Freedom is our Newsletter targetting fellow tourism professionals, specifically those interested in selling and promoting cultural and heritage tourism. Our current edition is below. To receive regular updates, we encourage you to sign up to receive the newsletter straight to your mailbox.
Updates for Culture and Heritage Travel Professionals
Welcome to our very first edition of the JCE Freedom Newsletter. Our passion is cultural tours in Jamaica. What does that mean for you? Cultural Tourism is increasingly a growing segment of the market and increasingly visitors want experiences that are meaningful. This newsletter will provide information on unique experiences available in Jamaica to help you better sell and market these experiences.
Jamaican food is generally described as flavourful. This is due to the emphasis we place on spices and the very tasty seasonings that we use: thyme, ginger, nutmeg, garlic, onion, scotch bonnet pepper, allspice, coriander, and the list goes on. On the Jamaica Cultural Enterprises food tour we have curated locations and experiences designed to showcase the best of Jamaican food. The portions are generous, the food delicious, the experience unforgettable.
In Kingston alone there are three key Bob Marley related experiences: Bob Marley Museum, Tuff Gong International, and Trench Town Culture Yard. They each have a different flavour and help to give a more rounded story of Marley and his music. To visit Trench Town is to step into a different world, one of deprivation and creativity, conflict and community. I've been asked why do we run tours to this inner city community? Isn't it a glamourisation of poverty, a kind of ugly, self satisfied voyeurism?
The obvious answer is that for us it is none of these things. Trench Town Culture Yard is an initiative of the Trench Town Development Association which is a community run organisation. The tours provide a way for persons to earn a living. Tourism is a major contributor to the GDP in Jamaica, and if some of the income can go to the neediest segment of Jamaica, not in the form of a hand out but as payment for a product, why shouldn't it? On our tours we are very respectful of people's spaces, we go only where allowed by the community, and we go only so far within the community.
If you know anything about Jamaica Cultural Enterprises (JCE), you know that we are excited by Jamaican culture and equally excited to transfer our knowledge of Jamaican culture to our guests. Jamaica is famous for music of course, but one of the areas where we don't get high enough ratings is for our art. Jamaicans produce amazing art. For us at JCE art isn't necessarily a very lofty, high brow experience where you stand in front of a black dot on a white canvas (or a white dot on a black canvas) and try and figure out it's meaning. Art is expression and comes in various accessible forms. Even if you're not an art enthusiast, to experience Jamaican art is to get a sense of the concerns of Jamaican people. THE place in Jamaica to experience Jamaican art is the Naitonal Gallery of Jamaica.
If you're coming to Jamaica you have to visit Kingston. It's the capital, it's vibrating with music, art, food, and all kinds of cultural expression. If you're coming to Kingston you have to visit Life Yard. This co-operative of young rasta men has its base in a community nicknamed South Side and here the men run an organic farm, a vegetarian kitchen, community projects aimed primarily at neighbourhood children, and conduct tours of their streets. The big draw is the mural project done by Paint Jamaica which draws on the talents of local as well as international artists. The location is an oasis, the men are articulate and passionate, and the art is soul stirring.