Jamaica Farewell: Why I Cancelled My Jamaican Vacation & Why I Won't Be Going Back Anytime Soon!!!

 Why I'm Writing This Article...Not To Dump On Jamaica, I LOVE Jamaica

I know this article is going to get some backlash and let me say at the outset, it isn't my intention to dump on Jamaica or talk negative about Jamaica.

I'm a longtime traveler to Jamaica and even used to jokingly refer to myself as a Jamerican as so many longtime regular travelers to Jamaica do. I love Jamaica, I love the people, I love the food, and I've always been the first to stand up for Jamaica, it's reputation, and people when I felt people were unjustly giving Jamaica or Negril a bad rap.
7 mile beach negril jamaica
Negril I Miss You!!!

I'm writing this article not to dump on Jamaica, but hopefully to get a lot of regular Jamaican travlers on board with pushing to improve the safety situation in Negril and Jamaica as a whole

I'm a longtime member of TripAdvisor and honestly in the past I'd be the first one to poke fun at people who's high expectations didn't allow them to have a good time in such a beautiful and wonderful place. I'd be the first person to chastise people who expected a destination to cater to them versus just going with the flow and taking a place for what it is. I'd also be the first person to stick up for Jamaica when people complained about beach vendors. I'd be the first on in line saying this is their home we are just visitors, or saying they are just trying to eek out a living and feed their family take it easy a polite no thank you will do. 

Let's be honest, Jamaica is not a cheap place to visit. Granted you can choose to stay at budget places or high end all inclusives but apples for apples Jamaica is not going to be as cheap as Mexico, the Dominican, Columbia, Brazil or many other destinations. I think it's also fair to say that the customer service and service industry of Jamaica is not what it is in other destinations, not even other third world destinations.

Jamaican Standards Not On Par With Other Destinations

 

If we compare apples to apples the quality of hotel, food, and service I get in Jamaica is not going to compare to similar price points or star ratings in many other destinations like Mexico, Playa, Honduras, Costa Rica, and others. A 5 star in Jamaica is probably like a 3.5 star in Mexico or other places. I never had an issue with this though. I realize Jamaica is a ya mon, all is irie, laid back place and I actually think that's part of the charm of Jamaica. What I'm not willing to accept however is the same laze fair attitude when it comes to safety and security.
negril 7 mile beach jamaica
Jamaica - Lovely People

I'm willing to accept that when I go to Jamaica and drop $150 or $180 a night on a hotel that the room will be outdated, food may be so so if staying AI, and service may not be what some are used to at other destinations. I have no problem with that.

That said dropping a similar amount of money in Mexico or other destinations you'll probably have a very modern well done, well maintained hotel with great customer service and Five star food. That's perfectly fine with me and I'm not making issue with that, though I do still think it's important to point out. I'm someone who doesn't complain when my tv doesn't work, and I don't even complain when a little bit of sewage water is comming out of the drain of my shower, par for the course, it's Jamaica and I'm barely in my room anyways. I'm not someone who needs modern updated digs or cares if my bathroom counter top has granite. I do however find it unacceptable when i can lift my sink out of the countertop with two fingers.

Beach Hagglers Don't Bother Me...BUT Aggressive Begging Does

 

I'm not one to complain about the beach hagglers. On TripAdvisor and other sites I'd always be the first one to respond to visitors who complian about the beach hagglers telling them and others, hey it's their home, were just visitors. It's part of the experience. Enjoy their funny and witty sales pitches, take it for what it is, roll with it and enjoy. If you focus on that stuff and let yourself get negative you'll hate it. I was always one who enjoyed joking and bantering with the hagglers and took it as part of the experience. Also, it's their home and their beach, I'm just a visitor. I really and truly felt that way.

Negril Jamaica Hotel - 7 Mile Beach
Negril Jamaica Hotel - 7 Mile Beach
What does get on my nerve is the straight up begging, and oftentimes in an agresive way. In my travels to Jamaica and Central America I've had people ask for money, however I have never had anyone demand money the way I have had so many agresively demand money from me in Jamaica.

One particular incident a guy told me to give him $5. When I politely told him no, he told me "would be a shame if you got stabbed". Really, give me $5 or I'll stab you?

On another occasion I thought I had made friends with a beach vendor who ran a small convenience store. He asked if I'd like to see where he lived which was attached to the place and right on the beach. I questioned whether it was a good idea, however I saw another American women back there talking with another guy so figured what the heck, it was only about 15 yards back off the beach. I walked back there and that's when an agressive sales pitch to buy Marijuana started. When I declined multiple times he started getting aggressive with me and I was getting backed into a corner by him and another guy. I balled up my fists ready to fight my way out of there and wound up seeing a gap and just ran away. Even after these experiences I still went back to Jamaica another 4-5 times.

 So What Actually Made Me Cancel My Trip & Lose Money In The Process?

 

So, as you can tell, I'm not someone who ever viewed Jamaica or Negril with rose colored glasses. I have always realized Negril is a little rough around the edges and that common sense and street smarts will go a long way to keep you safe. I also realize that Negril isn't necessarily a dangerous place and 9 out of 10 times you'll probably have a great and safe trip.

So you're probably wondering, what actually made me cancel my trip despite losing money? And believe me, I'm cheap so for me to lose $216 to cancel and change destinations that was a big deal to me.

Negril Jamaica Lighthouse
Negril Jamaica Lighthouse
What made me cancel my trip was hearing from MANY long time Jamaica visitors who have been to the island many times, sometimes dozens of times, say that they are fed up and they aren't going back.

If you are a regular Jamaican traveler you know how defensive Jamericans can be about their beloved island. I havn't travelled to Jamaica nearly as many times as many of you have but still love the island and was always quick to stick up for Jamaica when people would say bad things. I would write off their negative stuff as they had too high expectations or are too picky. They expect a destination to cater to them and their lifestyle vs. just going with the flow and enjoying.

What bothered me however was hearing so many long time regular visitors say that the vibe in Negril has changed. It's not the same as it used to be. It's no longer safe. They no longer feel comfortable. They had too many negative incidents happen down there.

Knowing how defensive those who love Jamaica are about the island and it's people, and to hear those same people saying they are fed up, or no longer feel safe, I felt I wouldn't enjoy my trip and wound up cancelling.

 Trip Advisor Is Not Doing Anyone A Favor Censoring Safety Concerns On Their Forum

 

Trip Advisor as many of you may know is very big into censorship of anything negative about a destoination and safety. If you don't believe me try posting a news story or even asking about a particular incident that may have happenned in a tourist destination. It won't be more than a couple hours before the post is either taken down entirely or heavily edited or people's posts removed.

Mayfield Falls Waterfall Jamaica
Mayfield Falls Waterfall Jamaica
Personally I feel TripAdvisor is doing more harm than good with this. As many people will tell you, much of the negative stuff you hear or read is hearsay heard differently from 3-4 people as the story gets passed along. If TripAdvisor would actually let an article be posted and commented on, I think 9 times out of 10 the subject would work itself out and the group consensus would be something along the lines of the incident was involving locals and a feud and had nothing to do with tourists. Or even if it did involve a tourist it was someone trying to buy drugs, or someone who ventured into an area they had no business being in late at night or something like that.

By not allowing this type of stuff to be discussed, TripAdvisor, allows people's imaginations to run wild and allows stories to get passed along inaccurately like in a game of telephone and stories which may be mundane take on a much scarier tone because it is being censored like were not supposed to know. Also, how can a site censor a topic like safety and security, like myself as a traveler don't deserve to know where I'm going. Not only is it doing a disservice but it's also potentially sending someone to a destination they otherwise would not go to because they didn't have all the informaiton they needed at hand to make a decision. 

 Sadly Jamaica Farewell.... For Now At Least

 

So what made me cancel my already planned trip to Jamaica, even despite losing a couple hundred dollars in the process? 

Like I said, I've had a few close calls and scary situations in Jamaica and I've still returned back. I've always felt even my own city has it's issues and just be streetwise and have some common sense.

I've traveled to Jamaica during US State Dept warnings about the island when the whole Christopher Dudus standoff was going on. I had no issues with traveling as Kingston and those issues were a world removed from Negril. That would be like people saying of my home city Chicago, don't travel to Chicago because of all the violence, when in reality tourists will be downtown and on Michigan avenue and have no reason or desire to travel to Englewood or Pullman. That wouldn't be fair, nor would it be a reason not to visit.
Negril 7 Mile Beach
Negril 7 Mile Beach

I'll be honest much of what I've heard is reports online and from TripAdvisor. If I heard one story I'd write it off as a disgruntled guest. If I heard two stories a couple scardy cats. However when I hear story after story of incidents with vendors, muggings, etc and hotels, security and police in many instances from reports seem to take it very lightly or say they can't do anything about troublesome neighbors I just feel I'd rather go to another destination where I'm safe and comfortable and spend my money and enjoy my time there.

Like I said, I'm quick to defend Jamaica and quick to write off complainers as whiny people or scaredy cats, however when I keep hearing from longtime visitors that the vibe has changed, that they aren't going back, that Negril is really in a troublesom period, I just can't justify going, it's just not worth it as small as the risk may be of something bad happening. It's almost laughable how casually many website posters are talking about the security situation in Negril. It's one thing to say  use common sense and street smarts and don't carry around or flash valualbes. Many of the stuff I'm reading almost seem to read as if it's a 50/50 shot whether you are mugged or have some very negative threatening encounter. I don't know about you guys but I'm very much so a fight or flight respone type person. If I'm in a situation I have two responses, I'm going to run like hell or I'm going to fight you to the death and a "casual mugging" as many people almost seem to put it could very easily end up in a life or death situation and that's not something I take lightly.

I'm not writing Jamaica off forever. I love the island, I love the people, I love the vibe, and the beaches are unmatched compared to anywhere I've ever traveled before. That said until Jamaica and specifically Negril gets things under control, runs off some of the bad elements who prey on tourists, I will not be going back.

I truly hope Jamaica gets things in check and makes a change for the better and am eagerly awaiting that to happen so I can make my way back there. That is a large part of why I'm writing this article to hopefully to get others to bring attention to this very issue and maybe even make the tourist board realize if you want visitors and tourist dollars you need to clean things up. I don't want Jamaica to become some sanitized Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville touristy cookie cutter destination. I love that Jamaica isn't an uptight place where you have to sign waivers to do activities and things like that. That in large part was always what I loved about Jamaica but take security and safety seriously, put a stop to the stories about iPhones getting snatched, people getting mugged or having knives pulled on them. Get the guns off the streets and clean things up a bit and I will return. Until then it's other destinations for me sadly. 

Seasplash Hotel Negril Jamaica
Seasplash Hotel Negril Jamaica

Lastly, to those of you who say we should support Negril in it's darkest hour so to speak by visiting. I understand that sentiment, however I spend good money and my hard earned money to travel and I don't feel it's my duty to do that. I should be able to enjoy my vacation in a place where I'm not worried about my safety and security and that's just how I feel.

Thanks and if you agree with the sentiment behind this article and feel the same way I do please share this article on Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media platforms to bring attention to cleaning up this place we all love. To any of you with Youtube channels pleaese make a video sharing some of your thoughts on why you love Jamaica and how it's changed over the past number of years. Thanks.


133 comments:

  1. So true, particularly the beggars who think if you are white you owe them alining!

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    1. Honestly I have sympathy for the Jamaican people. If your kids were going hungry you would beg or sell items on the beach and would be a persistant seller, if your super meek your not going to make a sale so I totally understand that.

      I really have never had a complaint about sellers, they are trying to sell something and make money. Some people find them annoying, honestly I've always tried to have fun with it, banter with them, enjoy their interesting and oftnetimes funny sales pitches.

      What I don't like is when it gets pushy or threatening and I don't like when people just tell me to give them money. As I said in the post, on one occasion a guy straight up told me he would stab me if I didn't get him $5, and this was on the beach in the middle of the day.

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    2. Hello there Billy, I am Jamaican and read your article with an open mind. You are extremely correct and honest with the current situation here and it truly annoys me when Jamaicans retort ...it will never, ever change if we justify these behaviors.
      We live in Kingston and are bombarded with beggars and I can tell you, some of the same persons ridiculously defending, curse at street boys trying to clean their windows daily.
      If we refuse to accept the faults, how can we fix them? Seriously???

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    3. Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment. I don't mind people begging, people need to get by and if I had a child at home hungry I'd probably beg if I had to as well. Some people may say begging is annoying and I guess at times it can be but honestly I have no ill will towards someone begging, I really just need to be fortunate I'm not in that situation.

      That said when begging gets aggressive or turns into threats that's another thing. I don't mind beach vendors, I don't mind persistant sales people but don't want aggression or violence as I'm sure other travelers and even locals don't want that.

      I appreciate your thoughtful comment and lets spur on this discussion to make things better. Thanks again.

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    4. Anonymous, I find your comment to be as ignorant as your personality could very well be.Jamaicans or myself I should say are not taught to expect things from "the white man" . Growing up in Jamaica we were never taught about race difference, but about the history of Jamaica/ black history. Jamaicans never was taught about color in your little negative ignorant light you speak off. I didnt know about racism until i waw 18 and in America. Those who beg or forcing you to purchase their product does that to foreign and jamaican vistors as well. Therefore, if you are going to make a comment/statement, let it make sense as this article that I assume you have just read. The topic is about safety and other issues that has nothing to do with race. Jamaica need Jesus.........

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    5. You are a bloodclott liar sir. Jamaicans are raised to hate white people for slavery days. The most admired Jamaican ever born, Marcus Garvey, instilled hatred against all white people for slavery and inequality. It's comical to read your own little ignorant rant, which isn't enlightening at all. I can clearly read through your own venon hatred against all whites.

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    6. Marcus Garvey is not the most admired Jamaica ever born. Secondly, He did not preach hatred against whites. On the other hand the least whites ever born was instilled hatred against blacks and minorities in America and other parts of the world. In Jamaica that is not the case. In Jamaica, it is taught to be respectful of others no matter what color.
      The writer experience is valid. That must be recognized and cannot be denied.

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    7. Mr/Miss Anonymous, as a Jamaican I find your rant totally uncalled for. I have never heard of people being taught to hate another because of color in Jamaica. Furthermore history is what it was and hating only keeps you enslaved versus enlightened. Unfortunately this aggressive begging is a huge turn off for locals and visitors. In Kingston I avoid certain traffic lights because of the aggressive behavior of the window washers etc Yet I'll drive through all parts of downtown and have conversation with many people.
      You give out aggression, you get back nothing good. You act with kindness and respect, it is returned to you.

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    8. 1st post, You are worst than Walker...When they see someone whos white, they associate that person as to having a decent income, or rich, which ever way u put it...And for the white person, that shouldnt be something bad. That is the only reason they would target a white person to beg them. therefore its up to that person to just say a easy no, and understand that the person is in pain or in need of food or whatever necessity is causing them to beg, even if that person is rudely asking which is probably a result of hunger. Someone who finds themself in that situation of being white and being asked for money, should feel respected naturally. thats just the way it is. Just as a black man (like myself) would feel if i was approached by a begger of any race or color (Most times black, and yes we do have begger in Jamaica who are white also)...Because that person has the impression that I have money, and has asked me if I can spare them which already tells me that they dont mean harm or I would have already been robbed. Or they are just downright asking for money without any respect, beacause u "look rich" because they are hungry and probably had a terrible day on top of that....Its just life. let people live and visit where ever they want to go, dont discourage anyone from they'r own aspirations just because u have already experienced what its like....Let them experience it for themselves for the first time with a peace of mind, instead of reading these crap articles written by cowards.

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    9. No need fi express wid the BAD WORD ...Dread

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    10. It is not "Jamaica" that is the problem. I have been blessed to travel all over this planet (Jamaica included over 15 times) and most of the Caribbean. I am a woman, usually travel alone, and stay with "locals" at my destinations. If you open your 1st world eyes, the recession has hit the Caribbean extremely hard. Governments still collecting taxes, but laying off huge amounts of people, companies closing & or moving away, etc. People of the Caribbean cannot afford to pay rent, taxes, water/electricity, school fees, and FOOD. There are NO JOBS for anyone. So yes, some do try to sell drugs or become aggressive because they have become desperate. Get off your high horse and maybe help the people of Jamaica where you if you love it so much instead of just drinking a Red Stripe on de beach.

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    11. say what!!! We are not raised to hate white people, you have White Jamaicans!!! I have White friends. Does racism exist? yes...but I do not hate White people...I was not present during slavery neither were majority of Whites, it has to do with how you raise your children...I was taught love for all, the Bible says so too, if somebody wants to hate me because of the colour of my skin then thats on them.

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    12. In my travels to Jamaica I have never been one to stay at AI's and give all my money to large corporations, I would stay at smaller properties, get out into the community and eat at places in town which not only are cheap and typically have the best food but places most tourists never set foot to. I try to buy my coffee from individuals instead of at duty free at the airport, I use local friends and contacts for rides to and from the airport and day trips instead of buying some tour package through orbitz. I do do my part to support the locals and the economy.

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    13. How white of you. (reply from my comments March 6, 4:30am) You fly into "Paradise" for 1 week (maybe 10-14 days, but unlikely) and expect everything to be like the travel poster. You say you buy your food & beer from the local rum shops, but do you really know anything about the local people & culture, except to listen/go to some reggae shows and you think because you have been there more than a few times that you too are a "local". Do you even understand Patois? Do you read the newspapers, get involved in any other local activities in Negril other than drinking/eating on the beach/cliffs? Do you understand the drug culture there and how the government is involved? Yes, it is better that you cancelled your ticket. Maybe, if you lived there for a couple of years you could comment instead of flying in and out.

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    14. Unfortunately, the tourist to Negril or its like have created the present situation. As the saying goes, can't have your cake and eat it too. With the lure of ganja, mushrooms and other illicit drugs for the Jamaica vacation have inspired all the colors of the North America seeking to to soak up the sunshine and even befriend a Rastaman. A friend once told me a story of a middle age man who came to Jamaica for sex. He found a local gal for the pleasure for a small fee of US20, only to realize he had contract the crabs. The day after he saw the gal in the town, and shouted to her, "hey, why did you give me the crabs"? The gal replied, "what you wanted for US20, lobster"? Moral to that story can be one may expect too much while not putting in enough. There are many decent people in Negril and all the other touristy areas of Jamaica. And it's not fair to blame, call names for the sake your own experience. One can created one's own experience. Another friend told me, happiness is not a destination, but a state of mind.

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    15. Nice blog Billy, I wouldn't take any negative posts too bad. I live in a small touristy city in the U.S. and this inundated with tourists 3 months out of the year. I don't have a job related to the tourist industry and most of the economic benefits of it is really concentrated in the hands of a few powerful interests, most of which don't even live in our city and are not voters. Because of this, we locals are super crabby about tourism, tourists, etc., especially when encountering rudeness or the lack of understanding of local concerns (which tourists, of course, aren't really concerned about, as they have their own local ones to deal with). But when people attacked or criticize our town, us locals, really get super defensive no matter how reasonable such complaints are. It just comes with the territory.

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  2. umm you do know theyre other places in jamaica you can visit besides negril right?

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    1. Roxanne, not sure if you read my response but yes of course I realize there are other areas, despite having traveled to Port Antonio and extensively over other parts of the Island, I particularly like Negril. Also, though Negril is kind of currently being highlighted for some recent incidents, the same issues prevalent in Negril are prevalent all over the island in terms of the proliferation and abundance of guns and harder drugs and violence. Don't get me wrong, I love Jamaica, I will be going back and I'm deeply regretting cancelling my trip, but it is what it is and things do need to improve.

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    2. Well, maybe you could take a trip to NYC where the NYPD stands in the subways with assault rifles, or go back to Mexico, Chicago where you can live in the facade of safety, because we all know that these popular vacation destinations have no violence at all.

      Afterall, you're spending your hard earned money to forget that it's countries like the US that directly destabilizes the governments of smaller nations who do not bow to them. Well, stop coming here so you won't have to see the effects of it and stay in your perfect world... oh that's right, its not the thugs you have to fear there, its the police.

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    3. Why must you get combative and attacking instead of just addressing the issues I have put forward which are legitimate issues and legitimate concerns.

      First off I have no desire to go to NYC, not really based on crime though I'm sure NYC has crime problems, just doesn't appeal to me. As for Chicago, you are completely right, chicago has a ton of violence on the south and west sides of the city. That said I don't think its fair to tell people not to travel there since no tourist has any business or any reason being in those areas, most tourists will be on Michigan avenue or in the loop. That said Chicago is a large urban city and even in the nice areas we have crime problems. I had a guy pull a gun on me right outside the house of blues which is in a hugely populated area of the loop or I guess maybe technically river north. I'm not saying Chicago is perfect.

      The same way I said I went to Jamaica during US State Dept travel warnings, I realized the situation they were warning about was isolated to Kingston and had no bearing on Negril, same with Chicago, violence on south and west sides is bad but away from tourists. I aso think its sad that nobody cares about the violence in Chicago because it affects the poor and downtrodden and not rich toursits, I totally agree with you there.

      Don't get me to try to defend Chicago because honestly though it is a great city and has a lot to offer it's corrupt and terrible in many ways as well as the entire state of Illionis so I'm on board with you there.

      As for Mexico, again I realize Mexico has problems as well and in many ways probably worse problems than in the Jamaica in many parts but personally speaking I feel much safer in Mexico, at least in the parts I go to. I don't have people begging me for money or telling me to give them money or else and though there are vendors typically "one" simple no thank you and they will leave you alone.

      I realize everywhere has problems and I'm not trying to dump on Jamaica but these issues are real. Keep taking the attiude of "you dont' like it dont' come here" and eventually nobody will and that will be terrible as people will miss out on a great spot but even more importantly the people and country who depend almost solely on tourist dollars will be SOL.

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    4. Billy I too is a bit upset with your comments, the are every where my son friend was shot and stab while attend college in the offender where born American. Please come on don't bash my Island home please bad people are everywhere.

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  3. Hello, thanks for reading and thanks for your comment. Yes obviously I know there's other places besides Negril, Port Antonio is great, there's parts of the island on the south which are beautiful and awesome. There's many great places to go. I love Negril though and want things to get better so I can return, I don't want to change my destination.

    I'm getting ready to write another post, basically responding to the critics of this one as well as admitting that I maybe was impulsive and regret cancelling my trip. That said I still am troubled by some of the things going on and wouldn't feel 100% comfortable going or at least may not go out and about in town and do some of the day trips and activities I normally would do, which whether you like it or not others think like me and it is going to affect the tourist industry. Some people will stay home and others will cut back on what they do or how often they go out.

    You realize most of these mega resorts are not owned by the Jamaican people but foreign corporations. Granted they still support the island with jobs and tax money but what's really good for the economy is tourists getting out and about and spending money with the locals and supporting local small businesses, not giving money to AI's who are based out of country.

    My two biggest issues and concerns is the many longtime visitors who have in the past been very defensive of Jamaica are finally throwing in the towel or putting off trips. My other issue is all the reports of hotel breaks-ins.

    I accept when I go into the mountains or go into the town my safety and security is in my own hands, be smart where I go, be cautious, have my wits about me. I should be able to feel safe sleeping in my hotel room that nobody will come in in the night or fish things out of my window while I sleep. That's really my two biggest issues right there.

    Please check back for my following post, I want to express all the great things about Negril and Jamaica as a whole as well and that I'm not just looking to trash this wonderful place. Thanks.

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    1. we are sorry...but every where has its bad apples and thats just life..the stronger set of slaves survived here. btw who are these people you speak with that say irie mon... can you just avoid ignorant people stop .. we dont get haggled by them, but you are just clearly entertained by a language that not even I a bonified jamaican can relate to. Why does this dialect of highgrade proportions influence your need to hold conversations. you dont have to come back but enough of the irie mon...who says that!!!!!

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    2. With the "irie mon" thing I was more referring to tourists who blow off real concerns with the attitude of it's Jamaica carefree, not a worry in the world, irie mon, when in reality just as in any big city or at home you should always be cautious of your surroundings.

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    3. Billie, as you stated in your blog that Jamaicans will defend their country and you are correct sir. I am a Jamaican myself and I agree with you and pretty much all the aspects you outline. I really didn't see where you bashed the Island, you suggested that Jamaica need to provide better security for their visitors to feel more secured...what's wrong with that? Why are we on the attack here? Even as a Jamaican that live overseas for more than 20years I get bothered going back home and feel comfortable. I work hard in America and should feel free to go back and have a good time but unfortunately I find myself getting fearful of my surroundings. We as Jamaicans are educated, loving and respectful people. Please don't act arrogant to the fact here, why do we have to resort to start using the race card? That's wrong with our little Island we don't take criticism too well...we should all look into what's stated and try to make a difference. Here we are attacking this man just because he shared his concerns....If we all do our part to make a difference, the world would be a different place....lighten up people. Billy I hope the Tourism Board will get wind of your blog and correct the issue. We appreciate you supporting and loving our Island and would love to see you continue to visit sir much love and respect.

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  4. I felt the need to comment on this post as well. I actually recently cancelled a vacation to Negril myself as well. I feel my situation is a little different going as a solo female traveler, however I can understand men, women, couples or even groups feeling the same way.

    Negril is a great place and I've enjoyed many fun times there. To be completely honest I do find Jamaica to be a little more intimidating than other destinations but have always for the most part felt pretty safe.

    As the poster of this article stated, I also found it troubling to hear people with 40 trips under their belt questioning their safety in Negril or questioning if they will be going back this year.

    I've followed this on Facebook and it's turned into quite a controversey with many agreeing things need to change with others rabidly defending Negril basically saying if you don't like it stay home.

    I think one positive thing about this, is that it's spurred some discussion on the topic of Negril, a place we all love and it's experiencing a troubling time. Some are saying it means we need to travel there and support it more than ever and others saying it's not their responsibility to do so or they are not comfortable traveling there.

    I've shared this post on social media and have seen some interesting discussions and debates spurred and would encourage others to do the same.

    Also, whether you agree or disagree with the sentiment of this article I'd encourage people to have a thoughtful discussion and not just either A dump on Jamaica or B say if you don't like it stay home. Let's figure out a constructive way to improve the situation and get everyone traveling back there, myself included.

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    1. Bella, thank you for taking the time to read my post as well as reply. I think you are the one that cuased this article to really "go viral" for lack of a better word. I saw you had added my post as well as some commentary on facebook and it started quite a controversey lol. It wasn't my intention to stir things up to dump on Jamaica, though knowing how much regular Jamaica travelers love the island and how defensive of it they can be I should have known this post would be met with some unhappy people.

      I think you are the one who kind of caused this article to "go viral" so to speak. Nothing huge but I noticed my blog which normally gets about 25 visitors a day has been getting about 5,000 visitors a day since this post was first put up a day or two ago so that's about a 200x increase in readership so thank you for that lol. I've also never had such an avid amount of comments and interactions with my readers which I am really enjoying as well.

      As I've told others I'm going to be doing a follow up post about why Jamaica is great, why I missit so and why I want it fixed as though I intially said I wasn't trying to dump on Jamaica, I don't think everyone really understood that.

      Anyhow, thanks for sharing my post on some of hte Negril Facebook boards and thanks for your readership and commentary.

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  5. Read your article and I completely agree with this person. I was born and raised in Jamaica, love my country and its beauty separate and apart from the obvious crime. I migrated to the states but I still do frequent the island visiting both Kingston and Negril side. I must say these street vendors are really aggressive which is all find and dandy but whenever I choose to answer them and they realize that I am jamaican then they are even more aggressive and make some ridiculous comments in regards to me throwing stone behind me or me becoming americanize(whatever that mean). I hate the aggressive disrespectful begging as if i owe them something, Like its my duty to. Its also really unfortunate when the lower the price even more when they realize I'm from their country. I also hate visiting dunns river, so many vendors upon exiting and you are in a maze with everyone pulling you in every direction and saying some off the wall comment when you go to one and not the other or all in all politely saying no and proceeding to leave. One person actually got so rude with me and started to curse, its a pitty they really do not know who I am and what i'm capable of doing and that would be me lowering to their level by engaging in a verbal spar. I EFFING HATE going and dealing with that.

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    1. Thank you for reading my article and thank you for commenting. Please share this article with your friends and family, especially if you are from Jamaica as well as on social media. I'm not trying to be negative or get everyone piling on Jamaica by any means. I love Jamaica and I want it to improve so I can go back. Also, for the good of the country and the people, tourism is probably the number one industry so people need to feel safe and secure or they won't come back and then the economy and people will really be in dire striaghts. Please share this article on Facebook Twitter, etc. Also, with your background if your a youtuber and have a channel I'd love to hear your perspective if you'd have any interest in making a video basically with your comments and thoughts on how things are changing in this country we all love so much. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

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    2. I hope. somerhing will be done i have heard and i have seen it too

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    3. I've heard there's a meeting going on at the Rayon hotel which I believe is across the street from CCLP and sun beach of the tourist board. Not sure if its just a regular normal meeting or specifically addressing current issues.

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    4. Constructive criticism is ok people, if something is wrong with the system we need to fix it. I am a Jamaican and I go incognito to some of these vendors and I have to run sometimes, they get so aggressive until I put on my Jamaican accent and tell them "mi a one a yuh and me jus a pass through" and they would leave me alone. There is a glitch and it needs fixing so there is no need for attacking, if the powers that be do not do something then it's downhill. We all need to find solutions and stop attacking. To be honest There needs to be a clean up, we are a loving people who welcome our visitors here with open arms and we want everyone to keep coming back. Once tourism is booming everyone get something out of it so we all need to just get back to a level where the standard is high.....One love peace and blessings.

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing your views and experiences! I am a Jamaican and as you correctly stated, I love the country and expect a certain standard to be maintained.
    I see your post in a positive light as the residents and authorities now have the option to make the change necessary or continue on a path if degradation. It is painful for me to accept that the standard that once was is rapidly disappearing but I see the good in your comments and trust that those who care will step forward and implement policies that will clean up this mess and provide opportunities for those who currently have our guests feeling vulnerable.
    Love and light to you and those who have been offended. Let us create ways to bring back the carefree lifestyle of Negril .

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    1. Sandi, thank you so much for taking the time to read my post as well as commenting and sharing your thoughts as well. I don't say this to complian but it is a fact to point out and something some first time visitors complain about. Jamaican hotels and hospitality are not quite up to the standard of Mexico, Dominican, etc. For the same price or same star rating a hotel in the other destinations is going to be nicer than Jamaica typically. I have no issue with that whatsoever, I don't go to Jamaica for granite countertops in my bathroom, I'm happy with an outdated room though some first timers will complain they paid $180 a night for a place that looks like it was out of the 80's.

      Only reason I mention that is that's a stupid complaint of some first time visitors. I go to Jamaica for the vibe, the beautfy, the beaches, the people and the activities, not for my room. One thing I'm not willing to bend on is safety and security, especially while on property and specifically while in my room. Way too many negative events and incidentts have been happening on hotel properties and even breakins while people are either sleeping or out. This is totally unacceptable and basically was the main reason for me cancelling my trip.

      Again, thank you for realizing I'm not trying to dump on my beloved second home but trying to improve things because I want to go back and also for the people of the island I love so much. Please share this article on social media, facebook twitter, etc. Also, same as I offered to another poster above, with your background would love if your a youtuber for you to make a youtube video sharing your thoughts and comments on this article and this issue. Thanks again.

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  7. One of the very real problems that leads to aggressive behaviour by locals towards visitors to Jamaica is that the regular Jamaican who used to earn a living from traditional tourism can no longer do that. The majority of visitors have pre-paid for their holiday weeks and months in advance of their visit. They are escorted from airport to resort hotel - where they have their bed, are fed, entertained and encouraged to remain until their departure. In many instances the guest at the all-inclusive hotel is actively cautioned NOT to venture out. Occasional outings and tours are also pre-paid and the revenue that used to be spread amongst fruit vendors, taxis, tour guides, souvenir vendors, restaurants, bars & stores outside of the all-inclusive loop - is virtually non-existent. Scarce spoils for a hungry, under-employed sector of Jamaican society who can no longer earn an honest living from the spin-off from tourism. In this scenario the losers are: our visitors, the 'little man', and the island of Jamaica.

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    1. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!! That said it's kind of a catch 22. People are told not to leave the resort because of beggers and aggressive sales people but that is also what leads to forcing people into those "professions".

      I've never been a fan of AI's I prefer small boutique hotels. I make an effort to stay at small hotels, eat out at local restaurnats, do my shopping at local shops, go on day trips, hire locals to drive me around, etc.

      I know what your saying though, whether booking through Apple Vacations, Orbitz, etc they all offer all these options where you can plan and pay for all your stuff up front from drivers to day trips to activities and I don't think that money flows down to local people like it should.

      I wait til I get there and instead of using large tour companies use friends I've made over the years whether it be a bartender or someone I met on the beach to drive me to or from the airport and things like that.

      Granted I wouldn't advise a first timer just befriend the first local person they see and hop in their car and go off into the mountains but these are people I met and got to know over a number of trips before I visited their homes and had them take me around.

      Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting

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  8. You keep repeating yourself about not this and that about Jamaica and you are still doing it. Why did u even post this on social media. Make people form their own opinions. Seven brothers seven different minds. Mexico is much much worst and you know it. Stop bringing down our country. Your ancestors did enough of that. Aren't therevaggressive beggers in your country????

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    1. Oh common now, you totally made everything you said irrelevant when you start talking about my ancestors. You don't know me or anything about me. My family didn't come over to the USA til my parents so it would be impossible for me to have owned slaves myself or even had family who did so don't start playing race cards and stuff.

      I love Jamaica I really do. Will I go back... YES!!!! Do I regret cancelling my trip? YES!!! That said these are real problems that need to be addressed.

      I agree with you let people form their own opinions. I'm not saying everyone should agree with me or has to agree with me. Everyone has differnet comfort levels. There are some people who don't or wouldn't enjoy Jamaica, thats fine they can go to Florida.

      Then you have people like me who have enjoyed Jamaica extensively over a number of trips but I feel the vibe is changing and the town is changing and that's to be expected but it's changing for the negative and there are issues which need to be addressed. Also, as far as people making their own decisions, I'm in favor of that but lets let htem have all the info at their hands to make the decision.

      If someone doesn't read my post or at least educate themselves about the shady parts or dangers of Jamaica like everywhere some people may go thinking fun in the sun not a care in the world, etc.

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    2. I agree. That was the longest most repetitive article. I was thinking I should share it but when I saw you go on and on and over and over before getting to the point...not sharing that ...putting my friends through the torture I endured.

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    3. Sorry you didn't enjoy the writing but I still contend despite maybe being repetitious the points in this article are very valid.

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  9. Been coming to Jamaica for over 35 years, and this year in Mobay is the worst I have ever seen for begging, beginning at my hotel with the staff. They are ruining their island by their aggressive rude behaviour and if Jamaicans don't smarten up, they are going to be nothing more that a dirty ass Haiti, where no one goes.

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    1. You are exactly the person I am talking about... and I say this in a positive way not meaning anything negative. It's one thing when a first time visitor complains about beach vendors or stupid things but I'm talking about the longtime visitors like yourself. Your clearly someone experienced and comfortable moving around Jamaica. I have quite a few trips under my belt but nowhere near as many as you so if someone as experienced and knowledgeable as yourself is getting intimidated or not enjoying it imagine what the impression is to a first time visitor.

      That is really the main thing that made me cancel my trip is hearing "Jamericans" with 20, 30, 40 trips under their belt are starting to get turned off.

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  10. I love my Jamaica, but this situation is true and getting worse. Unfortunately nothing will be done until it is too late.

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    1. Let's hope not. Jamaica has to realize they are dependent on tourism and things will get really bad if people are scared to go to Jamaica.

      I went to Jamaica a couple times when the US state dept had warnings against traveling to Jamaica. I'm not someone who is scared off easily and honestly the warning was stupid because it was about things happening in Kingston not Negril, Mobay, etc. But just saying I'm not someone who is scared off easily and I'm just not feeling it anymore the way things are.

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    2. I read your article with interest as I lived in Lucea, Hanover for nine years and only ever heard of one murder a few years ago of a female hotel worker.
      Negril has never been my favourite town as it's man made but always preferred to socialize amongst the community in Red Ground and similar areas and never experienced any problems at all, in fact I was usually ignored. One thing I'd like to say is that you do have to be street wise when travelling in Jamaica and know how to act and talk to the locals so not to be taken advantage of... it's a shame that Negril has taken a downward slide as it looks bad for all the decent and honest people who work there.

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    3. Yes I always drive by Lucea on my way to Negril and seems like a beautiful community. I do agree when you get out of the tourist areas you do tend to be ignored a bit more in a good way that is but even in remote areas of the hills where most tourists don't go I would still be occasionally hit up for gimme money whitey and things like that.

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    4. Billy I do hope will come back soon and hope it will be better next time....I feel what you are saying and it's true, I dont like the place sometimes because of the undesirable attitude of some but god knows Jamaican authorities and government need to seriously do something now so that people do not have to beg and harass tourists and locals alike. God bless you man.

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  11. This is a very timely post/article as I am currently contemplating a trip to Jamaica. The contemplation is directly related to security. I was born in Jamaica and have lived in the US for 30+ years. I am one of those who have been defending "yard" all along however, your description of the situation is spot on. I have experienced the same and there is a very noticeable difference when I travel to other "tropical" destinations. I will add another layer to this - being a Jamaican, I sometimes stay with family at "non-resort" areas and the level of anxiety and concern is also much higher (even among those that live there) than in the past. Hopefully, this dialogue will result in tangible changes that not only affects visitors but positively impact the lives of those that live in Jamaica!

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. It's interesting hearing a locals perspective or at least a former local. In my travels over the years I have made many friends and visited their homes and I agree, even they seem to be seeing things take a turn for the worse. Also as I've said a number of times the Jamaica visitors with 20 or more trips under their belt are getting worried so imagine the impression on a first time visitor who's maybe intimidated just leaving the US period and then are bombarded by aggressive begging and potentially even violence. I also hope this dialogue can help bring attention to and improve the situation.

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    2. I was born in Jamaica and lived in the US for over 20 years. I used to really enjoy going to Jamaica. I even went back a few years ago and spent 5 years living in Jamaica with my kids. I wanted them to experience the Jamaican culture.

      I was robbed a few times. But when I was kidnapped at knife point and a woman was among the kidnappers that was it for me. I packed up and left within two weeks. The article is spot on, people in Jamaica have become exponentially more aggressive. I've been going to other places such as Roatan, Mexico, St Thomas, St Mateen and the Bahamas, Belize, DR among others. None compare to Jamaica in terms of beauty, vibe, culture and cuisine. But the vibe isn't what it used to be and all though those other places don't feel quite the same, not for lack of trying, they play reggae, say some of the Jamaican phrases, have Jamaican restaurants and try to copy the "yard vibe," something is still missing. I won't be going back to Jamaica anytime soon because I don't feel safe. I went back even after I was kidnapped and roughed up for US dollars, I wasn't scared. Now I am!

      I will live on the memories. I know they won't do anything until everyone stops visiting, then it will be too late. I'm so over Jamaica,it's sad really, because I miss what was.

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    3. I totally agree with you. After my first few trips I realized there was another side to Jamaica. Don't get me wrong I still loved it and still visited but did have some worries and concerns in the bakc of my mind and was a bit more cautious than I would have been in the past.

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  12. A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out!
    He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, promptly dug him out and ate him.

    Moral of the story:

    (1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

    (2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.

    (3) And when you're in deep shit, it's smart to keep your mouth shut!

    Who not coming back to Jamaica is their personal choice.... but we don't understand the apologetic negative campaign.

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    1. It's not a negative campaign and as I've said to a number of posters I plan on writing a post singing the praises of Jamaica and all the great things that kept me comming back and that made me fall in love with Jamaica.

      I'm not trying to get people to dump on Jamaica, far from it. I want to go back but I also want the situation to improve.

      I have always been quick to defend Jamaica from first time complainers and people who've never been there who throw around stereotypes like you can't leave your resort and have to be walled up like your in a compound. That said the way things are goign soon that may actually be true vs just a bunch of scaredy cats saying so like it was years ago.

      I do think too many people, Jamaicans and travelers who love Jamaica are sometimes to quick to say things like don't carry your phone and dont carry more than $20 like it's acceptable being robbed or mugged if the loss is under $50. I hear too many people almost being passive about the terrible turn Jamaica and specifically Negril is taking so just want to start a discussion and in some way maybe encourage the tourist board or tourist police to step things up a bit.

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  13. Billy,
    I feel compelled to offer my sincere apologies based on the experiences you have shared. Jamaicans can be very accommodating people but we can also be very aggressive as well. This is unfortunate and you should have never gone through this as an advocate for and lover of our rock. I really hope someday you will become open to the concept of traveling to other parishes such as Portland, St.Ann and Kingston. I don't even know you but it breaks my heart to know you had to cancel your most recently planned trip based on safety concerns.

    Thank you for speaking out about this issue as many residents may not even be aware of the pressures our visitors face daily. I too have shared this post in the hope that more awareness will come to light. Once again Billy, my apologies. Big up yuhself!!!

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    1. Hello, thank you for your sincere and thoghtful comment and for reading my post and my blog. HOnestly it's a host of issues that caused me to cancel but safety and security was a prime one.

      I know Jamaica even in better years has sometimes gotten stereotyped badly as it's dangerous or don't leave your resort. I've always tried to be an ambassador for Jamaica and sing its praises and tell people how wonderful it is and have actually encouraged a lot of friends and family members to visit along with readers of my blogs and you tube channel. Feel free to check out my Jamaica blog at....

      http://jamaicabound123123.blogspot.com/

      and my Jamaica photo album at...

      http://iriephotos.blogspot.com/

      I havn't worked on those ones in years but still feel they show the beauty and some helpful tips to people thinking about traveling.

      Anyhow, thanks again and no need for you to apologize, you've done nothing badly to me nor have the people to Jamaica as a whole, just a few bad apples as can happen anywhere but I did wnat to spur a discussion about this and encourage others to help improve the situation. Thanks again for reading.

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  14. as a Jamaican... i have to appreciate this person's account of experiences in Jamaica. the Government has let down its people. For many... this is 'survival mode - no bueno. i fear perhaps it is.... too far gone. the very same reason i left... fear for the safety of myself & my two children.

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    1. Exactly, in many ways I can't even blame the people purpotrating the crimes. Granted obviously rich or poor we all know right from wrong but honestly if I had a baby at home who didn't have food to eat I can't say I wouldn't beg or hassle people to buy stuff, etc.

      I love Jamaica, I love the people the weather the beaches the food the culture. This is a problem which needs to be addressed though.

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  15. I can see your travel is limited to the islands. If you have gone to Europe at anytime especially Spain and Rome you would see how very aggressive their higglers are.These people are in your face and very aggressive when you say no, to the point of following you. Security issues are everywhere, even in this great country, so to act like it is just in Jamaica is hypocritical. Many tourist are killed in this country every year when they are just vacactioning outside their state, not to mention people from other country. The same happens in England. Every country you go to say to not venture off by yourself, for your own safety. In your own country, would you have gone to a person shack/business alone that you are not fully acquainted with. I dont think so, and even if you did, then there are names for people like you....Apparently you have been compensated for bolstering the tourisim for other islands...Stop acting that what you are describing is unique to Jamaica. I have been to the Bahamas, Cayman Island, Cancun, Cozumel, Belize, and Haiti and the security is no better. I know better than to wander off by myself into unknown territory. Not to mention the hotel accomodation. If you are too cheap to stay in hotels like the Ritz, Hyatt, Hylton etc. then that is your problem, you get what you pay for. You are acting like $180 per night in this country can get you anything better, if you are looking for upscale. If you do not wish to go back to Jamaica, then DO NOT GO! but dont deter other people because of your stupidity.

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    1. My travel is not limited to the islands, I have traveled through Europe, Eastern Europe, and other places as well and I agree with you the gypisies and hagglers are pretty aggressive there.

      I'm not even complaining about beach vendors, more power to them, I actually enjoy them. I'm talking about people straight up demanding money in an aggressive way such as my example of give me money so you don't get stabbed. That has never happenned to me in another country.

      I don't disagree other islands or countries don't have dangers as well but I think many of these countries have more active police forces and overall just a more structured law and order to deal with these things which is an area Jamaica is lacking.

      As for your comment I should stay at a Ritz, Hyatt, Hilton, etc. You realize none of those hotels exist in Negril right? Sure you have beaches and sandals and riu, however not only are those outside of what I want to spend, but even if I was given a free trip I would have no desire to stay in some walled off resort. one of the great things I enjoy about Negril is the small independent boutique and mom and pop hotels, thats the entire draw of it for me, I have no desire to stay in some mega resort or at a hilton, thats my worst nightmare. It also shows you don't have a clue what your talking about when it comes to Negril as Negril does not have those hotels, maybe mobay or ochi or llucea but not negril.

      Also, you can't seriously be suggesting that unless someone drops $500 a night on a room and stays at a name brand hotel they shouldn't expect safety and security and a secure room? seriously?

      I'll admit I'm a bit cheap but $180 is hardly some hole in the wall hotel. I think regardless of what you spend you should be safe and secure but years ago there were plenty of $40 and $50 a night accomodations in Negril that were lovely and safe so surely spending $180 a night on a decent hotel should be able to be safe and secure.

      You've shown your ignorance as well as how little you know about Negril and even Jamaica as a whole by your comments and why not have a productive discussion of a real isue instead of just calling me stupid?

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  16. I think you did something silly and now you regret it. As you admit in one of the comments above you may have just been ‘impulsive’ and ‘regret’ that you canceled your trip and wasted your money. It is clear just looking at it in its entirety (the title, versus the content, versus the themes, versus the points, versus the tone) that it just doesn’t add up. First you start off with a damning title, then you proclaim how much you ‘love’ the place, then you give a disclaimer (interesting; I think that’s just your guilt speaking) then you talk about trip advisor, then your experience and then state that you suddenly canceled your trip and end imploring that we heed your points. Only thing is that together these things do not make sense. If you really cared about Jamaica, I doubt you would have penned your thoughts in this fashion. One is not entirely convinced of your motives. If you have a problem with trip advisor then I suggest that you comment to trip advisor directly because they may not be readers of your blog. Plus, you chose to use trip advisor, so next time change your sources. Nevertheless you state that you have visited multiple times, so why you are all of a sudden shocked and offended by the disparity ? Next thing is that, although you make valid observations on the industry, I wonder if I should writing a damning article about the USA because of the facts that I have been chased, harassed and felt racism there. Lastly, you don’t state exactly what made you cancel your trip at the last minute, although you did admit that it was impulsive. And impulsive as you are, you impulsively wrote this rant to project your issues on to Jamaica. My suggestion is that the next time, you think before you act. And that goes both for canceling tickets and writing articles. #notbuyingit

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    1. You entirely missed the point of this post. I have visited Jamaica many times and it's not the same island today it was 10 years ago. Granted everything changes, things grow, the more something grows the more problems you are going to have.

      It's not just me and not just my opinion, take a look at any of the forums visited by Jamaica lovers who have visited 40 and 50 times, much more than myself and probably you and even they are saying the vibe is different, tehy now feel more like they have to look over their shoulders, etc.

      To be comletely honest I do regret cancelling my trip but at the same time it woudln't have been the same carefree trip I always have had, I probably wouldn't have gone off exploring and wandering as much as I would have in the past.

      I don't think I owe it to you to prove I know or love or enjoy Jamaica but honestly over the years I have encouraged tons of people to go, I have been an advocate to not listen to the stereotypes, that is is safe and fun and wonderful. Things are changing and I'd like things to take a turn for the better sooner rather than later.

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  17. I wouldn't go and see a strangers house at the side of a beach in NYC let alone in Jamaica. There are places in the US and Europe that make Jamaica look like heaven. Know yourself. Know your surroundings. Stop going to random strangers houses. Mind your business. You'll be fine.

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    1. I openly admit in the post this was probably a poor idea but you make it sound as if I hopped in a car and went off into the hills. I was literally on the beach maybe 50 feet set back so I didn't even leave the beach and you could see the beach and passerbyes the whole time.

      Again, was this smart no but is this something many a tourist would probably do? Yes.

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  18. Billy Glad you Love Jamaica if not your dumping would have been real bad ....as a Jamaican who left Jamaica as a young man travelled the world Jamaica is not so bad in comparison to turkey.... Spain Paris yes people are hustling and as a tourist one has to be very aware of their surroundings on las ramblas Gypsies all over your wallets watches on hand etc what about using the toilet in the ground in Greece... we could go on and on dont speak about Egypt everybody has their problem lets not pick on one,,,,if u found it that bad and I believe u except for the toilet water backing up in your bathroom you would never find that at say Sandals I honestly think you are lying and as for 5 stars in mexico what was advertised as a 5 stars turned out to be no more than 3.5 and a couple from Canada was murdered there on the resort 2 nights after we got there so as I said before everybody has their problems

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    1. I agree for some reason Europe doesn't get the same bad rap that some islands and places further south get for the exact same issues. I definately agree there is kind of a double standard there.

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  19. Billy well done for saying what needed to be said for a long time!!! Completely agree with your comments. I have been going to Negril for many years and it really has changed for the worst. I actually have family there. For a while now I have also been considering not going back until things get better. I recently had a baby and that pretty much decided it for me, there is no way I am taking her there right now. I hear terrible things daily! I have had awful experiences myself and my last visit was the worst ever!

    I too have no issues with beach vendors or even beggars if the polite no thanks works. However, on my last visit even one of the boat owners got nasty. I sat near his "staff" on the beach almost daily and I was shocked at how they all dealt with holiday makers. I'd been going to that same spot for years and never heard anything like it.

    At one point I even heard remarks about myself and my friends. We are well known in that spot for being regulars. We don't really do the trips anymore because we've done them all, many times. Well on this visit the locals were saying we were broke because we declined going on the trips. They got real nasty. One of our party is of Jamaican heritage so understood everything they were saying. I did manage to post on Trip Advisor about it.

    For anyone else commenting (I only read a few comments as I could see there wa a running theme!) no one is denying that everwhere has crime and problems. Billy is simply pointing out that it has gotten ridiculously worse in Negril. He stated that he is highlighting it so that someone stands up and recognises the problem. I love Jamaica. I will not be returning any time soon.

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    1. Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting. Yes I agree its frustrating that instead of acknowledging there's a problem with crime and violence in Negril and Jamaica everyone wants to say I'm from a big city there's crime in my area too so what? I'm from Chicago, we have some of the worst crime in the country, all be it it's isolated in a few poor neighborhoods, not that it makes it right or okay, actually its very bad nobody cares enough to fix these areas because the people are poor and not a priority but thats a whole nother issue. I agree though, it's like two wrongs don't make a right. there's crime at home so its' okay there's crime in jamaica. People talk about it very casually and I think almost defend it too much. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

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  20. I am a Jamaican and I too have concerns about going home on vacation, should I wish to travel alone. I am saddened about that and I know there are many like me afraid to speak up because of the "fariner" label as people claim we are being negative and that it is bad other places too as if that is a good excuse. We should be trying to be the best and not settle for close to but not quite the bottom of the barrel.Hoping the government finally steps up and does something to improve the violence on the island and the harassment visitors are exposed to.Very sorry to hear that you had to cancel your vacation Brian.

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    1. Deborah, it's always interesting getting the perspective of someone who is from Jamaica, has family there, etc and probably knows the goings on and politics moreso than the rest of us. I agree it's sad you can't try to improve your country without worrying about being called names. Hopefully things take a turn for the better as I would love to return.

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    2. I too am a Jamaican and a proud one at that must I must hang my head down and agree with this article. It's so sad but twice as true that my husband and I have decided that our vacations will be spent enjoying elsewhere and not our homeland unless it's business related. Sorry for your experiences and these one sided ignorant comments, that's why our country is how it is.

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    3. Stephanie thank you for reading and sharing your experiences as well. I'm deeply regretting cancelling my trip and not nearly excited about the alternative destination I booked. I've actually even considered switching back to Jamaica even if it costs me more money lol but honestly unless it's a carefree trip it just wouldn't be the same, I'm also worried my girlfriend is already too intimidated to go being it would be her first time. Also on a total side note and this has nothing to do with Jamaica but she is currently undergoing cancer treatments and being that far away from a hospital and everything did also play a small role in the back of myhead in my reason for cancelling.

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  21. Hello Everyone, I'm a Jamaican who like many, loves Jamaica and after reading this account, am deeply afftected by the growing problems of safety and negative experiences that affect many Jamaicans and visitors alike. I believe we should all do what we can to help this naturally blessed country to become a better, safer place to live, visit and enjoy; and since Jamaica's tourism sector is one of the most important areas for business and revenue for the island, this is an additional reason why these sincere and well meaning complaints should be taken seriously.
    Going forward then, I would strongly suggest to you Mr. Walker to voice these concerns to the relevant authorities - I believe it would make a powerful impact if you could take the time to write to the Minister of Tourism, the directors of Jamaica Tourist Board, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, the mayor of Negril, the opinion pages in the island's newspapers, as well as any other stakeholders who may have an interest in this area, suggesting ways to improve the fundamental issue of safety and peace of mind especially as a paying visitor with unlimited vacation choices.

    I appreciate your honest and heartfelt letter, sensing that the regrettable decision to cancel the trip to Negril was not easy - made difficult by your conflicting feelings of enjoyment and concern for safety. I therefore urge you to use your influence to help make positive and well needed change so that we can eventually overcome these problems, making it possible to one day come back and enjoy our beautiful country again.

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    1. Hello, thank you for reading my post and thank you for your comments as well as suggestions. I actually did write to the Jamaican Gleander but may also write the tourist board as well. Jamaica is a lovely island and a great place to visit and I want longtime visitors to be able to continue to visit as well as first timers to have a great time and go home and tell their friends Jamaica isn't this scary palce where you have to be in your all inclusive resort like a compound, it's a friendly and safe place you can move about freely enjoying all the great restaurants and roadside bars and trying out different things.

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  22. Best way to go there old clothes slippers n credit card when money done chill until you ready to leave problem solved

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    1. I've actually never been a huge fan of using a credit card in Jamaica. I find cash is more readily accepted and also alot of places use those old credit card machines where with carbon paper as opposed to a digital or electronic machine so your card imprint is sitting there behind the bar for whoever to see or grab. this is not a dig on Jamaica but I oftentimes don't use credit cards in foreign countries unless at my hotel or for a more expensive purchase at a well known establishment.

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    2. That's what I do, lol. And they say I'm a deportee. Once someone gave me 300 Jamaican dollars because I was taking too long in line counting the coins. Flip flops, swimsuit and cc and few bucks in my pocket. I have an advantage because I was born in Jamaica. I have to tell my kids not to speak when I'm negotiating with the higglers because their Jamaican accent isn't so good.

      But what about the people who can't blend in as well? This is not good!

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    3. One thing I have found that is not the most cost effective but from a safety perspective I like is buying a prepaid card like Visa Bucks or Travelex Cashpassport. Preload it with a couple hundred bucks and throw it in my pocket on my swimtrunks. I'll use that card anywhere, if there's any fraud its limited to that card and not tied to my bank account or credit line and there's only a few hundred bucks on there which is insured.

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  23. i am jamaican i live in jamaica and i only been to negril once i agree with you.but negril still is not the önly place in ja we do ave 13 more parishes u can come to love and fulljoy. You speak of aggressive beggers and i can say u are right we as jamaicans do experience the same aggressive behavior jus to make a money to feed but there is a right and a wrong way of doing things so these vendors can do better and should do better for the sake of tourism most r not trained in the field customer service and sales so they do wat they think is the best way to survive. Negril and jamaica as our crime probs but so does the rest of the world . I wont be ignorant and say to u not to come back or stay home since u dnt like i would rather we as jamaicans and the tourist board try to fix the problems tourist face cause i have seen it my self . I have never been out of my country so i cant compare i can only be fair to whats true . I would suggest to you if u have not done so to write your concerns to the tourist board of jamaica . My country is fun and relaxing , we have loving ppl and great food beaches and hang out spots. I as a jamaican get very excited when i get to see the beautiful parts of my island i love it here . But i live cautious and be aware of my surroundings and ppl

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  24. Please consider Dominica as your next travel destination.

    We have the lowest crime rate in the Caribbean. With a population of less than 70,000 and no large, all-inclusive resorts the tourist experience is intimate and well integrated into the local community.

    All the great things you mention about Jamaica apply: friendly, laid-back attitude, stunning natural beauty and unique and quirky experiences. But it is safe. There are no 'no-go' areas (unless you count high, rugged mountains and active volcanos!).

    We regularly welcome solo travellers (both women and men), families with young children, older people and gay and lesbian couples. All of them comment on how friendly and welcoming the locals are.

    Dominica is a very poor country (the poorest in the Caribbean) and we are not without our beggars and street hustlers. But the local people appreciate tourists and take the safety of their island very seriously as do the government and the police. (I heard a story about a bag being lifted from a tourist while they were swimming at our local beach. The owner of the local store saw it happen, called the police and the guy was picked up before he made it to the end of the road and the bag returned before the tourists even noticed it was missing!)

    We do hope that Jamaica and other Caribbean islands that have crime issues find a solution but their problems are complex. Dominica is a young nation that is relatively new to the tourist game. Both the private and public sectors here are showing commitment to getting it right.

    Please come to Nature Island and support this wonderful place.

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    1. Thank you for reading as well as commenting and introducing me to Dominica. For a second I almost thought you meant Dominican Republic but then realized Dominica the island down by barbados. I've heard about it and have always meant to research it and learn more. Thanks for the info and giving me an idea for a future destination. I definately will travel back to Jamaica again sometime but always fun checking out somewhere new.

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    2. yeah, a lot of people confuse us with DR (including, often, the postal service). But we are a completely different island and an independent nation pronounced Dom-in-eek-ah (stress on the 3rd syllable).

      Do some research and I promise, the more you read, the more you will want to come.

      BTW, I posted a link to your post on FB and someone commented "yes, visit Dominica where the whole village will come out to help you park your car!". This is not an exaggeration. It happens on a daily basis.

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  25. You Billy boy is a covert Jamaica hater. Someone might also be paying you to write this article. Crime n begging are not unique to Jamaica, I guess you have never been to Washington DC. ..the Nation's Capital to come in contact with all the panhandlers? And when talking about crime, you need to fix your backyard first (Chicago the murder capital). Jamaica has its issues that definitely needs working on, but so does every place else in this world. You need to get out of your box I see...when you gonna talk about hotel ratings...sounds like you have only stayed at those cottages in negril, how can you compare those to real luxury hotels in other parts of the Island? You are so naive, n so paid...you are sad!

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    1. So I'm a Jamaican hater because I point out a real issue going on? Is that why I've taken 8 or more trips to Jamaica because I hate it so much? I'm not saying the rest of the world is perfect but why not address my concerns and issues with Jamaica instead of pointoing out other areas of the country.

      that's like saying we have to do something about terrorism in Afghanistan and you say there's terrorism in many places who cares why bother.

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  26. True and sad, as a Jamaican reading this....

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    1. Hopefully things will turn around. This is bad for tourists and locals.

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  27. Covert Jamaica hater you are Billy

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    1. You obviously have nothing to add to the discussion except for name calling which adds nothing. Thanks for that well thought out viewpoint.

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  28. I was born and raised in Jamaica,I migrated 8yrs ago,and the thought of me ever going back to Jamaica to live or even to go on vacation hurts and that's my island.Jamaica is very beautiful,friendly,and great food.Even negril seven miles beach and white sand,the best in the world,but I'm too Is bothered by the violence and scared for my life whenever I go home to Jamaica and visit negril.The Jamaica Tourist Board need to do something about this, tourist need to feel safe when they visit out island.Our island mainly depends on tourism to survive,if visitors stop coming to our island,then the jamaican people,the good ones will suffer.Billy thank you for the article,I totally agree with you and I need the Tourist Board need to fix this..

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    1. I used to think Negril and the tourist police did a wonderful job of keeping people safe and secure. Many of the issues are isolated and not on the beach or near hotels, not that its good for anyone to be affected but to tourists much of this doesn't affect tourists. That said I have been hearing more and more about things happening on the beach and it seems hotel breakins are much more common which is the most troubling part. Let's start a discussion and clean things up.

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  29. I am Jamaican and I am sorry you feel that way, we Jamaicans need to do something about problem like these, if we want tourists to continue coming to our country we need to take there safety into consideration and make it our man priority, instead of being defensive of what Billy has to say, it's best we try to resolve the problem and to solve a problem we need to first acknowledge and try find ways to fix it instead of being defensive. Be smart people, being DUNCE wont take us anywhere.��

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    1. I agree, I think first step is to acknowledge. It's surprising many Jamaicans themselves acknowledge this is a problem and we have tourists oddly enough seem to be the ones burrying their heads in the sand and saying this isn't an issue.

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    2. I with deep regret as a jamaican national and some who worked in the Hospitality Industry for most of my life before I migrated I had no choice but to give credit to your story and pray that the Authorities will wake and save the the tourism product before it too is gone .Our people need to realize the there are more destinations than jamaica even for Beauty and tropical and Excotic scenery that Island hold our locals are killing the product with their actions of begging,and frighten the people who have choices to vacation anywhere else of choice with their hard earned money.so as a jamaican I want to use this opportunity to say to my Brothers and Sisters it's hard and may come as an insults to us but we should use this as positive criticism and Embark on Mission to change the situation and let our Visitors who go to jamaica by Choice Be feeling Welcome and safe Where ever the Choose to stay as they Chose Jamaica as their Destination to vacation When They Had Hundreds of Other DestinationThey Could Have Chosen ..I Want To HIGHLIGHT A PROMINENT HOTEL MANAGER THAT I WORKED WITH BACK IN THE DAYS WHOM HAD ONE SPECIAL FUNCTION THAT WAS HIS BABY THIS WAS CALLED THE RETURNING RESIDENT PARTY AT THE LAST HOTEL I WORKED AND MR PETER FRASIER ALL WAY TOOK PRIDE IN THIS FUNCTION AS HE USED TO SAY NOBODY SELL YOUR PROPERTY LIKE THE PERSON WHO MAKE A RETURN TRIP BECAUSE OVER TIME THE GUEST WHO RETURN WILL EVENTUALLY BRING YOU BUSINESS.SO WHEN ONE PERSON Get perturbed by a bad action it can be counter affective to your Business as well

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    3. I with My Deepest Regret that I must take this Opportunity As A jamaican national to say we as a people need not be biased and try to defend or even be naive of the writers story as our locals are really killing the Tourism Product By their actions ...This does not reflect the action majorjority of jamaican but the people who participates in these kind of Actions paints a picture of jamaicans...Our Tourism product is only unique to our Island but the tourist can chose to Vacation any place of choice except jamaica so we need to carefully consider that the tourist who chooses Jamaica as their Destination Should always be treated with respect dignity and care as they made a choice to make a contribution to our Economy ..With this I want to reflect on a programme that was at the last Hotel I worked the RETURNING RESIDENT PARTY...ONE OF THEN THEN MANAGERS MR.PETER FRASIER ALWAYS MADE IT KNOW TO HIS STAFF THAT THE GUEST WHO RETURNS TO YOUR PROPERTY WAS THE GUEST WHO SELL YOUR PROPERTY AND THERFORE THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE HOUSE SO LET FACE THE MUSIC IF YOU HAVE A GOOD EXPIERNCE YOU WILL ALWAYS WANT TO GO BACK TO THE PLACE WHERE YOU ENJOYED THAT EXPIERNCE BUT WHEN YOU DON'T I AM SURE YOU WON'T EVEN GIVE IT A THOUGHT TO GO BACK FELLOW JAMAICANS WAKE UP AND REALIZE EVERY TOURIST THAT COMES TO JAMAICA WORKS HARD FOR THIS TO HAPPEN AND SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE EXPOSED TO THE DISCOMFORT OF BEIG HASSLED ABOUT BUY DRUGS OR GIVING UP THEIR MONEY REMEMBER THEY CHOSE TO COME AND VISIT WITH US AND ENHANCE OUR LOCAL ECONOMY FOR THE MONEY THEY SPEND .....I THINK IT'S TIME THE AUTHORITIES REALIZE THAT THE TOURISM PRODUCT NEEDS MORE ATTENTION THAN THEY GIVE SO TO ALL MY FELLOW JAMAICANS LET USE THIS IN A MORE POSITIVE WAY DON'T GET AT THE WRITER LET'S GET AT OUR BROTHERS AND SISTER AND EDUCATE THEM ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF ONE OF OUR GREATEST PRODUCT AND TEACH THEM TO MAKE MORE POSITIVE IMPACTS THAN THE NEGATIVE ONES THAT ARE KILLING THE PRODUCT

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    4. I agree its the authorities who should be cleaning up around hotels with beggars. People innocently are begging to help with young children, and at time not all aggressive,But even in UK you would going about there every day business people are begging , and most are for Drugs, gambling . I don't. But the thing why a lot of us in foreign land is the changes in FAMILIES, dishonesty. If you asked some families to help over see a house been built because you would like to return to your Island for retirement , they robbed you day light.And lied. I SEND £25 THOUSAND plus money to clean land, level and paid for tractor to dug the foundation all this separate, every thin was double in prices when I asked her for the job. T he builder's wages was not paid , I did paid him $90,000 JAMAICAN DOLLAR IN 2002 . £15,000 WAS TAKEN < I HAD PAID LAWYER , He TOLD ME HE COULD NOT GET , EACH TIME EITHER OUT OR HIDING . the goodness he gave me back my £2000. 20005 When I went out to Jamaica my house was still at foundation.Not at bellcoast as told by this thieving Bitch . My £15,000 I will never get it back But I leave her to GOD for PUNISHMENT through life . People are so dishonest ,the more they have is the more they want and they know how hard you earned your money abroad. She don't know why she took it.IT IS NOT LIKE FIRST TIME PEOPLE WILL HELP AND YOU GIVE OUT OF KINDNESS , THEY EXPECT YOU TO GIVE THEM BEFORE THEY DO YOU ANY HELP. So they are the things why a lot of Jamaican abroad do not want to get back and settle. People has become very greedy.Coming bact to JAMAICA time and time , yes the begging right through the towns not just the resorts. BUT YES IT HAS GONE WORST. Every one trying to ripe you off. ALL THE TRUST IS GONE. AND THIS IS WHY I WILL COME BACK FOR HOLIDAYS BUT NOT TO LIVE PERMANENTLY, I left the Island 52 yrs , yes I wanted to come back , but not now. aAND I WOULD RATHER TO STAY IN AN HOTEL , NOT WITH FAMILIES AGAIN.You give them , yet they borrow , but youre so loaded they dont give back . We have to save , and work hard for our living , not just lay back for hand out in foreign land . I really dont agreed with this person all what he wrote . But we really dont help it any way. BEGGING IS NOT JUST ON THESE ISLAND'S NOT JUST JAMAICA. YES GONE DOWN HILL THROUGH BLOODY GREED.

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    5. Thanks for sharing your opinion and thanks for reading.

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  30. I too am a Jamaican and a proud one at that must I must hang my head down and agree with this article. It's so sad but twice as true that my husband and I have decided that our vacations will be spent enjoying elsewhere and not our homeland unless it's business related. Sorry for your experiences and these one sided ignorant comments, that's why our country is how it is........cuss all you want JAMAICA...the truth hurts and you know it

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    1. Very sad to hear this, hopefully things improve so you and your family can return.

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  31. Thanks Billy for trying to be positive and letting everyone know that you meant no harm in your write up ..
    but I am shock to learn about trip advisors ability to correct and remove negative or honest comments about incidents and situation ................I say they are the main culprits who have lied to us honest hard working people who take the effort to go spend our hard earned dollar in Jamaica.......everyone works nothing personal against the beggars I am sure if there is a will there is a way to get some hard earned money .............honestly some friends and me were planning to go there next year ....now it is definitely off our list ........not worth the hassle cause you might get a deal on the ticket or location ........in the end you spend the same for hassle and begging and come back disappointed and unhappy........
    The people who care and live in Jamaica need to address the issue with the politicians to change the situation or it is only going to get worst and by then it will be too late to turn it around .........
    Thank you Billy !!

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    1. Trip Advisor is known for having a strong policy of censoring negative stuff, not necessarily a negative review of a hotel but more so negative current events, violence happening, etc. They will either closes posts before a discussion can be started or in many instances remove individual posts or entire threads. Someone had started one about this blog post and sure enough within an hour or two it was closed and removed. Apparently trip advisor doesn't want readers to have all the information at their hands to make their own decision about a destination.

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  32. Thank you Mr Walker for pointing out a real issue. I have read some of the comments from persons who claim to be Jamaican and I have to say I am shocked at their responses. It seems as if these individuals have forgotten that we need the revenue generated from the tourism sector. I would suggest you write a letter to the relevant authority, even better a group a long time/returning visitors should do so, so that the authorities will become aware of the situation and hopefully act to correct the situation.

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    1. I agree, tourism is probably the #1 income producer for Jamaica, if tourists start having bad experiences it will be very bad for the entire island.

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  33. I am a Jamaican, the issues u have pointed out are true in fact. It's your money spending you can always change your destination, as one reader stated there are other places that u could visit on the island. Yes the crime rate is high, Yes some Jamaicans are more aggressive than some. The Us government often exploit other countries good thing we have no oil here Lol. You too have issues with crime ,thing is you just cover it better.I've watched your fox news,channel 7 news etc some things you do iT's inhumane. Whenever someone says not to disrespect you, they all ways do so when your goingto say your not bashing Jamaica truth and infant sir your doing it.

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    1. Nowhere is perfect but why even compare Jamaica with other places. Either Jamaica has problems or it doesn't, what's the point of saying well Chicago or NY or LA have issues? Does that then make it okay for Jamaica to have issues? Rather than addressing issues everyone wants to just cover it up and say every place has problems.

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  34. Also i love too much Jamaica, but it's true that.On my last trip I was mugged in Negril, in the night in Norman Boulevard, near my Hotel Rondel Village.Two guys jumped me with a knife and took me 20 dollars, in 2013, but I intend to come back, I love the island and already know almost end-to-end, high-up places for fmas meet as Nine Miles, still didn't work, I bring greetings from Brazil!.Jah,Rastafari...Bless people of Jamaica..

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    1. That's terrible that happenned to you. Glad it hasn't dampened your spirit or your love for Jamaica. That is terrible though.

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  35. I am a Jamaican and billy me agree with you. Everywhere you go people a beg if you no give them them cuss you. This country is not fit for travel.

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    1. I want to go back, and honestly am sad about cancelling, however how things are currently decided to go elsewhere sadly.

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  36. It was only yesterday that I asked a friend of mine here in Falmouth, how he managed the begging while walking from his business place to have breakfast. That is a distance of about 200 meters.

    Here in Jamaica, begging has become street culture. On the streets, whether they have it or not, it is normal to sag, buy me a beer nuh?"

    I totally understand what you are talking about as I live it, as long as I leave home and go in town.Honestly, I don't know where it will end as it is becoming cultural. Adtt to that our declining moral values (no shame) and we have a serious "begging epidemic" on our hands.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the perspective of someone native to Jamaica. Honestly I don't really have a problem with begging, we have that in my city but my issue is more with the aggressive begging and threats. That said to a first time visitor I can see someone viewing any begging at all as an annoyance or possibly intimidating. It's not unique to Jamaica but is an issue.

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  37. For anyone who's interested in discussing or debating this issue there's a lively discussion going on at the Negril Boardies Group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/46874679234/10153099927414235/?notif_t=group_comment

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    1. Billy i must say, i too was rather confused reading the story with the apologies then the horror stories then more apologies and yes you were definitely bashing Jamaica. However when you purchase a vacation, youve really purchased a dream an escape from your own realities which sadly in the US are rather grim with such high murder rates per capita in Washington, Chicago and New Orleans to name a few its no wonder the last thing you want to confront on your vacation is crime having had to deal with so much of it back home.

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    2. I'm not saying issues of violence or anything else are unique to Jamaica, Chicago has worse violence than Iraq, that said it is isolated to a few neighborhoods not that its an excuse, actually it's very sad that nobody cares as long as it's isolated to a poor area nobody cares about. That said Jamaica is experiencing these issues worse than years past which is why I would like someonthing to be done about it before I return.

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  38. kool. Jamaica may just have lost one visitor that may have seen negril westmoreland go through its late Butler-Cohenian cycle of changes. however did he consider the possibility of exploring and discovering other more rustic hidden gems parts of jamaica outside of negril still in their early stages of discovery. the JTB mantra still applies here "if you do not go you do not know "

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    1. You bring up a great point. I've spent a shot amount of time in Port Antonio and absolutely loved it, maybe I'll go check that out again. I've also checked out some parts of the southern coast but many more to explore.

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  39. mmmm. Firstly, you are not entitled to the title of Jamerican because you visit Jamaica all the time, and now you are too uncomfortable to go.

    Next, remind yourself that though a country's GDP is largely dependent on Tourism, that means something much more for those that live there. You are coming to their home, they don't have to cater to you. Any also remember, unlike you many of them can't simply "go home" to avoid certain things. You have a great luxury in coming and going that many do not.

    What that leads me to are the concerns tourists have of safety and security..... Do you know of any recent incidents of a tourist being murderer or severely injured by a local? I really hate seeing the mention of local violence, when actually tourists have little to no chance of being impacted by it. Stop talking about it like it really impacts you. In all my time in Spanish Town and Kingston, pretty much the only time I have had anything happen to myself - pick-pocketed - was leaving a show. So I am not buying the safety concerns.

    Begging happens everywhere. Is it annoying to have someone continually beg? Yes. Is it unsafe. No. The instance of someone say "it would be bad if someone stabbed you" I beg to ask if that person was crazy. There are folks we call "mad" people that say things that seem like threats, but in all honestly they will not do anything - and even if they did try something Jamaicans being the great people they are don't mess with that. Unlike most Americans, many Jamaicans are quick to jump into situations that are not right when they see violence or even aggression that shouldn't be happening. Jamaicans (though I will say not as much with the younger generations) speak up, and take action.

    Lastly, if you are truly concerned about the begging then be thoughtful on how you are spending your money. Make sure you are supporting the locals as much as possible - their hotels, guest houses, restaurants, cook shops, vendors, etc. etc. Much of the reason for begging is that for so long there has been a lack of increased prosperity for Jamaicans at large. Foreign Corporate owned companies come in promising development and jobs - which a bit comes - but the big money doesn't stay in Jamaica and is not shared amongst the local population. And that has only got worse in places like Negril and MoBay, Ocho Rios, and increasingly Falmouth.

    Try branching out. Go south - Treasure Beach, Black River or elsewhere in St. Elizabeth. Check out Kingston and see some of the culture and history there, and go to Lime Cay and Port Royal. Find your way into Trelawney hills. Venture into the Blue Mountains, hike the peak. Then spend some time in Portland - in my opinion the most beautiful part of the Island - the rivers, the beaches, the waterfalls, and coast line. Port Antonio is a great town as well.

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    1. Are you the president of the association of American Jamericans? lol. Apparently you get to decide who can brandish that title. Honestly I could care less about that, its kind of a funny saying, phrase, I guess for some even a lifestyle. If you have issue with that I don't need to call myself a Jamerican.

      I don't claim to be Mr. Jamaica, nor to I claim to have traveled there the most or even be the most knowledgeable. That said I have noticed many people who have traveled to Jamaica and Negril probably more times than yourself even 40 and 50 trips and more, even they are starting to say they are not going back this year or not going out or spending as much money as they probably would have in the past. that was a big part of the point of this article. Not only voicing my own concerns but commenting on and noticing how many who have traveled to Jamaica more than myself and are more knowledgeable than myself and many who have even lived in Negril are now saying things are changing.

      As far as incidents involving tourists, I get what your saying most is probably isolated to local fueds and probably doesn't even take place on the beach. I'll give you that and I agree. That said more guns in town isn't a good thing, bullets travel far and don't just affect the intended victim. Currently in either the Whagwan Negril or Negril Boardies group there's a discussion about this post and one gentlemen who is a regular traveler to Jamaica was on the beach with his child while some guys were chasing each other on scooters having a little shootout. That is not safe.

      As far as begging it doesn't really bother me. Honestly I find it entertaining and part of hte experience. Not begging thats sad but the beach vendors are competing with many others so they have witty and funny sales pitches and ways to attract your attention so I find it fun bantering and joking with them.

      And I do spend my money with locals and locally and not with large hotels and tour companies.

      I have said in the comments many times I'm very sad to have cancelled and in many ways regret it. I'm sure I will go back but would like to see things turn around for the better.

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  40. Okay, to the lady who wrote the article. I can understand your frustration about the excessive begging and safety issues. Totally agree these are real issues that need to be attended to...
    However, as you stated you are from Chicago. Now Chicago is one of the most VIOLENT cities in the nation and the leading City with 10,000 shootings in 4 years. How safe is that?
    Yet you don't post anything telling people STOP coming to the US because its a dangerous place...
    Do you know of the atrocities your country has done to our little "onetime paradise" JAMAICA? Do you know that once our dollar was stronger than the US dollar? Do you know that its what the US did to Jamaica in the 1980s that causes our country to be what it is today thus causes some people to try surviving by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
    Check this out...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nawxO4JUzyo
    and also...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nawxO4JUzyo

    Here is another example, the US invasion of Iraq and Libya has cause turmoil in the middle east!
    So please leave our country Jamaica, where I'm proud to be from, because your people are the cause thus making that effect


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    1. Who cares about what's going on in other places; we need to get our house in order first. Instead of criticizing those who factually critique us, why not embrace what they say and try to do better?
      We sought independence, we failed to grow our economy, we borrowed money, we agreed to the terms and that's someone else's fault? The very documentary you posted, features individuals pointing out a lack of government vision leading to where we are now.
      Did the US force our leaders to sign loan agreements?
      Have we risen up against the leaders who keep us in the situation we're in or do we sit, complain about the issues while doing nothing more than that?
      Do we do anything to curb our population growth or do we just keep breeding like rabbits regardless of negative economic growth and high unemployment?

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    2. I'm not defending Chicago by any means, Chicago is a mess in many ways. As far as the violence however, pretty much 99% of the shootings and violence your referring to happen in a pocket of a couple neighborhoods or parts of the city, not Michigan Avenue or the Loop or River North or by Wrigley Field where most tourists would be.

      That does not by any means make it okay like I've already said in a number of comments and it's actually a black eye on the city that it's an ongoing issue and nobody seems to care because it affects the poor and not white people so it's actually quite sad but is important to point out these are not tourist areas or areas even most people who live in the city or suburbs go to at a..

      I also made reference in my post to how I went to Negril during a US State Dept warning not to travel to Jamaica. I wasn't bothered because that warning was about the whole Christopher Dudus thing going on in Kingston which is hours away and not an issue for me traveling to Negril so I think thats how the Chicago thing compares to US or Chicago as a destination for travelers.

      I don't mind beach hagglers or even beggars, if I was poor I'd do the same before I let my children go hungry, however I wouldn't under any circumstances get aggressive or threatening with people. That isn't going to get anyone what they want and many people will not return back and not bring those tourist dollars back to Jamaica in the future will in turn will hurt that person and the country.

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  41. With the attitudes on display here by my so called fellow Jamaicans, it's a wonder anyone wants to visit.
    Even as a local I've had to tolerate island wide much of what Billy has mentioned. Median level effort seems to be the highest many people and business seem to offer, even when capable of more. I feel embarrassed for Jamaica when I visit other popular tourist destinations; we have so much yet do so little with it. Meanwhile naturally limited countries such as the Caymans have tourism sectors that have us beat pound for pound.
    I don't see Jamaica having an up swing any time soon; so add me to the list of those saying farewell.

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  42. Jayson, thank you very much for reading as well as for commenting. Part of what I love about Jamaica is that it isn't like the Cayman Islands and Bahamas and so many other destinations, though I don't think Jamaica could ever lose it's unique character and charm. I agree though, things do seem to be going downhill and would be better to turn things around now then further down the road. Thanks again for reading and also commenting and sharing your views.

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  43. Hey everyone, thanks for reading and thanks for commenting. I wanted to start posting some discussions this post has stirred up on other forums and social networks. Here is one discussion going on on CityData.
    http://www.city-data.com/forum/travel/2309186-any-jamaican-travelers-here-whats-your.html

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  44. This post was picked up by another blog and the author comments on the article as well as some comments commenting on this situation. Check it out...
    http://blogs.jamaicans.com/soapbox/2015/03/04/blogger-who-loves-jamaica-explains-why-he-is-never-going-back-and-cancelled-most-recent-trip/

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  45. Post got picked up by another blog...
    http://jamaicansmusicz.com/jamerican-farewell-i-cancelled-my-jamaican-vacation-and-why-i-wont-be-going-back-anytime-soon/

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  46. Not to mention the rampant homophobia prevalent throughout the island. "One Love" indeed...

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    1. You are bringing up a real and relevant issue. It's sad the violence against gay people in Jamaica. As far as not aproving of being gay, I think that's a deep cultural thing in Jamaican culture so I don't know that its ever going to be a forward thinking and accepting culture of gays, however they don't need to have the music preaching hatred of gays and violence.

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  47. My husband and I have been going to Jamaica for approx. 15 years. We were going so often in a years time that we decided to just build a house there. This winter was the longest time we were able to spend all at once, and we were there for 7 weeks. During our time there this winter every single day someone was murdered, or robbed. This is not hearsay, or my opinion, it is fact. While we were there the US put out a travel advisory against travelling there. We have been to our beloved second home 9 times over the last 2 years and every time we have gone the violence and crime in general has been noticeably worse. That being said, I would never change my mind about visiting there. We built our home (a simple board house) in an area where literally all of our neighbors are Jamaican, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Many people said we were nuts building where we chose to build, but we are surrounded by amazing people and I have never, not one time, felt unsafe in my neighborhood, or my home. Yes, the violence and crime have gotten worse in Negril. Yes, something needs to happen to change that. Yes, the government and the police are corrupt and many times choose to look the other way, or appear to bury their heads in the sand where these things are concerned. Something does need to change. Jamaica as a whole, and Negril in particular rely heavily on tourism to survive and many people will find a new vacation destination if things don't get better. It also is true that most, but not all, of this violence is occurring amongst the Jamaican people themselves and is not really involving tourists. It is sad to me that people are changing their minds about coming to Jamaica. It is a truly beautiful place, with even more beautiful people. I hope that the government is able to find a way to curb some of the crime and turn it back into the more peaceful place that I know in my heart of hearts it can be.

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    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your opinion. I'm somewhat regretful having cancelled my trip and am actually really bummed I'm not going to be sitting on the beach, down by the cliffs, etc. I was really excited about showing my girlfriend the island I love so much as she says I've been raving about Negril since the day I met her she's looked forward to going. About 3 years later I planned this trip to take her and at the last minute decided against it. She's currently going through cancer treatments so part of my worry was being so far from a hospital should any issues arrive so I did have that issue in the back of my mind which is totally seperate from any issues Negril has going on now but hearing so many longtime visitors and even homeowners like yourself are having second thoughts that's very worrying to me because as you know people tend to be very defensive of this great place.

      I definatley feel some people don't want to say anything bad so they downplay all thes issues and say they dont exist or have common sense and you'll be fine but these are serious issues.

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  48. There was a recent article posted and discussed on Jamericans.Net where this post was mentioned in relation to all the violence and recent issues going on in Negril and Jamaica as a whole. Click the link below if you'd like to give it a read...

    http://jamericans.net/yellowboard/showthread.php?tid=100837

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  49. To everyone who says I'm full of it and I hate Jamaica. Here's another recent story posted on TripAdvisor and Facebook...

    Check out this bad TA review on Xtabi:

    “Terrifying Experience!! will never return.”

    1 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago

    Me and my Partner stayed at Xtabi for one week in January, I am so late writing this review as I wanted to give the owner a chance to explain himself with regards to the nature of the events which were to unfold during our stay.

    On our 3rd last morning I got up early as I always had, and was sitting on the porch, apparently this was around the time security was due to change as well, and instead of one waiting for the other to arrive, he left the entrance unattended. A man approached me on the balcony with cleaning equipment (as very few xtabi staff wear uniforms it is impossible to tell who is working there and who is not), I spoke with him for a few minutes, seemed genuine enough. Once he left my boyfriend shouted down that we had been robbed (a samsung s5 and $200), I think out of sheer adrenalin, I ran after the man, he caught me on the path and dragged me back to the villa, (all the while i was shouting get your hands off me), he then produced a machete, with the words 'Well Im packing', terrified we barely moved and he left.

    Although this is an awful experience, it was the brush under the carpet treatment that really distressed us further. We met with the police that day and were told we had to be given compensation as the low level of security and lack of uniforms was dangerous for clients. we were due to meet the 'tourist' police at 3pm. of course our day was ruined and we hung around waiting for this man to arrive, but of course he didn't. we were told 'o its actually tomorrrow', so last day is ruined as well. At 3 pm again the next after hanging around again no show, the manager rung him again he said 5pm. i asked to speak with the original police woman and were told the 'tourist' police were on their way. I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist but to be honest I think this was a scam. the man arrived (obviously not wanting me to contact the first police woman) couldn't give me her name, contact info or our original statement. In fact he didn't even want to give us another statement so we could try to claim insurance, he also told us the first police officer lied when she told us we should get compensation (she at least looked professional, had a badge and arrived in a police car, unlike him) he also got mad when I said I had been in contact with the embassy (I kept my mouth shut after that). I was told by management that they could not make any decisions as the owner was away (how convenient), he would be back in a week. so I left it two weeks and emailed to confirm there would be no further correspondence from him, he replied with a very altered version of the events to which I cleared up for him and he never contacted me again. I was never asked if me or my partner were ok, would we like to change rooms or did we need anything. Absolutely appalling. in relation to the rooms, very outdated, over priced. beautiful views, Ant infestation in our room which we were handed a can of spray for (thanks). Our steps down to the sea was rusty and hanging in there by wedged rocks (probably safer to dive in). Food is average, Office staff not very helpful when I wanted to organise trips. Rented over priced snorkling gear that broke twice, in the end we just rented off another hotel which was half the price for better gear.

    Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    1 of 5 stars Rooms
    1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    1 of 5 stars Service

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  50. Looking at dates of comments, I c I'm late to this party. I've been to Negril within the past yr, close to a 2 wk stay with spouse. We kno ppl who moved to Negril abt 6 yrs ago. They hve bars all ovr their doors & windows, like most do, for safety and theft. Many Jamaicans live with bars on windows and iron gates to try to keep them and their property safe, not from tourists, but from locals. Those are the ones lucky to afford a home not a shack. Now there are cases shown on Tripadvisor of tourists becoming infected with hookworm in Negril and not just at 1 hotel. Hookworm is caused by infected animal and/or human feces. It is a sanitation issue.

    In day light walking the beach of our ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT I was stopped by very professional resort security staff keeping the tourists safe (from Jamaicans). They blend in. They do a great job keeping tourists safe, without trying to scare us. As soon as I got close to the end of our AI property one came out of what seemed like thin air. It is a fact that they cannot protect us when we leave the resort. They simply explain the risks without going into detail. That is responsible not negligent for care of guests.

    I'm not going into detail of how many times we hav been to Jamaica or the differnt places. The person who wrote this article makes a CLEAR point many fail to address while insulting the author and they FAIL to honestly acknowledge the fact that when tourists wish to support the actual culture, local vendors & business owners of Jamaica, the crime issues/locals are, in fact, ruining this by giving many reasons why tourists cannot and/or should not leave their hotel or all inclusive resort. Jamaicans must look at themselves for why tourists ONLY SPEND MONEY WITHIN THE RESORT. Pple stay on the resort because they are safer--FACT. They spend their money in their often lacking resort store because it's safer. We don't have to worry about getting mugged or harassed going to or from stores inside of the resort. Do all tourists WANT to feel like they must stay within the resort 7/24? NO!! NO!! NO!! Many would LOVE to venture out but instead of being defensive or not forthcoming, address how too many natives/locals have made it not worth it or to do so MUST INVOLVE CAUTION! I saw some very rude responses from alleged Jamaicans BLAMING TOURISTS or the author of this article for the problems and how he or tourists should be fixing THEIR LOCAL problems! ARE YOU FOR REAL EXPECTING OUTSIDERS TO PAY TO COME IN AND CLEAN UP THE CRIME AND CORRUPTION? GET REAL! Jamaica would be in worse shape if not for the tourist industry. I DARE ANY TO STATE OTHERWISE. While you can, it's a lie. Imagine if Jamaica were banned from travel. Domino effects most certainly trickle down beyond the obvious. So, if Jamaicans HATE US TOURISTS and HATE US FOR WANTING TO BE SAFER FROM LOCALS WITHIN THE CONFINES OF OUR RESORTS, be honest and say so. Begin a campaign stating you hate tourists for factually being and feeling safer on our resorts. Make sure you mention how local crime negatively impacts actual local Jamaicans from enjoying our tourist dollars. Do NOT fault us for causing thousands of jobs to locals. Do NOT fault us for RIGHTFULLY knowing crime is a huge problem. Take responsibility and stop finding others to blame for how individuals choose to conduct themselves. It is also the staff at those resorts that cause tourists to WANT to return, not the actual resort, but because of local Jamaican crime issues that keep tourists from spending their money, exploring, and embracing the culture outside of the often boring resorts, we have also decided to vacation no longer in Jamaica until things get better. We hate that it has come to that but enough is enough. Plus, the author is correct that other tropical places are now providing better 'all inclusives' than Jamaica resorts are providing.

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    1. Thank you very much for the well thought out comment. Jamaica is a beautiful place and has some wonderful people. It's a very unique place and in many ways is my favorite vacation destination I've ever been to. I realize when we go on vacation we want to leave our problems behind but the fact that crime and safety is an issue in Jamaica is a real one.

      I'm not saying people shoudln't go, I'm not saying people should not enjoy themselves and I'm not saying Jamaica is terrible, far from it, I actually plan on going back this summer. That said I notice many "Jamericans" ie Americans who love the island and it's people also want to bury their head in the sand about crime and safety issues and literally attack people who either bring them up or even question them.

      Anytime someone posts about worrying about safety rather than actually addressing the question tripadvisor posters always want to say, I bet whoever told you that has never been to Jamaica huh huh uh?

      Or they respond with, bad things happen in every big city, just be aware.

      I also think you bring up a great point about people spending locally as opposed to with the big corporations who run all inclusives. I stay at smaller resorts, I like to frequent locally owned businesses and shops but as you mention, when I'm gouged for tourist prices at a shot, when someoen tries to short me change, when people are harrassing me when I'm trying to go into a shop, it will make some people just say screw it, I'll stay on resort and experience the tourist Jamaica in peace and safety as opposed to venturing outside.

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