Jamaican Tourism

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I had never imagined Jamaica to be portrayed as it truly is in the documentary Life + Debt. Whenever the island came to mind, I always considered it a tourist destination where foreigners went to bask within its ocean coasts and its notorious reputation of marijuana consumption, all along with its roots in Reggae music and Rastafarian beliefs – somewhere I wanted to visit one day. I personally never took the time to really ponder on what life was really like for Jamaica’s natives. In Life + Debt, the manipulation of capitalist societies and their way of exploiting the pain they’ve caused Jamaicans for the tourist to find pleasure in, is truly demonstrated. The everyday survival of many Jamaicans is based on the economic decisions of other powerful foreign countries within the negative and positive impacts of the tourism industry. Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and is also one of the fastest growing sectors in the Caribbean where it helps create a relationship with locals that may bring about negative and positive outcomes. Before I elaborate on the impacts of tourism on Jamaica and the manipulation of foreign capitalist societies, we should keep in mind that a primary factor in this industry is culture. As taught in classrooms, culture is a shared set of beliefs, language, values, and behavior among a group of people in a certain setting. It plays a huge role in how well people communicate and interact with each other. It brings about new perspectives and an improved understanding and effectiveness in the destination’s culture. If you really think about it, when a tourist purchases a vacation as a “package”, they also “buy” culture. The idea of culture is one of the key elements that attract people to a particular place. The cultural impact of tourism in Jamaica is thriving, but the gist here is the negative and positive effects of tourism within the island. Let us begin with the positive impacts – which are not many: Not only does...
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