A common question heard among many persons traveling to Jamaica is :
“Is it safe to travel to Jamaica?”.
With so many mixed input from other travelers, the internet and the media. unfortunately, there hasn’t been a straight forward or full proof answer to this question. So, many are left feeling pensive and ruffled with anxiety. like wise, wondering if they made the right decision in traveling to Jamaica.
Let’s Start With Some Statistics From The Travel Industry:
- Jamaica has won 5 awards in the 2019 Travvy Awards.
- Kayak listed Jamaica as one of the top 5 destinations for travel in January 2019.
- World Travel Awards awarded Jamaica with over 15 awards, held on September 22, 2018.
- Voted Caribbean Cruise Destination of the year 2018 by Caribbean Journal.
- The Best Caribbean Destination title was awarded to Jamaica in 2018. As voted by Canadian travel agents. At Baxter Travel Media’s annual Agents’ Choice Awards Gala.
- Jamaica won Favorite Destination 2018 by the World of Cruising Wave.
- The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) won the 2018 TravelAge West WAVE Award. For International Tourism Board Providing the Best Travel Agent Support in 2018.
- Finally, A total of 4.3 million visitors traveled to Jamaica in the year 2018.
So as we can see, for the year 2018 to 2019. Jamaica has won numerous nominations and accolades. Therefore to sum it up, Jamaica is a preferred Caribbean destination for many. Rated from the avid and well-traveled hoteliers to cruisers alike.
However, like several other countries in the world, there are the negatives. That can potentially have an effect on your dream vacation.
One such event was on January 18th 2018. The Jamaican Government declared a State of Emergency, in the parish of St James. Which ended on January 19th 2019. Due to a high volume of visitors booked for holiday and several others already traveling to Jamaica. This sparked high interest and was thus seen, on the front page of most international headlines. Similarly, along with several other travel Advisories.
The State Of Emergency
In the initial stages, unfortunately, very little details were shared publicly. By the neither the international news nor the media. On either the purpose or the process of this State of Emergency. Which later caused unnecessary hysteria and panic among the travel community.
The Jamaican Minister of Tourism later addressed this situation. Which he explained the purpose of this nationwide declaration as:
A preventative measure set to combat the violence seen among the local community, and the out of city towns. These areas were not frequented by travelers. Therefore, posed a very minimal threat to current and potential vacationers.
As stated, during the State of emergency. Increased security personnel, were deployed to Montego Bay. Along the main road-ways and break away zones in the region. These guards maintained the peace and free flow of all visitors and law abiding citizen. Likewise, deterring the actions of anyone that would be a breach of the law. Therefore, ensuring their vacation or commute were uninterrupted and undisturbed.
This move by the Government, indeed proved to be very effective. In stemming the violence among the locals. Above all, this increased security presence, gave holiday vacationers a greater sense of priority and safety. Hence, resulted in the increase in visitors in 2018, to 4.3 million.
Tips On Safety And How To Make The Most Of Your Trip
Aside from all the glam and fame. Jamaica is not omitted from the global scale of countries having petty crimes. For Instance criminal offenses like: homicides, robberies or other such offenses.
” So how does one go about ensuring their safety while still having a great time in Jamaica? “
Here are some key things you can do. That will be very effective in making sure you stay safe. While still having a great time in Jamaica:
Purchase Travel Insurance
While we like to make sound decisions based on the experience of others. There is always the possibility of being in the rather unfortunate minority. In such cases what do we do?
Purchase Travel insurance! This is a very beneficial coverage plan that can protect against unplanned emergencies. Namely:
- Terrorist attack
- Bad weather like hurricanes or tropical storms
- Lost luggage
- Medical emergencies
- Canceled flights and even
Plans will vary in benefit. So, it is always a good idea to look at what your plan will offer before you commit to it.
Collect and Store Emergency Contact Details
When traveling to Jamaica or rather any unfamiliar territory. It is very important to make a list of emergency contact persons or places. This will be very helpful if you are in a uncanny situation and you need to call for assistance. Possible contact details you can store are:
- The direct Resort line. If possible a contact person name and their email.
- The Cruise contact number and if possible the port as well.
- The Number for a nearby police department.
- The Local Embassy Consular address and contact number.
Try To Stay Connected
Stay connected with family and friends.Even if they are not on vacation with you. Therefore, letting someone else know your whereabouts and what you are doing. For instance, in cases where other persons can’t get hold of you. These persons will be able to give adequate details of your last known location or activity.
Research Your Travel Destination
Many times we encounter clients. That hardly know enough about their destination location. A very important part of your travel itinerary is research.
Firstly, this helps you to know more about where you are going. Also where you will be spending most of your time. You can research the country / city / town to know the latest happenings and news of the area. Therefore, you will be better prepared and knowledgeable. Of where you will be going.
Use Reputable Businesses or Companies
It is true that reviews and recommendations will make or break a business. Another way to make the most of your time traveling to Jamaica. Is using reputable companies for any form of travel or activity. Reputable meaning there are records of past travelers using their services and attesting to the quality of service provided.
While many persons will get away unscathed by just winging it. unfortunately, not everyone will have the same experience. As a necessary pre-caution using popular review sites such as; Trip Advisor, Google or Facebook to find reviews on a business. There is no bare minimum for the number of reviews. But you should be able to identify a common trend. That will help you make a better decision.
So for your next Jamaica vacation, you can keep these tips in mind. To help you have an awesome time no matter where you are.