inclusive space – and it responded with some of the best resorts based around a family experience. It also developed an amazing range of attractions and activities, taking advantage of all the natural blessings in the “land of wood and water.”

The JTB website features at least 120 attractions and tours to tempt visitors away from their resort.

“We’ve been in this business a long time,” says Rose. “In the early days it was predominantly adults, but then they had kids and we learned that once the kids are happy, the parents are happy, so we developed a product that offers great kids clubs so the parents get a break, and great family excursions and activities they can do together.”

There is absolutely no shortage of things to do in Jamaica. The Jamaica Tourist Board website features at least 120 attractions and tours to tempt visitors away from their resort for a few hours or a day.

Bobsled on Mystic Mountain

The diversity of experiences offered is truly impressive and growing year by year. And, in a development that’s positive for both Jamaicans and visitors, new tours and excursions increasingly show off the distinct cultural, culinary and lifestyle aspects that make Jamaica such a fascinating and rich destination.

“Visitors can climb Dunn’s River Falls, and it’s an experience not to be missed, but they can also go up into the mountains and have an amazing meal at Stush In The Bush while looking down at the resort areas,” Rose says.

Stush In The Bush describes itself as “where rustic meets gourmet,” and its concept as “sexy vegetarianism.” Visitors can enjoy a 4- or 6-course vegetarians farm-to-table meal in a splendid natural setting.

From bobsledding to Bob Marley, Jamaica offers an amazing range of tours and activities.

Transat offers a wide range of tours and excursions in Jamaica, from active adventures like bobsledding, zip-lining, tubing and ATV tours to gentle river rafting on the Martha Brae and exploring the history of Jamaican icon Bob Marley in the village where he was born and is buried.

On the Experience Transat blog, there are two articles offering some excellent choices for your clients seeking unique Jamaican experiences. One features “Jamaica’s Northeast Coast and Blue Mountains Off the Beaten Path,” while the other is titled “The Western Coast of Jamaica Beyond Its Beaches and All-Inclusive Resorts.”

“Jamaicans are proud of our culture and want to share it with visitors. It really leads to some wonderful interaction,” Rose says.

Transat Commercial Director Nicole Bursey says Jamaica makes a family vacation easy. Her first holiday with husband and child was on the island. “The activities for children were wonderful and there were so many things to see and do on and off the resort. Jamaica has terrific family properties and that’s why the numbers keep growing.”

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