Vendors cash-in on Sumfest
With tens of thousands of persons, including hundreds of tourists, descending on Montego Bay for the 25th staging of Reggae Sumfest, vendors have been reaping rich rewards, and are thankful to be part of the 'greatest show on earth'.
Lamar, one of the vendors with whom THE STAR spoke, said he journeyed all the way from Kingston to hustle at Sumfest, and he is happy he made the trip.
"Me can't complain innu. Sumfest a do a good thing. We just pay we regular money come in and juggle we likkle things dem," Lamar said as he offered his goods for sale inside the Pier 1 venue on Thursday night.
IN PHOTO: These patrons having a good time at Stripe Reggae Sumfest's Adult Playground held at the Tropical Beach in Montego Bay, St James, on Sunday.
The weeklong Reggae Sumfest started on Sunday with a beach party and will end on Saturday with the second of two major stage shows at Catherine Hall.
"Some nights slow but when tourists a roll inna one place you can't complain cuz you ago make a dollar or two."
Dean, otherwise known as Bling Bling, is a Montegonian and is a regular vendor at Sumfest.
Bling Bling says he is particularly happy with the huge number of tourists who turn out for Sumfest, stating that with the United States currency so valuable, he literally banks on Sumfest each year for an extra dollar.
Sumfest director Robert Russell has said there is a clear benefit to the economy each year the event is held.
"We have had a positive economic impact not only in Montego Bay but all of Jamaica," Russell said in February.
"We attract some 5,000 [foreign] visitors to Montego Bay every year with a stay estimated by the Jamaica Tourist Board of $US1,500 a week. That equates to $US7.5 million and when you multiply by J$129 that's J$967.5 million injected into the economy of Jamaica."
He also said that everyone, including the owners of big hotels and guest houses, vendors who line the streets of Montego Bay and the taxi operators see an increase in earnings during Sumfest.