‘Hip Strip’ is open for business, say MoBay small business operators
Small business operators on Gloucester Avenue, better known as the ‘Hip Strip’ in Montego Bay, St James, are urging tourist to visit the area, despite the recent upsurge of violence in the parish.
Several of the operators this morning accepted that the reports of frequent shootings in the resort town could be a turn-off for potential visitors, but urged declared that the Hip Strip is open for business.
Among those making the declaration was a businessman from India who has adopted the name Lucky after making Jamaica his home for the past decade.
Street-side craft vendor Raymond Smith had similar words of encouragement for visitors even as he chided hotel operators for keeping the visitors inside their properties or guiding them to specific upscale locations.
The reaction of the small business operators come in the wake of claims by president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association Omar Robinson, that the escalating crime in western Jamaica has left visitors to Montego Bay concerned.
According to Robinson, the association has had to ramp up its public relations activities because of the increased concern among visitors.
He said there is a general perception that there are too many killings in St James and urged the government to find a solution to stem the increase in murders.