Jamaica Looks to Kingston as New Caribbean Entertainment Center

jamaica kingston caribbeanCarnival is one of Jamaica's fastest-growing festivals.

Jamaica is looking to Kingston as it seeks to capitalize on its vast cultural offering. 

Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism is looking toward developing the island’s unique cultural events into full-fledged tourism products, and Kingston is the centerpiece of the plan. 

“We’re looking forward to building the City of Kingston as the entertainment centre of the Caribbean,” said Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. “We are not competing with anybody. You know what we’re doing. We’re creating something that is truly authentic. Something that is opinionated and something that people come to Jamaica to experience and consume and can go nowhere else and get it.”

It’s part of a wider push to capitalize on Jamaica’s diverse, rich cultural offering, officials say. 

That includes a push to create “cultural reggae products,” along with a drive to promote Jamaica’s Carnival. 

The idea is “to create a carnival product so that we can market it, and it can become a critical content in the architecture and the arrangements that we are making for the dissemination of ideas and information about Jamaica,” Bartlett said. 

Bartlett was speaking at the 2020 launch of Jamaica Carnival at the new AC Marriott hotel in Kingston this week. 

This year’s Carnival in Jamaica is projecting approximately 10,000 attendees, according to Jamaica Culture Minister Olivia Grange. 

“We have taken what was already an exciting Caribbean art form and in true Jamaican style, we have made it better in terms of increased participation, boundless excitement, and expansive global impact,” she said.

It’s another boost for Kingston, which is a major area of priority as Jamaica looks to develop its capital as a new kind of Caribbean urban destination.

— CJ

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