Caribbean’s most disappointing tourist destination

The Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Associated Press / Scott A. Miller

What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. And in the social media context, ganders often get the notice as the ones to go against the grain. While much has been touted about Jamaica’s alluring assets, voters on social networking website Reddi‌ disagreed with popular viewpoint saying that Jamaica is not the paradise promoted as the Caribbean destination to visit.

Unabashedly, they criticized the island for ruining the holiday experience of tourists by allowing over-zealous vendors to intrude on their privacy.

What they actually said was that visitors there are often bombarded by unwelcomed peddlers who often are relentless in their pursuit of sales. According to voters that decided the outcome of a poll, instead of encountering paradise what they found was an abundance of tourist traps. Some claimed they felt physically threatened by aggressive and hostile sellers.

Renowned for being one of the Caribbean’s longest-established and best known tourist destinations boasting a variety of attractions as well as some of the region’s finest accommodation, the site offers a departure from hype to include the island in a list of the world’s most disappointing destinations.

Regarded to be a virtual tropical playground of the rich, Jamaica is acclaimed for its culinary delights, unique rum and beer beverages, superb Blue Mountain coffee, trendsetting dance showcases and for being the birthplace of reggae.

Consistently ranked among the top destinations for resorts in the Caribbean, hotels there have been by listed by Travel & Leisure Magazine among the “500 World’s Best Hotels” in 2014.

At the World Travel Awards another hotel in Jamaica won the coveted “Caribbean’s Leading Boutique Hotel.”

The same hotel was regaled for being “Jamaica’s Leading Boutique Hotel” in 2012.

And in 2014 the same winning hotel was nominated for “Best Spa in The Caribbean.”

In addition, on the island Rockhouse Hotel was voted the number one “Best Value Hotel in the Caribbean” by Travel & Leisure Magazine’s “World’s Best Value Awards.” They were also included in Conde Naste Traveler’s Readers Choice list of “Best in the World.”

As a matter of reference, travel expert Patricia Schults named Jamaica’s Rockhouse as one of the “1000 Places to See BeforeYou Die” in her New York Times Best Selling Book.

Jamaica’s place on the list shocked fans of the island who make repeat visits throughout the year.

But Jamaica was not alone on the disappointment list, several of the world’s most visited destinations and attractions listed included Paris, Venice and India’s Taj Mahal. Visitors were allegedly unimpressed with the reputed travel destinations.

Venice was labeled a “gigantic tourist trap” by voters who complained that it was “crowded and full of scammers.”

The floating city’s famous canals were dismissed as “horribly polluted and filled with garbage.” Paris was slammed as the “worst city on Earth” in the survey, with many criticizing the rudeness of locals towards visitors.

“I couldn’t order a f***ing coffee, in English or in French, without a disdainful look from any cafe employee,” said one disgruntled tourist.

Visitors also complained that the “city of romance” was dirty and overpriced.

Some travelers said that Bali’s famed beaches were filthy, overcrowded and overrun with scammers. Dubai got the thumbs-down as an “overpriced, superficial, fake and unfriendly” destination.

Turning to heritage sites, a surprise addition to the list was The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, long considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Travelers claimed that they reached that conclusion because the ancient site “can be seen from Pizza Hut.” The fact it was located close to the noise and chaos of the city seemed to offend a few. Many also complained that they were constantly harassed by vendors.

The site also branded Stonehenge, Britain’s most famous prehistoric monument on the disappointing list. Much of the criticism focused on its proximity to a busy main road.

When it came to city destinations, Los Angeles was listed as an uninteresting let-down and knocked for its “run-down, dangerous and dirty urban sprawl.”

Other destinations that attracted criticism included the world famous Niagara Falls and Times Square in Manhattan.

Perhaps, these voters should remain home in their own paradise.

Why leave home, travel and return miserable?

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