Get ready to jump - Carnival in Jamaica set to explode

April 12, 2017
One of the many colourful costumes Bacchanal Jamaica will showcase on the road this year.
Michael Ammar Jr
Xaymaca is one of the carnival brands on the road this year.
Women show off Jamaica Carnival costumes in 2005.

Michael Ammar Jr, director of Bacchanal Jamaica, said the country could overtake other Caribbean countries as a top carnival destination.

"It's cheaper to come here, we have better hotels and greater culture," Ammar Jr told THE STAR.

Already, the Ministry of Tourism has embarked on an aggressive marketing support for Carnival in Jamaica.

Carnival in Jamaica will be used as the umbrella brand for all carnival activities during the peak period of April 14 to 24.

"It is our intention to make Carnival in Jamaica a national product that our visitors can look forward to experiencing each year. So this will become an annual undertaking which will transform the carnival experience locally," Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism, said.

"It is our aim to have Carnival in Jamaica become on par with or even better than carnival in our sister Caribbean island of Trinidad, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Notting Hill in London or any of the other big carnivals in major capitals of the world," Bartlett said.

Kamal Bankay, chairman of the Sports and Entertainment Network in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports. said Carnival in Jamaica has tremendous potential for the island.


Best carnival experience


"I truly believe that Carnival in Jamaica is a powerful initiative as it has brought together all the Carnival bands for the first time to work together to create the biggest and best carnival experience Jamaica has ever seen," Bankay said.

Four carnival brands, Bacchanal Jamaica, Xodus, Jamaica Carnival and Xaymaca, have lined up to give Jamaicans a stellar experience this season.

"We have done 17 stellar carnivals and the reviews from all over the world have been great. We are rated among the top five 'must do' things on the carnival calendar and we are rated by Trini Jungle Juice as the second best carnival in the Caribbean and they attend every carnival in the world," he said.

"We have planned the carnival day together and we have routes that are not the same but are running in coordination. So there won't be any traffic jam. Jamaica's carnival used to be the best kept secret, but it is not a secret anymore and people are coming from all over. If we pull off this year with multiple bands, then carnival will explode in even more numbers," he said.

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