Jamaica, renowned for its music and sports, dipped two spots to 67 among 140 countries in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 due to poor scores in culture and environmental sustainability.
At the same time, local tourism earnings and jobs increased, according to the biennial report published by the World Economic Forum.
The island scored its worst sub-ranking in culture at No 108 of 140. It was worse than safety and security at 95 and environment sustainability at 98.
The report on Jamaica compiled for the World Economic Forum by Mona School of Business and Management indicated that tourism contributed US$3.99 billion to the economy in 2012 up from US$3.89 billion in 2010.
Additionally, the report stated that tourism jobs increased from 263,000 to 285,000 in 2012.
Director of Tourism John Lynch was overseas and said to be unavailable for comment on the report. Similarly, efforts at comment from the business school were unsuccessful.
The results on the cultural rankings surprised researcher Clover Johnston, who argued that Jamaica is culturally rich but that many tourists are ignorant of its scope.
"It is rich, but it is not packaged in a structured way. Also the calendar of cultural activities is not sufficiently circulated by Jamaica Tourist Board," said Johnston who added that travellers - particularly backpacking Europeans and Japanese - tend to seek out cultural events while tourists largely remain in all-inclusive resorts.
Johnston spoke in her capacity as a researcher and declined to associate her comments with the large tour she manages.
unsafe for tourists
"The all-inclusive guests - those people are not pushed to come out of the hotel. And the tour operators that bring guests tend to bring them to Devon House ... but they do not send them to many others," she said adding that the best of the culture tends to be linked with the inner city.
"There is still an undercurrent that certain parts of the country are not safe for tourists," she added explaining that tourists tend to go to Reggae Sumfest and Rebel Salute but not much else musically.
"I suggest people come to Jamaica at the end of January. So they come for Rebel Salute and segue to the Marley events, JARIA concerts and the Dennis Brown concerts in February. So you would have got a solid diet of reggae music," she said.