Tourists never get hurt in Trench Town - Culture Yard rejects latest US Travel Advisory about Kingston communities
'Culture Yard' in Trench Town finds the United States' recent travel advisory to be disrespectful. The advisory cautions US citizens from visiting various violent areas in Jamaica.
Kingston, St Andrew, Clarendon and St James were the red flag parishes highlighted in the advisory.
Moreover, US citizens were specifically advised to stay clear of downtown Kingston and surrounding areas; Trench Town falls in that zone.
This negative press doesn't sit well with representatives from Culture Yard, as tourist dollars contribute much to the community's development.
Jermaine Reid, a tour guide responsible for data logging, told THE STAR that no tourist has ever been harmed in Trench Town.
Thus, he views the advisory as a gross misrepresentation of the community.
"They (officials) do it at airports and hotels ... they tell people 'Don't go to Trench Town because it's violent'. And when they come, no violence. No tourist has ever come to Trench Town and get robbed, never been harmed, never been touched, never been molested. Never ever!" Reid defended the community.
He holds the view that there is a negative stereotype around the community that stems from the past, which continues to plague the community today.
"We all know this is Trench Town ... shots fire here, we have gangs here ... we're not hiding it. It's the facts. But when it come on to the tourists, it's different. The people here protect the tourists more than we," he said laughing.
Yesterday, Culture Yard recorded more than 100 visitors before 4 p.m. Reid said that tourists have visited from Germany, Poland, England, Italy, and many other countries.
"If me do something right now, people run me down. If a tourist do something, nobody nah run dem down. They would protect them! They come in all different numbers ... visitors from everywhere come to Trench Town. People come here for days, weeks, months! We have visitors book already and just fi come. Me have five visitors a come from Canada fi Sumfest in July," he said.
However, he is positive that business will continue to boom - he is not at all worried about the potential impact the travel advisory will have on the business.
"The people know the truth. They come and have their own experiences and it's always good. We escort them back to where they're going ... we get cab for them and if we don't get cab, we use our own vehicle carry them. Don't watch the negative. Stay with the positive. A right deh so it deh," he said.