Blue Mountain residents want more tourism dollars

December 08, 2017
Farmers in Epping Farm, St Thomas speak about the offerings of communities in the Blue Mountain range. From left are Rudolph Watson Jr, Alex Smith and Euton Rhodney.

 

Euton Rhodney is dissatisfied with the fact that communities in the Blue Mountain range have not been able to maximise the benefits from tourism. According to Rhodney, who lives in Penlyne Castle, St Thomas, the coffee-producing region is not given enough support by the Government to enhance the visitor experience.

"Me do Airbnb and me do coffee, so for tourists coming to my house, they can buy couple packs a coffee," he said.

The farmer said that a lot of farmers are not in a position to offer visitors a taste of the world-famous Blue Mountain coffee.

"If yuh go a dem yaad, dem can't gi yuh a cup a coffee fi drink and we a the biggest coffee farmers," he said.

He added that many individuals travel to the Blue Mountain Peak but they do not have anywhere that persons can sit and get a great experience.

"We duh have a likkle place weh dem can come an siddung an drink some coffee. We nuh have some suga and wata weh we mix up and call it Blue Mountain punch," he lamented.

The Blue and John Crow mountains were inscribed on UNESCO's prestigious World Heritage list in 2015.

"We shoulda benefit more. Di road shoulda fix likkle better and some likkle craft shop weh people can come in and get the real Blue Mountain honey, some good bees honey, an two orange from the Blue Mountain and sugar cane."

"Nobody not coming in to train the people. Dem come wid dem big meeting and dem one-day meeting, but you need people on di ground fi talk to the yout dem and tell dem seh look unu can make money."

Rudolph Watson said that thousands of tourists visit the area on a yearly basis, but they are not getting the full experience.

"You only hear seh this is a tourist area. The tourists dem come but dem leave with nothing."

He told THE WEEKEND STAR that even if tourists wanted to spend money in the community, there is not much to offer them.

"They hear about the big, great Blue Mountain Peak and they hear about the great things, but people nah come just fi see the scenery. Dem a come fi eat supm and drink supm and interact with the people dem."

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