Real Jamaica is an online community that advocates traveling the country while giving back to its people. With the motto, “travel local, support locals” the platform enables locals and travelers to share their experiences and connect with each other. Real Jamaica lists guesthouses, places, restaurants, events and helpful advice on how to travel local.
As a matter of fact, the life of a local is hard in Jamaica. Faced with rising costs for food and housing, many can’t find a job. The average, well-meaning tourist thus invests very little in the local economy. We want to see change here, and we want to start it by making the real Jamaica more accessible to travelers and easier for locals to share.
Only a small portion of tourists (about 10%) who visit Jamaica stay in family-owned guesthouses and use local facilities. Major promotional channels do not feature local tourism, leaving only word-of-mouth. Being sometimes out of earshot, the majority of visitors book all-inclusive holidays which repress local input in tourism – one of the largest industries for foreign exchange.
Jamaica is often vilified as a dangerous country to explore. Kingston has been rated as one of the most dangerous cities in the world, due to high crime rate of certain areas in the town. Nevertheless, Jamaica is full of warm-hearted, open, and welcoming people. Travellers can experience a safe and beautiful Jamaica without relying on a sterile resort.
We believe in a way of traveling the country while giving back to its people – a kind of social tourism that isn’t hungry for profit but rather for progress. Locals with small businesses should be able to benefit from tourism just like larger, foreign corporations operating locally without investing locally.
We want to break toxic clichés by providing space for exploration without scouring away the beauty of the island. Both online and offline we are facilitating communication between trustful facilities, visitors, and lovers-at-heart. Real Jamaica strives to become the number one platform for sustainable tourism in Jamaica.
With the Real Jamaica network we want to shorten the distance amongst locals and travelers, forming connections around the corner and around the world. From born-and-raised to curious-yet-inexperienced – everyone has space to enrich, ask, and inspire.
“At some point in life, I want to look back and still be able to stand by our work.”
– Johannes Maier
What can you do to support the project?
TRAVEL LOCAL – Some of you might already do that, and you, who haven’t tried it yet, we encourage you to do so. Do a little research and gather information, explore the wide specturm of opportunities and try something new. You won’t regret it.
SHARE WHAT WE DO – Telling your friends and family about Real Jamaica helps spreading awareness. Everyone who realizes how benefital sustainable tourism is for not only locals, but also travelers, contributes to a better world.
WRITE A BLOG POST – Do you have travel advice or interesting information to share, or want to tell our community about your travel experiences? Contact us to discuss possibilites on publishing an article.
VOLUNTEER – Help developing Real Jamaica. Click here to tell us about yourself.