Tourism is Jamaica’s major foreign exchange earner and can therefore be leveraged to assist with LGBTI liberation on the island. However, I support positive provocation instead of a boycott (which would hurt the very people that we seek to help) and I feel that LGBTI tourists and our allies can help the movement by staying at Jamaican Truly Inclusive Hotels & Resorts (J-TIHRS).
CAVEAT: There is NO industry-wide standard by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association (JHTA) for diversity training of staff by its member organizations. Therefore, please note that this list is no guarantee of non-discrimination at any of the properties indicated below. It simply represents hotels where I and my LGBTI friends have never experienced negative responses from staff because of our sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression (SOGI/E). That said, I would still encourage persons who wish to visit the properties to call or send an email to directly ask the hotels about their approach to SOGI/E non-discrimination. For example, does the property provide mandatory diversity training for all staff?
The J-TIHRs that I recommend are:
- Half Moon, A Rock Resort (has advertised as LGBTI inclusive)
- Round Hill Hotel and Villas (has advertised as LGBTI inclusive)
- Tryall Club Resort
- Coyaba Beach Resort
- Hilton Rose Hall
- GoldenEye Hotel and Resort
- Trident hotel
- GeeJam hotel
- Grand Palladium
- Mockingbird Hill hotel
- Jamaica Inn
- The Caves Hotel
- Hedonism II Hotel
- Couples Resorts
- Terra Nova
- Liguanea Club
- Knutsford Court Hotel
- The Courtleigh Hotel
- Jamaica Pegasus Hotel
- Strawberry Hill
- Idle Awhile Resort
- Banana Shout Resort
A former head of the JHTA has also advised that all non-couples-specific hotels on the island are accepting of same-gender couples. Further, he states that the all-inclusive hotels are NOT discriminating but are styled for heterosexual couples rather than same-gender couples due to marketing reasons.
Sandals Resorts, which also owns Beaches Resorts, has an official policy of diversity training for their staff, but I strongly discourage persons from visiting because these chains are owned by the same person that controls the Jamaica Observer newspaper. That tabloid is notorious for its savage anti-gay commentary and editorial cartoons, which depict LGBTI people as freaks and/or threats to society.
- Jamaica: Inching towards legal equality (76crimes.com)
- Boycott Jamaica to push for an end to anti-gay attacks? (76crimes.com)
- Profusion of gay weddings soon in the Caribbean? (76crimes.com)
- Impoverished, Jamaica still rejects gay tourism dollars (76crimes.com)
- Gay sex tourism in anti-gay Gambia (76crimes.com)
- Will tourist-dependent Barbados risk staying anti-gay? (76crimes.com)