• Angella Berarey

Why Tourists Are Safe in Jamaica

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

You’ve booked your trip or set your sights on Jamaica as your next adventure and then you read the government advice website from the country you are in and think…. really? Is it that bad? Am I in danger?  What is all this about...? I only want to go on holiday…. I’m not planning on moving there!


Having looked at the British government advisory on travel to Jamaica, I was at first quite horrified. On reading again, it became quite clear that this report is not written by someone ‘on the ground’ in Jamaica.  It also bears little relevance to tourists coming to Jamaica for a 2-week holiday. There is a great difference between being a tourist for a couple of weeks and being a returnee resident or a foreign national staying with family in local areas.  It appears that whomever writes this ‘advice’ does not bear this in mind and consequently scares away potential travellers to Jamaica.


It seems that the government advice is doing more damage to the Jamaican economy than the criminals are doing with their violence amongst themselves.  If I was to be so bold, I would call it nothing short of criminal, to misdirect people unnecessarily about their safety in Jamaica, which only leads to further destabilisation of an already fragile economy. As I am ‘on the ground’ and have been so for the more than 30 times I have made prolonged trips to Jamaica, I would like to explain why tourists are in fact, very safe and so much safer than in many other countries.  

In truth, the violence against tourists in Jamaica is extremely low and always has been. This is not to be confused by the violence against foreign nationals and returnee residents in Jamaica, which is an entirely different matter.


If you are a visitor to the island enjoying its beauty for a couple of weeks or more, you really have nothing to fear apart from the sun.


I write this as I am hearing the concerns of those people who say “… it looks wonderful, but will I be safe?”


Why wouldn’t you be safe? You are visiting a country where the people are proud, happy & friendly and love nothing more than to show off their island paradise in the hope that you will return with your friends and family. They are also well aware that as a visitor, you are giving a much needed boost to the economy of their country.  


There are areas in Jamaica that your own government will tell you not to visit and I would find it hard to believe any tourist could get so lost and stumble into these places. In Montego Bay they warn against going to Flanker, Barrett Town, Norwood, Glendevon, Rose Heights and Mount Salem.  Around the Kingston area, they warn against travel to Grant’s Pen, August Town, Harbour View & Spanish Town…. these places are certainly not on any tourist map!  


Would it be a high priority to tell a tourist visiting Britain, to stay away from Moss Side, a tourist to USA, to stay away from Compton and a tourist to Canada, to stay away from Alberta? Visitors to Jamaica generally like to explore the islands natural beauty and are not going to suddenly find themselves in areas they shouldn’t be. If a visitor did find themselves in an area warned against by their own government, the probability of them being directed to their intended destination in a safe and friendly manner would be very high, just as I am sure would happen in less salubrious locations throughout the world.


 Wherever you go in the world, use your common sense!


In all honesty, you, as a tourist on the island, are really not worth the hassle of robbery by the criminals you are being warned about, as there is just not enough money in it for them. Why take your watch or wallet for a few hundred dollars when they can take many thousands more over the phone? You are much more likely to fall victim to a Nigerian or Jamaican ’scam' and the criminals can and do earn a lot more money from you when you are in your own country. It is worth remembering that criminals make up just a tiny percentage of most if not every country and that the majority are law abiding citizens.


I have been a solo traveller all around Jamaica for years. I have my own vehicle and stay in places off the tourist trail. I travel at all hours of the day and night as I know the roads and the areas and I exercise common sense.  I wouldn’t expect a ‘2-week tripper’ to do the same but I also wouldn’t like them to think that they have to stay on resort and not take advantage of being in such a beautiful place and going out to enjoy it!


Come, explore, have fun and be safe in Jamaica!

Nobody knows Jamaica better than ME :)

Angella Berarey

angella@justjamaica.co.uk

+44 7841 879 093

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